Say Hello to “Matrescence”: A Stressful Psychological Second Puberty
Matrescence is a term used to describe the physical and emotional changes that occur in a woman’s body and mind during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is similar to adolescence, but refers specifically to the transition into motherhood. The term was first coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael in the 1970s, but has recently gained more attention in popular media and the field of maternal health. The term encompasses the emotional, physical, and spiritual changes that women experience as they become mothers, and the cultural and societal expectations placed on new mothers. If you have the ability to see a therapist with experience in postpartum support, it is highly encouraged. This struggle with matrescence can lead to Postpartum Depression (PPD) without proper support. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to honor this transition in your life without self-judgment.
New mothers have it tough – there is no denying that. Between the grueling work of growing the baby, birthing the baby, and then stepping into motherhood, it feels endless. So it’s no wonder that new mothers require tender love and support during this trying time. But when a partner or father is working hard alongside the new mother, it can be extremely taxing on them as well. It’s unfortunate that our culture does not encourage men to be vulnerable during times of emotional need. However, family health and wellbeing would greatly benefit from giving paid family leave and emotional support to every new parent; not just mothers. If you are a new father, make sure you are getting the emotional support you need from friends, family, and a therapist. If the partner is able to feel supported, they can then better support others in need (namely mom and baby).
Parenting Is Probably Not Going to Be 50/50 All Of The Time
In an ideal world, our partners will do an equal share of the work. It’s a simple concept. But when you add in mental health, work, and other social commitments, we find that many people don’t have the same capacity as we do in that moment. And that’s okay. Parenting isn’t always 50/50. Don’t misunderstand this; I’m not saying that your partner not giving support should be tolerated all of the time. But it is good to think with compassion. Are they having a hard time at work? Are they going through a tough transition in any areas of their life? When you take a step back from the daily tasks and look at your partner like a human being, it’s easier to not get worked up over the dishes not being put up. If you feel as though you’re overburdened with an unfair share of chores or tasks, sit down with your partner and talk about it. Sometimes, you can solve the issue without snapping at one another. After all, all of us are just tiny humans on a big planet that need compassion and security from the ones we love.
If You Have a Newborn Girl, There May Be Blood In Her Diaper
You do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of your child. But one day, you find that your new baby girl has blood in her diaper. Don’t panic. Blood in a newborn girl’s diaper can be a cause for concern for new parents, but it is important to know that it is normal and not always a problem. A common cause is “maternal hormone withdrawal bleeding,” which happens when the baby is exposed to high levels of estrogen and progesterone from the mother during pregnancy and then experiences a drop in these hormones after birth, resulting in light bleeding or spotting that usually stops on its own within a few days. Another possible cause is vaginal or cervical trauma during delivery. However, it’s important to note that in rare cases, it could be a sign of an infection such as urinary tract infection or a vaginal infection. If parents have any concerns or if the bleeding persists or becomes heavy, it’s best to consult with a pediatrician or obstetrician for proper diagnosis and treatment.
You Don’t Have To Be Productive During Your Child’s Nap
In the first year of your child’s life, nap times will feel sacred. Whether you contact nap and crave the dark and quiet, or you lay your little one down and sneak out, nap time is your own personal time. However, it can feel pressing to do the things you need to after being preoccupied by your child’s needs all day. While it might not always be possible to kick back and relax during nap time, it’s important to try to do this as often as possible. It changes a lot. Reading a book, watching a show, or taking a cat nap yourself can be an important way for you to take care of yourself. And while laundry or work may seem pressing, it’s important to value yourself as an individual. Take the hour or two. You’ve earned it.
You Might Not Be Able To Sleep When Your Newborn Sleeps
“Sleep when they sleep.” It’s a mantra that every new parent is told. But there are many reasons you might not be able to follow this well meaning advice. Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) can be really intense in the first chapter of your child’s life. PPA could be so severe that the fear of something happening to your newborn could keep you up. Particularly for first time mothers, anxiety can be high in the first weeks and months with a newborn. Fear for the baby’s safety, worries and challenges surrounding feeding, re-identifying personally in the “new mom” role – all of these adjustments can lead to increased cortisol secretion and resulting feelings of anxiety postpartum. Anxiety and sleep are never good bedfellows.
If You’re Scared Of Becoming A Parent, Don’t Worry – Instincts Really Do Take Over
Becoming a new parent can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, but instincts can play a powerful role in helping parents navigate this new journey. As new parents, the instinct to care for and protect their newborn baby is a natural and powerful force that can guide them in providing the best care possible for their little one. This can include the tender act of holding and rocking the baby to soothe them, responding to their cries with love and patience, and making sure they are fed and have a clean diaper. The instinct to bond with the baby is also a beautiful and powerful thing, as it helps new parents to form a deep emotional connection with their child. This can include the joy of gazing into the baby’s eyes, responding to their cues and gestures with understanding and love, and holding and cuddling them close to their hearts.
Your Baby May Poop Four Times A Day Or Once A Week
Frequency of bowel movements can vary greatly among babies, some babies may have several bowel movements a day, while others may only have one or two per week. This is considered normal and should not be a cause for concern as long as the baby is gaining weight and appears healthy. Newborns have their first bowel movement (meconium) which is a dark, sticky, and tarry substance that has been in their intestines since before birth. As the baby grows, the frequency of bowel movements will likely decrease. Breastfed babies tend to have more frequent, softer and less odorous bowel movements than formula-fed babies. Remember, every baby is different and as long as your little one is happy, healthy and growing well, there’s no need to worry about the frequency of their bowel movements. However, if you have any concerns or if your baby seems to be in pain when passing stools, consult with a pediatrician.
Babies Have A Cry-Fest Almost Every Evening, Known As “The Witching Hour”
You have changed the diaper. The baby is fed. They’re warm and snuggly. Everything seems to be going right. But then 6pm hits and your little one starts to scream. For a new parent, evenings can become a point of stress thanks to this maddening routine. Absolutely nothing you are doing is soothing the purple-faced crying. Welcome to “The Witching Hour.” The witching hour is a time when an otherwise content baby is extremely fussy. It typically occurs daily between 5:00 pm and 11:00 pm. It can last a few minutes to a couple of hours. For most babies, the witching hour starts to occur around 2-3 weeks and peaks at 6 weeks. There are many theories as to why babies have this witching hour, including overstimulation, tiredness, an inability to self-soothe, hunger, and colic. Holding and rocking your baby, playing white noise, and using a pacifier can help soothe your fussy baby. But sometimes, you might just have to do your best and know that this is temporary.