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5 Problems New Parents Struggle With

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Becoming a parent for the first time is a completely, utterly life-changing experience. Two people go from simply being in a relationship to having to take care of a person who is entirely dependent on them for survival. It’s a challenging ordeal that is never the same from couple to couple, baby to baby. But the traumas, unique and individual as they are, can be boiled down into recognizable categories. Here are five problems with which new parents struggle.

1. Three’s A Crowd

Having a baby drastically rewrites the dynamic of a relationship. Day to day life changes. Nights of relaxing sleep or intimacy are a thing of the past. The stress and burden can get to new parents, who have to juggle adapting their lives to take care of their infant, taking time off work, and understanding how they, as people themselves, have changed now that they’re a mother and father, respectively. Parents can feel frustrated, helpless, jealous, unprepared, uninterested in sex, and a variety of other emotions that affect the nature of their relationship.

2. Everybody’s A Parent

Having a child brings out not just the parent in the happy couple, but the parent in everyone around them. From the time of the positive pregnancy test, to when the kids are off to college, everybody from family members, good friends to complete strangers will have advice, personal experiences and anecdotal stories to share on what and what not to do when it comes to raising kids. The barrage of well-intentioned guidance can easily overwhelm the parents, and contribute to their already astronomical stress levels.

3. Colic

Infantile colic can rank among the biggest of nightmares for new parents. A crying baby is bad enough, but a crying baby that is not soothed by feeding or a nap can drive any hapless mother and father over the edge. Colic, the strange condition wherein a baby will cry incessantly for no discernable reason, has sent many parents to the ER, convinced that there’s something wrong with their newborn. There are a number of colic treatments to soothe the newborn, and even though the condition mysteriously evaporates after a few weeks, the feelings of helplessness and frustration at the inability to calm their crying child takes a huge toll on the parents.

4. Mental/Physical Exhaustion and Sleep Deprivation

Imagine getting only two hours of sleep a night, and being woken up by a crying baby. That’s what new parents have to endure for months on end. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as torture, and that’s because of how completely and ruthlessly it can break down a person’s resolve. New parents will become very aware of the lingering daze that comes with lack of sleep, being completely worn out, and feeling utterly overwhelmed and unqualified once the novelty of having a baby wears off, and the reality inexorably sinks in.

5. Postpartum Depression

One of the most serious problems that confront new parents – especially mothers – is that of postpartum depression. What precisely causes postpartum depression is unknown, but its symptoms range from agitation, feelings of worthlessness as a mother, thoughts about suicide, anxiety, inability to sleep, etc. Postpartum depression is a significant condition which can dramatically affect a mother’s relationship with her new baby and her partner.

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