It’s very common for new moms to feel anxious.
Even worse, anxiety can leave the new mom feeling overwhelmed if she doesn’t know how to process the emotion.
If the new mom is feeling anxious, it can affect her ability to take care of the baby and the rest of the family.
If you’re a friend or family member who is trying to help a mom who feels anxiety, you’re in the right place. This post is dedicated to helping you do just that.
Please note: If you believe the mom has a chemical imbalance (that could lead to depression and anxiety), or mood disorders, or an obsessive compulsive disorder, or even that should could experience panic attacks, she should seek the help of a medical mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist. Bringing up what she’s going through to her health care provider is a one way to go about doing this.
There are many reasons why a new mom believes she’s feeling anxious. Typically those reasons are outside of her—a result of her circumstances.
Common reasons to think you’re experiencing anxiety as a new mom are: the baby won’t stop crying, you’re feeling sleep deprived, and your body feels wrecked.
The truth, though, is that none of these things are the root cause of feeling anxiety.
Anxiety is a feeling caused by your thinking.
For example, if the baby won’t stop crying and you think the thought, “he’s never going to stop crying and I don’t know what to do” that thought can make you feel anxious.
The thought feeling cycle happens so quickly that it’s incredibly hard to see. This is why it’s so important to know the real cause of feeling anxious (so you can reduce it from the inside out).
If you’re supporting a new mom, and you’re not sure the best way how to, send her this free class (linked below) where I walk through three steps to manage anxiety for moms.
CLICK HERE for the 3 Steps To Manage Anxiety For Moms Class
Aside from sending her this class, here are a few more ways you can support a new mom who is feeling anxious.
Asking a new mom how you can help her is one of the best ways to support an anxious mom.
Family and friends are often around when baby is born, yet mom is rarely taken care of herself.
*CLICK HERE to listen to the Who Mother’s Mom podcast
For moms who aren’t used to accepting help, it may even take asking a few times how you can help. Better yet, say you want to help her and give her suggestions of how.
It sounds like: “I want to help you and I’ve thought of helping in these three ways [name the three ways]. Which do you prefer?”
Just like with raising kids and giving them options to choose from (vs. saying “what do you want to do”) this makes it clear that one option should be selected. AND on top of that, it makes it easier on mom so she doesn’t have to come up with the idea herself.
It’s often very hard (at best) and impossible (at worst) to leave the house as a new mom.
You can support a new mom who is feeling anxious by running errands for her, such as going to the grocery store, Target, etc. There will be things she needs in the first six to eight weeks that will be particularly challenging for her to get. If you can lighten that burden for her, you’ll be doing her a huge help.
Another way to help a new mom with anxiety is to do some of the daily household chores for her.
With anxiety, the mind is thinking about future problems, and the focus is on so many “unknowns” that the brain is having trouble solving.
At the same time, all the day-to-day tasks of normal life are still running in the background.
If you can lighten that household load by doing laundry, cleaning up, or cooking, this can be a tremendous help because it’s one less thing for mom to think about.
If the mom in your life has other kids or pets at home, offering to care for them can be a huge help.
Taking care of a newborn is a 24/7 job, and until baby is fully integrated into the family with a new routine, it’s likely that mom will be all consumed with baby.
This means it’s even more challenging to take care of the other members of the family, like other kiddos and pets.
If you can lend a hand and take the kids or dogs to the park for a couple of hours here and there, you’ll likely be helping out in a big way.
Anxiety is often made worse because people don’t understand the root cause of it.
In this Anxiety Podcast Episode , I explain the real cause of anxiety and how you can manage it in a way that’s practical and useful.
Send the mama in your life this podcast episode on anxiety as a little personal development tool that can help her navigate what she’s going through. Even if she’s really busy right now, her mental health matters most, and squeezing it in while baby sleeps can be just what she needs.
The tools above will help you help a mom who is feeling anxious.
Again, if you think she’s suffering from postpartum anxiety (or anything else that needs medical attention), encourage her to seek the help of a medical professional to discuss treatment options.
Aside from that, for the mom who is experiencing the normal baby blues, or low grade anxiety we all feel as a very normal emotion, these tools above will help a new mom, particularly during the postpartum period.
Be sure to send an anxious mom this class—3 Steps To Reduce Anxiety For Moms.