As a mother of two, I can speak from experience when I say that entering motherhood for the first time can bring with it a whole lot of unexpected emotional challenges. I recently read the below post on an online mothers community group and really related to what they call "mum isolation" when I had my first born Harriet. I believe this is something that all first-time mothers should be aware of and be prepared for. I certainly wish I’d known earlier on that it was such a common feeling amongst mothers and that I wasn't alone. Midwife Chrissy also gives some great practical advice that mother's can easily implement to help.
"We talk about the day three blues in hospital, the rapid shift in hormones as your body transitions from pregnancy to motherhood and the initiation of milk production. However, of all the feelings we talk about, loneliness isn't discussed enough. Even though we are never technically 'alone' in our new motherhood (our baby feels like its attached to us 24/7), motherhood can be isolating.
For majority of women we will have worked numerous days a week, and had an active social life pre children. So going from 6-8 hours a day of solid interaction at work, to sitting alone with a tiny human that you can't have a conversation with is shocking and very very lonely.
It doesn't mean that you don't love your baby. It just means that you are experiencing a period of adjustment.
Going out and about during the day can help combat the loneliness and isolation. Join a mothers group, go to a baby sensory class, visit the local library on children activity days or visit the local park. All of these can cultivate connections and ease the isolation and loneliness of new motherhood."
- Midwife Chrissy
Dr Genevieve Bishop, Glow Mums & Bubs Facebook Group
In my own experience, I particularly remember experiencing these feelings in the middle of the night when I was breastfeeding my little one in a dark room alone with her. Even though she is/ was one of my most favourite little people in the world I couldn’t help but feel lonely. When I opened up to my close friends who were also having young babies they were quick to put their hands up and admit they felt the same way. It was then and there that we decided to start up an enclosed group-chat on WhatsApp and during our midnight feeds we would all message one another the weird and funny experiences we were having during these eerie twilight hours. I can tell you there was a whole lot more laughter than loneliness from this day on. If your friends aren't at the same life stage don't worry there are so many ways to make new mum friends! Whether it be through some of the platforms Chrissy suggests above or jump online as there are hundreds of online community groups for mummas on facebook and instagram where the women are equally eager to connect.
Best of luck!
Founder & Designer
📷This picture from @claireholt says a thousand words, so we’d like to thank her for also sharing her challenging stories through motherhood.
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