Singapore mumpreneur shares 5 tips to beat new mum stress!
Singapore mumpreneur Patricia Lin, went through her share of new mum stress recently. It got her so completely overwhelmed that at one point she broke down and cried.
Ever get the impression that a woman’s life ceases to be her own once she becomes a mum? 🙂
Almost anyone and everyone feel the need to have a say in a new mum’s life – from what she wears to how she feeds the baby to how much she sleeps?
Singapore mumpreneur Patricia Lin, went through her own share of new mum stress recently when she gave birth to her son Nathaniel.
And it got her so completely overwhelmed that at one point she broke down and cried.
Patricia has now grown wiser from the experience. She recently put up a Facebook post on the 5 things that helped her deal with all that new mum stress.
We think it’s a super-useful read!
Patricia writes, “Having Nathaniel is definitely a life-changing experience and I’ve completely enjoyed the process of carrying him into this world. However there’s a side that no picture can capture and I wanted to give you guys a glimpse…”
“Now the reason why I decided to share my experience now is, because I know of many friends on Facebook who are expecting and I wanted to pass it on.. “
Here are some tips that Patricia wants to share, which she feels will benefit all new mums:
Let’s face it, motherhood is an extended family affair. Everyone likes to advise.
In Patricia’s words, “Before delivering the baby, it was just a matter between Calvin and myself. We enjoyed every moment of the pregnancy together and looked forward to welcoming Nathaniel into this world.”
“After Nathaniel was born, it became the matter of not just us two BUT two families. The overwhelming fuss and care shown to both mother and child was just too much for me.”
“A family member will suggest something that is different from another and their suggestions may have ways which are way different from mine too! It was such a struggle being caught in between differing parties!”
“Hence it is necessary for everyone to agree to disagree and for you and your spouse, to be firm and take a stand.”
“Don’t be pressured to conform to what others think you should do for yourself or for your baby. You know what’s best for both of you.. and just go with what makes you feel good.”
Heard of horror confinement nannies? Well, Patricia had a not-so-pleasant experience with hers.
She writes, “So far, I’ve not heard anyone who has had a super positive experience with their confinement nanny.”
“I had such a hard time trying to live with my nanny as she always had something negative to say about anything and everything. From the ingredients we bought for her to cook, to the size of our house, to me not bathing the herbal bath, to the way I wanted her to care for my baby etc.”
“I tried to be at peace with her and her comments, only to painfully tolerate her for 3 weeks before deciding to let her go. But it was such a liberating experience.”
She has this solid advice for new mums, “When hiring the nanny, we are the boss. Hence my advice to you is, you should set the rules of the employment and not let her dictate how the household should be run.”
“She is just there to assist you.. to cook confinement meals and care for you and the baby. Nothing else.”
“So interview your nanny before you bring her into your household. You should make sure that your values and beliefs about family and the baby should be aligned with the nanny.”
“Even religious or cultural beliefs do have to be aligned. If it isn’t, you shouldn’t have her in your household.”
And then, we come to the part that contributes to new mum stress the most. The Breast vs. Bottle debate.
Patricia reveals, “One of the things that stressed me out completely was actually breastfeeding. Societal norms wants every mother to breastfeed their baby completely because it is more nutritious, allows for bonding, has more antibodies etc.”
“But it turned out to be an extremely stressful experience for both mother and child, especially having to deal with a possibility of jaundice, regulating hormones that support milk flow and also recovering from the delivery.”
“A crying baby coupled with the need to get used to feeding him every 2 hours was seriously a test of endurance for me.”
“Imagine lack of sleep, hungry baby who angrily latches because he needs more milk and completing one full feed in an hour.. only to realize he is going to feed again after an hour.”
“I painstakingly tried to maintain breastfeeding and even got seriously angry with the confinement nanny who kept insisting to feed the baby formula milk because she felt breastfeeding does not allow you to see how much the baby drinks! What rubbish.”
“So after 3 weeks, I decided to have the best of both worlds for the sake of my sanity – to pump out my breast milk to allow others to help feed my baby with a bottle. The most important thing to me was to feed my baby and I’m glad I did.”
“Do what’s in the best interest of YOU and the baby. A lot of times people will judge you..
“Oh why you’re not breastfeeding directly?”
“Aiyo why feed from the bottle?””
“The most important thing is not to lose sight of what exactly you want for the baby. To have the nutrients to grow and develop and feeding him/her with milk regardless breast milk or formula milk achieves that outcome.”
In spite of her normally cheery persona, Patricia found herself struggling with her emotions postpartum. Or the 4th trimester as she calls it.
She writes, “When I returned home and different people started fussing over me and my baby, it completely overwhelmed me that I broke down and cried.”
“It was a feeling of such desperation of needing to stop everyone from passing differing comments about the baby, the way I dressed, the things I was eating, whether I bathed or not in herbal/hot water or even whether the vegetables in my meal were “liang” (cooling) or “re” (heaty). It drove me nuts.”
“Perhaps it was the hormones but it certainly transformed the way I was thinking or behaving.. and my world became negative and I couldn’t help it!”
Thankfully for her, her husband was super supportive throughout.
“Ladies, just lean on and cry on your man’s shoulders. That’s what they are for. They better let you do that and not complain cos you just had their baby. LOL.”
And her last bit of advice is to google away your problems if you are feeling confused and overwhelmed.
“One of the things that kept my sanity was Google. Whenever there were hearsay comments or things that we were doubtful of, we googled.”
“I can tell you that if not for that and Google, I would have blindly followed advice, succumbed to accepting actions that we deem ridiculous or done things that have no benefit to us and the baby at all.”
“We are modern age parents.. who have the ability to discern what is good or bad for ourselves and our baby.”
“Sure, advice and experiences from our parents, relatives and friends are worth the time for us to listen, consider and even apply. But ultimately, the decision is ours to do so or not.”
“This is our life together as a family – we learn, we fail, we laugh, we cry, we make mistakes and we try.”
“I hope if you are expecting your first child real soon, these words will help guide you one way or another.. things will eventually be okay!”
Thank you, Patricia for being so honest and brave about your experience. We are sure mummies will totally identify with and benefit from your story.
As a new mum, it may be hard to keep up with everything that is going on. The first few months will definitely be challenging.
Try to set priorities and ask for help when needed.
And stop trying too hard to be the “perfect” mum. You are perfect in the eyes of your baby. That is enough.