Becoming a new parent is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life – unfortunately, it can also be a very stressful and tiring time. Many first-time parents feel exhausted after the first few days of a crying baby and no sleep, while others start to feel that they’re failing or that they aren’t doing something right. If left unaddressed, these concerns can lead to a more serious case of post-partum depression, which can put both the mother’s and child’s health at risk. If you’re feeling discouraged, there are many resources you can turn to for help and encouragement. Consider the following options if you feel like you’re at your wits end.
Join a Support Group
There are a number of nationwide support groups for first-time – or even second- and third-time – parents. These groups usually meet on a weekly basis to offer support to one another. One positive aspect of these groups is there is no judgment involved. Instead, they are meant to be a safe, nonjudgmental place where you can express your frustration and feelings of defeat. You’ll likely find that you aren’t alone in your struggles as you hear other moms and dads talk about their situations. You may even see that your situation isn’t as bad as it could be!
Seek Out Professional Medical Help
If the issues you’re facing are related to sleep, constant crying, or feeding habits, you may want to seek out help from your pediatrician or another medical professional. Many parents can eliminate these issues and put their new babies on a better schedule with a little help. Also, if you’re wondering if your child’s behavior or habits are normal, this may be the best place to seek help. Many first-time parents spend much more time than they should worrying about day-to-day events. Seek out professional opinions on the issues you’re concerned about will help you feel much better.
Ask Friends and Family for Help
If you have a parent or grandparent who lives close by, you might turn to them for help. When you feel stressed out, you could ask these people for help and advice to get through your frustrations. In fact, your mom or dad may be your best shoulder to cry on when it feels like the job is just too hard. After all, they probably felt the same way when you were a baby.
Speak With a Counselor or Psychologist
There are many times when it may be best to seek out help from a medical professional – such as when your baby won’t nurse or you have concerns about colic or other health issues. Unfortunately, many moms also suffer from depression and frustration after having a baby, but neglect to provide themselves with the care they need. Don’t suffer through and be unhappy when there is help. Speaking with a professional counselor or therapist may help you to work through your feelings and come to terms with your frustrations. In extreme cases, your psychologist may recommend anti-depressants or other supplements to help you feel better right away.