It still surprises me how uncommon it is for mom's to admit they need a break. Motherhood, especially new motherhood, is rough. And even though I've been at the gig for three years now, I'm still learning slowly but surely to take breaks and ask for help. Many moms approach new motherhood from an "I can do it all" mentality, which while admirable, will quickly lead to burn out and more stress than you need to deal with. There are several unexpected things that happen to your body is you don't have "me time" as a new mom, and none of them are good.
No matter what shape your alone time takes — a short walk, a night out with friends, time in your bed to read a good book — making it a priority will not only ease your stress, it will make you a better mother to your baby. It's ok to ask for help.
The weeks (and months) after you bring your baby home from the hospital are some of the most stressful — and beautiful — of your life. But if you don't intentionally seek self-care in these months, you'll miss out on the beauty and remember only the stress.
1. You'll Be More Stressed Out Than You Already Are
Even if you have a perfectly well-adjusted newborn who sleeps and eats well, dealing with the transition from pregnancy to baby is stressful no matter what. The American Pregnancy Association noted that new moms' stress is more likely to manifest itself physically.
2. You're At Higher Risk Of Post Partum Anxiety And Depression
Whether or not you've had a history of anxiety or depression, new parent-hood is the perfect environment for the disorder to creep in. According to a piece published in The New York Times, new parents are at increased risk for depression based on increased stress levels, hormonal changes, increased responsibility and shifts in your relationship with your partner. It can be a hard stage, and not letting yourself get some space can make it overwhelming and depressing.
3. Your Immune System Can Weaken
The APA noted that your state of mind can affect your physical health as well, so don't be surprised if your lack of stress-relief or alone time leads to an compromised immune system.
4. You May Not Sleep Well
The Sleep Foundation noted an undeniable link between stress and insomnia. If you find yourself unable to fall asleep or are having a poor quality of sleep (for reasons other than having a baby), perhaps it's time to have some alone time to de-stress.
5. You're More Likely To Eat Unhealthy Food
Stress affects your diet in different ways, but according to a piece from Harvard, short term stress can cause your appetite to shut down, and in the long term, it will cause you to seek out "comfort foods." And though everyone needs a little comfort food in their life, making it a recurring habit will wreak havoc on your health.