Being a new mom comes with different emotions and challenges. However, it is normal for new moms to share the feeling of isolation a few months or years after giving birth. There are a lot of sources of this feeling and in this blog, we will discuss what are those triggers that usually make moms feel isolated after having a baby.
Especially for first time moms who went under normal delivery, they expect that recovery is instant that once the baby’s out, everything will go back to normal. However, based on studies, it would take six months to a year before your body comes back to its “normal” self. Mothers are vulnerable after giving birth due to drastic hormonal changes, recovering internal organs and lack of nutrients. In addition, some moms are not taking vitamins postpartum which adds to depleting nutrients after giving birth.
It is most difficult for moms who went under caesarian delivery. Their bodies are known to have longer recovery period as they basically went through surgery. Their bodies are already suffering from a lifetime of pain in their tummies due to the stitches they endured aside from other issues that contributed to them going through caesarian delivery.
Feeling these would contribute to less interest in socializing even within the household.
Breastfeeding is the most natural and beneficial act that a mom can do for her child. However, as controversial as it may seem, it is right to acknowledge that breastfeeding can contribute to feelings of isolation. It is common for breastfeeding moms to go in a secluded area to feed their children or separate themselves from the crowd to allow privacy, as well as peace for the baby who’s feeding. Going through these make moms feel isolated especially during events or gatherings with family and friends. Seeing people laughing, conversing, socializing while you’re in a corner feeding your child has a big impact on moms which makes them wary of social events and would rather stay home.
Another instance would be while pumping milk. Working moms tend to pump milk during breaks and downtimes. When they were single, they would usually spend this time eating out, conversing with officemates. At times, it also allows them to sleep. However, since pumping is essential, they would be forced to go to the breastfeeding station and pump for a few minutes. This can also make them feel isolated especially if there’s no one in the breastfeeding station that can accompany you.
Being a first-time mom requires a lot of your time. There may even be times wherein you don’t have time for yourself. Because of this, quality time with your husband or partner, friends and even officemates would definitely be sacrificed and if there will be no effort from the other end of the rope, it may even suffer and eventually sever.
This may also contribute to feelings of isolation because you may start to compare what life was like before and after having a baby and you would realize that life before having a baby was much easier and lighter compared to what you’re feeling and experiencing now. You may also compare your routines and lifestyle before versus now and you would see that now your world revolves around your baby and less than yourself. This could contribute to a feeling of loneliness because this transition is never easy and if your mental health is declining, it would greatly affect you and how you go through your day and in maintaining your relationships.
A daily routine of a mom is definitely hectic and it would make you feel tired at the end of the day, everyday. You will not have the energy to socialize and go out with your friends or even start a conversation and will rather sleep and rest.
Lately, groups of moms are establishing support groups especially for different areas in raising a child. These support groups are avenues for moms to vent out, share their stories and ask for advice and opinion for certain issues that they wouldn’t know what to do. If you’re still not a member of these support groups, you wouldn’t know that what you’re experiencing has been the same experience for other moms out there. You would feel alone in handling issues because you didn't know that someone has already gone through the same thing.
Not all people in your circle can help you in such situations, maybe a lot in your circle are not moms yet or most in your circle are dads who have different experiences than moms. Just a warning though, some support groups are quite toxic in the long run, so make sure to pick support groups that you are comfortable to be around with and are really helpful to you and your daily life.
HOW CAN YOU OVERCOME THIS FEELING OF ISOLATION
It can be your husband, your mom, your best friend or a fellow mom in your circle, it can be anyone that you think is willing to listen to you and be there for you in times that you feel lonely. It doesn’t have to be a long talk or a scheduled one but just reach out. It could be during bedtime, share it with your husband. You can squeeze in a few minutes and call your mom. Make an effort to share your plight to someone and it will make a huge difference instead of bottling it up and feel miserable.
Joining support groups can sometimes be scary and intimidating but there are online groups that you can participate in. You can be just a lurker or a reader and see other moms’ challenges and learn from them, empathize with them and later on you will realize that you’re ready to share what you’re going through and would like to seek help from them. Remember that seeking for help is not a weakness but an opportunity to grow and be strong.
I know that it is very hard to leave your baby behind but taking care of yourself is an important factor in taking care of your baby as well. If you’re happy, your baby is happy. If you’re healthy, your baby is healthy as well. Pamper yourself with a trip to the salon, exercise, go to the nearest park and walk or shop for yourself. Even just a few hours would make such a huge difference. Go out Momma!
Call the grandparents, call your friends even just for 30 mins. It will make you feel like there’s someone who you can talk to from time to time. Especially now that we’re in a pandemic and we’re not allowed to go out, most social gatherings are through live video chats now so make the most out of it.
Sometimes, the feeling of loneliness and isolation is because of the fact that we’re trying to be the perfect mom and we strive that every step is in a perfect condition. Let go and relax for a bit. Not everything can be perfect but you’re already the best mom for your child.
Feeling isolated is normal for new moms and we want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Being a mom is difficult as it is but adding this feeling to the equation can be a great burden. Loosen up, try to reconnect to your old circle and connect to new people who can help you overcome this and always believe that what you’re experiencing now will pass in due time so make the best out of this point in your “mom life”.