OB ABCs

Month 7

month_07By now, you and your baby have fallen into a natural routine of feedings, sleeping and bonding. However, it’s not uncommon for many women to experience emotional and lifestyle changes during the first few months of being a mom.

By now, you and your baby have fallen into a natural routine of feedings, sleeping and bonding. However, it’s not uncommon for many women to experience emotional and lifestyle changes during the first few months of being a mom.

Before you became pregnant, going to work and making social plans were much easier. Now that your baby has arrived, it’s time to evaluate which activities are important. As the needs of your child change, so will yours, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up things you enjoy. Look for new ways to be social that include your baby, such as play dates with friends, new mother support groups or activity time for your infant at local libraries or gyms.

Time Management

As you focus on your child, you may find there are other things that don’t get done, such as laundry or dishes. Take things day by day, and if you need help, ask your partner, trusted family member or friend. Many of your loved ones might have already experienced what you’re going through now and can help in small ways, even if it’s cooking dinner once a week or looking after your child for an evening so you and your partner can recharge and relax.

When to Seek Help

Having a child can be an overwhelming experience, and you might worry you aren’t doing the best job you can. Learning to be a good parent takes time, and it’s important not to put yourself down as you adjust to this new role.

While some feelings of anxiety or sadness are normal, if you continue to feel depressed, it could be a sign you are experiencing postpartum depression. Other symptoms include:

  • Exaggerated emotional highs and lows
  • Extreme concern or lack of concern for your baby
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Feelings of guilt or unworthiness
  • Poor concentration

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately.

TIPS

  • If you are unsure what items could potentially be choking hazards, purchase a choke tube guide—available in most stores that sell baby products—or use a cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll. If the item fits into the tube, it could pose a choking risk to your child.
  • Your baby’s crib should feature bars that do not exceed 2 3/8 inches apart, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is of particular concern if your baby’s crib was manufactured before 1974 or is a family heirloom.