What Parents Feel after having Baby
While you were pregnant, you must be waiting desperately for the day when you will bring your child home. You expect it to be the happiest day of your life. Once you take this giant leap from pregnancy to parenting, the feeling of happiness is sure at its peak but it is mixed with other emotions of fear, regret, anxiety, bliss and pure love. All these emotions will circulate in your mind within 30 seconds. When the first time, you bring your baby home, an awareness floods over you and you realize that your life has changed forever. Now, there is a new life which is totally dependent upon you for its survival.
Apart from the baby’s dependency, you will generate a desire to be the best parents on the earth. The desire serves as the great source of energy but also bring stress along with. Though, you have anticipated parenting techniques before conception or during pregnancy, you may have felt your baby for months or already had some very strange and worrisome dreams about your baby, but the actual moment brings the fresh issues and problems of parenting stage.
As new parents, you must be going through physical, mental and emotional turmoil. Though, the feelings for a new mom are far different from the feelings of a new father, but there are some common thoughts and feelings also, which they share.
Common Feelings of New Parents
- Feeling low and depressed: Initial months and days after baby are often occupied with low feelings, depression, mood swings which become worse in the morning and at night. These feelings are due to the realization of new responsibilities and duties for the child. Most of the time, new mums even feel like weeping all the time. This may be due to the hormonal changes she is going through.
- Anger: This is again common for both as you both feel unable and helpless to return to your normal pre-baby life. The baby demands time and attention from both of you which resist you from doing even the simple, urgent and important chores of everyday life. This makes both of you feel annoyed and angry.
- Guilt: When you overcome with the feelings of regret, annoyance, anger and hatred, you feel bad about having such feelings for your baby. You realize that it was your decision to have the child in your life and that new little life has no fault. All these feelings fill you with extreme guilt. You feel as you are not a good mother or father, you are not giving best to your baby etc. However, develop a habit of the same, because this guilt will be in on and off stage for several years.
- Anxiety: Your child is your life and you could never see him/her getting hurt anyways even in your dreams. This develops a feeling of fear and anxiety all the time so that you do not leave your child alone even for few seconds, you always fear of something awful happening to your child, you are extra concerned about your child’s heath. This worry requires you to have your family and relatives near you every time.
- Low Confidence: Being physically unfit after baby takes away a mother’s confidence to face the world around while fathers lack their confidence of providing a good upbringing to their family. They are often loaded with financial and emotional stress.
- Lack of Concentration: When your mind is occupied with several matters, you can definitely not concentrate on anything. Instead, you will become forgetful, confused and lose your memory.
- Sleepless Nights: Babies have habit of sleeping in the day and being awake in the night. New parents often have to suffer from lack of sleep which makes them run down of energy during daytime. Due to this, you may detach yourself from things which you used to like earlier. You just feel need to take a nap in the day time. This also makes you irritated and frustrated.
- Exhaustion: Due to above described symptoms, you feel tired and exhausted whole day. This takes away your hunger also. You feel worse for the whole day. Gradually, it will make you feel annoyed with the changes and you may find it hard to cope with the changes.
Feelings of a New Mom
No wonder, a woman feels as if on cloud nine after giving birth to her child. It made her feel complete as a woman. She realizes the amazing power she is bestowed with by the Almighty to give birth to a new life. Apart from that, she experiences thrilling sense of pride to create a life with someone she loves the most. She waits for the moment when her child would first call her “mom”. She may feel tremendously close to her partner. All these feelings are absolutely true but mostly occupied with the mixed emotions.
The hormonal surge occurred during labor and delivery, the awareness of having a life dependent on you, the realization that you will not be working anymore, the draining out of physical strength and the stress of starting a life with new responsibilities can induce you with the overwhelming feelings of sadness and depression. These mixed thoughts and sensations may put you in confusion. Nevertheless, you and your partner will have to enjoy or bear this rollercoaster ride of emotions for a while.
Labor and delivery (normal or cesarean) forces you to go through several physical stresses. In the vaginal delivery, you may feel pain down there, you may feel so drained out that it is even difficult to brush your hair by own, you need to treat your scar (if C-section), you need extra care for your tender breasts. All these physical changes needs should be well taken care of. As a new mom, you must eat nutritious and healthy food, drink plenty of fluids, sleep as much as possible and do some mild exercise.
Even after these initial troubles, you may feel exhausted, tired and drained out for initial months. This is all due to the loss occurred during labor and also due to baby’s increasing physical and emotional demands from you.
The extra pounds, stretch marks and unwanted changes in the figure may make you feel annoyed with yourself. You will desire your pre-baby figure and weight but would feel helpless.
Just few days after giving birth, you will acknowledge wide range of emotions ruling your mind every few seconds. These can range from extreme joy, bewilderment, bliss to ambivalence, despair, aggravation and rage. The main culprits behind all this are exhaustion and lack of sound sleep. You will need to find strategies to cope with these emotional ups and downs. The best way is to relax and sleep as much as you can.
There will be days when you will be filled with the joy by seeing your baby’s smile or observing his development and activities each day. Though, you have left the job, you are extremely tired or your life has completely changed, but having your baby with you makes you happy anyway. However, there will be also the days when you will lack confidence and will doubt your abilities to take care of your child.
Failing in others Expectation
As soon as a woman steps into motherhood, she is expected to know everything about baby and its upbringing. She is often loaded with advices, comments and suggestions for the several do’s and don’ts. She often puts herself in lot of pressure to fulfill the expectations from the society which brings emotional and mental stress on her. Nevertheless, one must know, it is also a new experience for her like the male counterpart.
The sudden and dramatic drop in the female hormones and drop in endorphins causes you to undergo baby blues. This is a temporary but severe reaction to the body’s changing hormones. This is often marked with sleepless nights, disappointing experience, lack of self control, self doubt and mild depression. The condition normally withers away in few days or months. However, some women are not lucky enough and the condition is extended to postpartum depression which needs to be treated.
Feelings of a New Father
New fathers readily hit themselves with the jolt of reality that after baby, they are loaded with new responsibilities, new pressures, new duties and new expectations. Few may realize this at an early stage may be in the hospital itself while others get to know it bit later. They soon start adapting with the changes which are often easy and at times not.
A new father like mother is also loaded with mixed feelings of stress and satisfaction. They will learn new and strange things which they never had discussed before like child vomiting, color and consistency of the diaper contents, episiotomies, leaky breasts and many other such things. He will learn the baby’s gestures and will act accordingly. He will try to adjust to the modified surroundings and will do his best to present himself as the best father.
Despite all this, he is surrounded by the feelings which every new father had somewhere sometime.
- Confusion: Often fathers are confused with their conflicting emotions of baby birth. On the one hand when they are feeling power, pride and realize the masculine power to bring a new life in the world, they are surrounded by the helplessness to satisfy and understand the baby’s needs.
- New and Unconditional Love: A father’s love for his child is incomparable to any other love in the world. However, you as a new father may take time to realize that you had this all-consuming love for your child within you.
- Ambivalence: There will be days when you will be feeling intense love for your child and be feeling blessed while other days will be marked with regret and stress. Again, this will be clouded with the incredible guilt for having negative feelings to his child. However, do not worry as ambivalence is perfectly normal for a new dad.
- Postpartum Blues: Yes, it is not only a woman’s thing. New dads often go through father blues post delivery. They often go through the heavy stress of managing their home and office. When on the one hand, they are dealing with the pending bills; they have to cope with the sleep interruption and had to do extra laundry at home. Besides this, he has to work more to maintain the family income as his partner must had taken off or had left the job.
- More Organized: Your baby will definitely teach you to be more organized and do your work with planning. Taking your baby to the park or some supermarket would require you to be manageable, organized and cautious. Now, unlike pre-baby life, you cannot leave all the stuff just to attend an office or friends’ call.
- Fearful and Frightened: Fear of not meeting the expectations of family, fear of being unable to protect the family, fear of not providing a good upbringing and healthy life to her child and fear of affecting the relationship with partner are quite common for a new father. His fear of inabilities may make him think that he made a horrible mistake by bringing the child on the earth. However, all these fears sooner or later go away.
- Redefine the Relationship with Partner: The exhaustion and lack of time brings the universal issue with new parents of not having enough time to spend together. On top of it, they are not in sync sexually. This may put strain in the relationship. A new mother may put off the thought of being involved in sex while a new dad feel more about it. This brings feeling of rejection and annoyance in the male partner. However, you can both understand each other’s feelings and can redefine your love life with non-intercourse sexual intimacy like hugging, cuddling, kissing or touching.
Despite all these mixed feelings, new parents develop special attachment with their baby. They instinctively care for and give their best to nurture the child. At times, this bond is immediately formed when they meet their bundle of joy while some parents take it longer. No matter, if you do not feel or feel negative emotion with your child. All that are normal and time is the only solution for that. As your baby grows, you will feel more attached and love him more.