Other tasks which may pose a stress on a new mother include:
- The myth of "happy motherhood", which indicates that mothers should feel happy when a new baby arrives.
- The myth of having an intuitive mothering capability immediately after the baby is born.
- The myth of unremitting motherly love for the new child.
- The myth of the "perfect baby".
- The myth that fathers will be equally involved in parenting the child.
- The myth of the "perfect mother".
By: Christina G. Hibbert, Psy.D.
- establishing successful breast/bottle-feeding
- coping with sleep deprivation
- forming an attachment to the child
- re-negotiating family relationships and responsibilities
- giving up the fantasy of what the baby would look like or be like
- facing whether or not one is an adequate parent
- One must also effectively integrate all these new experiences.
- Feelings of loss are very common after childbirth. These "losses" include:
- loss of freedom
- feeling tied down
- loss of an old identity
- loss of control
- loss of a slim figure
- loss of a sense of attractiveness
- Since motherhood is typically viewed as a "happy time" and childbirth is seen as an event from which a woman should "bounce back" within a few days, many women experience a lack of understanding and/or support from those around them.
- Mothers need significant coping skills to deal with so many new challenges. Four aspects of the postpartum period which demand significant coping abilities are:
- 1) the physical adjustment
- 2) initial insecurities about one's ability to parent
- 3) relying on support systems for tasks that one feels she "should" do
- 4) loss of a previous identity as one who is taken care of and the birth of a new identity as the caretaker.