Coping with Motherhood

Coping with Motherhood


Dear moms and moms-to-be, it’s time for some real talk. Motherhood is not always pleasant. There are days when you adore your baby, and there are days when you feel lonely and trapped. Very few moms are prepared for this reality.

“Society and the media have created this image of motherhood as being natural and seamless. It is the pleasure, connection and beauty of motherhood that is highlighted,” says Nicole Canin, President of the Gauteng Association for Infant Mental Health (GAIMH-SA). “These aspects are all true, but they don’t convey the full picture.”

She goes on to say that feelings of ambivalence are normal; you are not going to always adore your baby. And not knowing what to do can be hard. “Historically, motherhood was a mentorship. This no longer exists.” There are many ‘lowlights’ to new motherhood, but the good news is that we all experience some of them at some point. You are not alone when you do, and it doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ mother if you do. It makes you a normal one!

Here are some of the reasons it can be hard, as well as some tips to hopefully help.


Childbirth – whether natural or by caesarean – takes a toll on your body. Even ‘easy’ ones. Ruwaida Moola, a Registered Nurse and Advanced Midwife, says it takes about six weeks to recover if you had no major complications. Recovery involves dealing with stitches, postnatal bleeding and painful contractions as your uterus returns to its pre-pregnancy size. On top of this, your milk ‘comes in’. Breast-feeding doesn’t always come easily, and possible complications like engorgement and cracked and bleeding nipples can make it harder.

Your hormones also reset, which affects your mood and emotions. Clinical Psychologist Hasmita Hardudh-Dass says, “Most new mothers will experience some form of ‘baby blues’, usually 7–10 days after birth, which includes symptoms of tearfulness, anxiety, tiredness and difficulty sleeping and some irritability. It is not an illness, but simply a way to describe the unpleasant feelings that occur shortly after having a baby and that tend to resolve in a few days where there is sufficient support and care.”

She adds that even though it is not serious in the medical sense, it shouldn’t be dismissed; “Often women fear that they are going mad.”

It’s while grappling with these adjustments, as well as sleep deprivation from three-hourly feeds and nappy changes, that moms need to learn to care for a newborn, manage household duties and host visitors.



Most healthcare experts agree moms need to look after themselves to be able to look after their babies.

Caring for your physical well-being creates a good foundation for your emotional and mental well-being. Ruwaida advises, “It’s always best that mums exercise and maintain a good Body Mass Index through a healthy diet, good supplement and good fluid intake during their pregnancy. This in turn helps for a healthy birth and quick recovery.”

These behaviours should continue post-birth to aid healing, although exercise should only resume four weeks following a natural birth and six weeks following a C-section and should initially be limited to gentle activities such as walking.

She stresses that help is always available if needed, from lactation consultants to doulas, midwives, doctors, chiropractors and more.


Another surprise for many new moms is that the mother-baby bond might not be instant. Nicole says this is completely normal. “This happens much more often that we realise, and it certainly is not the ‘fault’ of any mom.”

She goes on to explain that a loving relationship with your baby is possible, but you may need to work at it; “I would suggest that moms be very gentle on themselves. Bonding can take time, and they need to have realistic expectations about this. Moms should also try to be honest with themselves about what they are feeling, and what they are struggling with. It is essential that they reach out for support or professional assistance, if necessary.”

She adds that some babies are fussier than others, due to temperament and how they’re developing. This can make bonding harder, so be prepared for this.

“There will also be times when moms feel frustrated, angry and perhaps even hateful towards baby. As long as this is part of a whole range of feelings, moms should not worry that they should only feel love,” adds Nicole.



Finally, remember that everything with babies (and toddlers and children and teens) is a phase. Some can feel endless when you’re in them, but they will pass. You’ve got this, mamas!

2,889 Responses

  1. In fact when someone doesn’t know after that its
    up to other viewers that they will help, so here it takes place.

    Also visit my web-site: beste online casino spellen (Ruth)

  2. free chip no deposit casino bonus united states, best online casino sites
    new zealand and online when does coushatta casino
    open (Regan) united statesn legal real
    money no deposit bonus, or free online pokies win real money united states

  3. 777 casino united kingdom, what online casinos
    are legal in australia and no deposit cash bonus casino canada, or best
    online casino banks gambling sites (Ophelia) canada

  4. all poker sites uk, legal online poker sites australia and united kingdom original
    with 100 free spins play for free, or online nuovi casino online aams
    real money canada paysafe

  5. how to win pokies nz, united kingdom pub pokies and usa gambling regulation changes,
    or casino in montreal united states

    my web page does gatlinburg have casinos (Margret)

  6. free online casino games no deposit united states, united kingdom roulette for mobile phones and
    dollar 50 free chip casino united states, or
    best online casinos australia 2021

    Check out my website :: blackjack in blackjack (Greta)

  7. live poker uk 2021, united kingdom casino documentary aristocrat online casinos (Adolfo) and free spins bonus codes uk, or usa casino no deposit bonus

  8. I lve what yoou guys tend too bbe upp too. Thiss kid off clever work andd exposure!
    Keep uup thee great orks guyys I’ve incorporated you gjys to blogroll.

  9. Respected casino that pays. Prompt payouts, pay any way you want. Many different online games, slots. Huge selection of sports betting, online streaming, work all over the world. Click and win with us

  10. Hello! I realize this is kind of off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours take a lot of work?
    I am completely new to operating a blog however
    I do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.

  11. Very good blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any
    discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about
    here? I’d really like to be a part of online community
    where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share
    the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me
    know. Many thanks!