Study Finds Adjustment To Motherhood Can Take Nearly Five Months

A recent study by baby product maker Munchkin resulted in a finding I’ve seen over and over in my practice. The research confirmed that while new moms often feel inadequate if they don’t fall instantly in love with their baby, in reality, it can take up to five months to adjust to motherhood.

I was pleased this study corroborated my findings that too many moms buy into the myth of instantaneous love. And, if they don’t have these feelings, believe they are bad moms, and there is something wrong with them.

While many on the outside looking in believe motherhood is one of the best things that can happen to a woman, according to my observation, and the Munchkin study, it can also be a frightening experience.

But, gratefully, after four months and 23 days – to be exact — researchers found that “new moms have learned what baby’s different cries mean; they’ve stopped worrying about dealing with baby in public; they’ve learned to be armed with more snacks, spare clothes and diapers than they could ever dream; and they’ve also gotten over the hump of exhaustion, tears and frustration that come with new motherhood.”

When researchers delved into the particular feelings that occurred during pregnancy, they learned that one out of every two moms-to-be admitted they were nervous and scared of becoming a mother. While one-in-four said they were completely daunted by motherhood.

Additionally, more than half of the study participants said they were overwhelmed after giving birth.
The happy — and comforting — conclusion of the study is that “no matter how daunting motherhood can seem, moms have incredible resources to get through the early days and feel like they have things under control.”

In my opinion, one of the best outcomes of the research is the importance for new moms to realize it takes time to adjust to motherhood. I hope this will encourage moms to be more open and willing to talk about their worries and the realities of motherhood. Finally, it’s important to ask for help and to let friends, family and their support network help out as much as possible.

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~ by ppdsus on October 3, 2013.

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