Beating Isolation

When you first have a baby life becomes a whirlwind of activity.

You’re recovering from the birth, relishing in the love of your newborn baby, family and friends are visiting, perhaps some have even dropped off some home-cooked meals.

In other words, you’re blissfully happy in your baby bubble.

But before long things begin to change. Flowers stop arriving, guests come less frequently, your husband returns to work – sometimes the bubble bursts.

While life goes on for those around you, you’re still there. Alone with your baby, navigating a whole new world.

The result can be unexpected feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Isolation can very much be a common experience for parents, particularly first time parents.

Life as you know it has suddenly been turned on its head.

For the stay-at-home parent those first few months particularly can be challenging – the parent can feel unsure, second guess themselves, feel alone and isolated.

Making matters worse, many new mums struggling with isolation also experience feelings of guilt.

Because they’re experiencing emotions other than happiness at a time that they think should be completely joyous, many mums feel selfish for longing for something more.

But feeling isolated and struggling with those feelings is completely normal.

It’s also vitally important to accept and acknowledge those feelings in order to deal with them.

Acceptance is the first step towards moving forward and getting the appropriate help.

The challenge for those parents who have a newborn is acknowledging and admitting that it’s not always easy.

If you are feeling isolated, lonely or simply struggling with life as a new mum, follow these tips:

  • Have realistic expectations – some days getting out of your pyjamas by midday is an achievement!
  • Get connected – reach out to someone, preferably someone who will support you and assist you. Social media can also be a great way for mums confined to their home to feel connected to the community.
  • Seek professional help if it you feel you need it – speak to your GP, a nurse, psychologist or other health professional if you’re concerned about the intensity of your feelings.

Postnatal Depression – PANDA helpline is available in Australia from 10am to 5pm (AEST) Monday to Friday – 1300 726 306

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