New Parent – Mum

Motherhood presents some of the greatest challenges and joys in life. For some women, pregnancy and birth do not go as planned, and they encounter emotional difficulties they didn’t anticipate. If this is the case for you, regardless of how well you are coping, seeking support can help to maximise your ability to relish the experience of being a new mum, and reduce any anxiety.

If you are the mum of a newborn, the perinatal and infant period spans from the beginning of pregnancy up to the time that the baby is about one year old. This is a significant time of adjustment and stress for parents, and emotional health problems may occur. Many women and their partners experience feelings of distress and anxiety in the perinatal period. This is common and often resolves with support from a psychologist. For some women, adjustment will be more difficult and they may notice ongoing changes in mood, sleep, motivation, confidence and appetite. Other signs may include withdrawal from family and friends. Depression can also develop before or after the birth of the baby and if you notice any of these changes it is a good idea to discuss them with a professional.

If you are a new mum and feel you need extra support, you are not alone. Being a new mum can be tough. As a new mum you may be experiencing:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormonal changes – affecting your mood and sleep patterns
  • Physical changes to your body; weight, hair growth, swelling, stretched skin
  • Breastfeeding difficulties
  • Feeling isolated or unsupported
  • Uncertainty that comes with being a mum for the first time
  • Pain associated with the birth
  • Feeling anger or frustration towards your partner

As a new mum, you are the most influential person in your child’s life. The maternal bond is an extremely precious and unique relationship. However, the maternal bond does not always form instantaneously, and is influenced by both emotional and physical components of your health. Therefore, if you are experiencing difficulties as a new mum, it is extremely important to take care of both your physical and mental health. From infancy, a child needs an attentive, emotionally responsive caregiver for their healthy physical, social and emotional development: a relationship in which the infant feels secure promotes later psychological wellbeing.

At VCPS we provide support to mothers, fathers and children. This support aims to assist parents to be more effective in tuning into their own emotions and needs, the needs of their partner, and to understand what their child requires at different stages of development. Our psychologists enjoy working with new mothers to create positive connections between themselves and their child.