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  • PH Psychologist Shares 3 Ways To Cope With Emotional Limbo If You're A New Mom

    There are ways to take care of mental health, including self-care.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
PH Psychologist Shares 3 Ways To Cope With Emotional Limbo If You're A New Mom
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/GrooveZ
  • While it takes a village to raise a child, as a well-known proverb goes, the same also applies to raising a parent. This is especially true for new moms, who’s experiencing a lot of new things for the first time. She needs all the help she can get from people around her.

    “In raising a mother, you need a village such as that the emotional limbo will not last long,” explained Dr. Joseph Regalado, a pediatrician and psychologist, at the recent “#UpForTheChallenge Conversations on Motherhood in the New Normal” webinar organized by the baby brand Philips Avent.

    “Very important here ’yong emotional limbo. It’s about a mother who gave birth. Sometimes it’s just a few hours or a few days, a few weeks, a few months, in some cases, about a year.

    “The feeling in this new normal — where your mother, your best friend, or your sister will not be there by your side — is you’re lost.”

    A lot of new moms, just like the rest of us, feel isolated because there are health and safety protocols to follow in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Thus those who’ve just given birth have nobody, maybe except for their husbands or partners, to share their after-birth feelings with and get support from.

    How new moms can take care of themselves to become confident parents

    Dr. Regalado says new moms need other people to help them achieve a sense of confidence, so they can focus on being a mother. 

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    “What’s important for new moms is observing what is normal and what is not,” he pointed out. “Is your child sick? It might be you who is sick. Being overwhelmed by all the stress and anxiety.”

    Dr. Regalado shares some ways for new moms to take care of their mental health:

    Strengthen support system through virtual means

    Your own mother, along with your other relatives and close friends, may not be there for you physically, but they can be virtually.

    So take advantage of the technology that will take you closer and more open to them about your feelings. Don’t hesitate to reach out through social media and online mom groups.

    Establish team parenting

    Dads now know they have an active and equal role in child care responsibilities. And if your husband or partner is still stuck to the old ways of parenting, then, as Dr. Regalado puts it,  “Force him, make him step up in baby duties.”

    Dr. Regalado advises the dads to accompany their wives and children during visits to the pediatrician. This way, they will also be taught how to handle the baby and become welcome relievers for the mother. 

    The same approach applies in doing household chores. How? “Ibigay sa kanila ang mabibigat. Maglaba sila," says the doctor of his fellow husbands and dads.

    Don’t forget to take care of yourself 

    Always remember that you’re still an individual who has basic needs, from sleep to nutrition and hygiene.

    Dr. Regalado says do not feel guilty for taking a break to pay attention to all those needs. He also clarifies that doing household chores, though it’s a physical activity, doesn’t qualify as your form of exercise. 

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    For Divine Lee, who’s likewise part of the webinar, she schedules her treadmill session while her young kids Baz and Blanca are taking their nap. That’s also her opportunity to indulge in her other pastime, which is watching Korean dramas, even for just an hour. 

    She stresses the important of self-care: “Don’t forget yourself. Ako talaga, may 30 minutes ako na bago matulog, nagi-skincare ako. ’Yon ’yong me time ko. Tulog na ang asawa ko, tulog na ang mga bata, mag-check-check sa internet habang naglalagay ng cream mo. 

    “I don’t really forget about myself. Even no’ng nagka-COVID ako, siyempre kinakabahan ka, di ba? Ano kaya ang mangyayari sa ’kin? Shucks, ang naisip ko, magpa-peeling kaya ako? Kasi naka-isolate ako, di ba, so walang makakakita sa ’kin. Nagpa-peeling ako. At least, pagkalabas ko, hindi ako mukhang haggard.”

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