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mom_guilt

Fed up with mom guilt? Here’s how to banish unhelpful thoughts

Tired of battling mom guilt? It’s entirely normal, but pretty unhelpful if you’re navigating many other new mom emotions. Here are five classic parent guilt thoughts and how you can overcome them.

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  • No initial bond with baby

It can take weeks—or months—to feel an attachment with your newborn. Try not to feel guilty or anxious. It will happen naturally over time. Enjoy skin-to-skin contact with your baby and baby massage. Singing and gently rocking your newborn can help too.

  • Pressure to breastfeed

You can experience so much guilt when it comes to breastfeeding or formula feeding. Whether it’s feeling guilty about not breastfeeding, formula feeding guilt, stopping breastfeeding guilt, or feeling like a failure if you cannot breastfeed your baby, the important thing is that you’re a content, happy new mom and your baby is fed. So choose what’s right for you and your situation. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months but, if that isn’t an option, your baby can get all its nutritional needs from infant formula if need be.

  • Working mom guilt

Juggling your work and home life is tough for every new mom, so it’s common to feel guilty. When looking at daycare options, trust your mom intuition and choose the right one for both you and your baby. Share all household chores with your partner or ask for help from family and friends. That way, when you do get home, you can enjoy cuddles and bath time rather than running around trying to be superwoman. Read our tips on going back to work after having baby to help you get the balance right.

  • Self-care for new moms

We’ll let you in on a secret: it’s OK if you’re thinking “I need a break from being a mom!” Take some time for yourself. You’re not being selfish if you sometimes choose yourself over your baby. Exercise, spend time with friends and set aside some time for just you and your partner. If you’re feeling rested and less stressed, that makes for a happier, more energized you. You’ll be raring to go!

  • The perfect mom myth

Let’s get this straight: there’s no such thing as the perfect mom. Sure, you’ll make plans while pregnant, and daydream about what having a baby and being a new mom will be like. But the reality is you can’t prepare. Every new mom struggles so don’t feel guilty about not living up to your own expectations. Let go of the Insta-perfect family lie and you’ll feel a whole lot better. Promise.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/infant-and-young-child-feeding (Accessed July 2020)

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