Dealing with New Mom Loneliness? Here’s HelpBy Jessie Everts, Ph.D., LMFT
New motherhood can be a lonely, isolating time even in the best of circumstances. I have never felt so alone as I did when my partner went to work and I was left alone with my first new baby. I felt zero confidence in what I was doing with her, but also felt like I had no one to call and ask my “silly” questions. And I certainly didn’t feel secure enough to pop her in the car and go out to be around other people.
Now magnify that by COVID-19.
Your usual outlets for self-care and social connection—the Mommy and Me classes and playgroups—are likely prohibited right now, and you may be staying completely at home, by choice or by mandate. In any case, the current climate of social distancing, shutdown, and anxiety about COVID-19 only amplifies the emotions that new moms might already have. It’s common for new moms to feel alone and isolated after giving birth, which can lead to low confidence in your abilities, lack of support when you need it, and strained resources like time, patience, and attention. Not being able to share experiences with others can also lead you to think that all of your feelings and worries are unusual and unique, when really they are very normal and shared among new moms and parents.
If you’re feeling isolated and stressed at home while caring for a new baby, particularly during the pandemic, here are some creative ways to take care of yourself.
Take Time Out for Self-Care
Often overlooked, self-care is key for new moms who feel like they’re in “survival mode” most of the time. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents of newborns to take care of themselves physically by eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. All of these things are likely especially difficult with a new little one around who doesn’t have an ounce of respect for bedtimes and regular schedules. But looking after your own health and well‑being will leave you better equipped to look a