Coping with Parenting Anxiety

Being responsible for another life is undoubtedly the most important job you’ve ever had, so it’s perfectly normal to worry about whether you’re doing it right. There’s so much to learn, and at times it can be overwhelming.

It’s also common to worry about whether your baby is developing normally, especially when you see other babies doing things that yours isn’t yet. Keep in mind that all babies develop at their own pace. And while developmental milestones are typical at specific ages, each milestone can occur over a range of months. 

Talk with your baby’s healthcare provider whenever you have questions or concerns about your baby’s health, development and well-being. It will give you peace of mind.

In the meantime, while anxiety comes with the territory, there are ways to combat your parenting stress:

  • Knowledge is power, so read up on any questions that come to your mind, and don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals such as the pediatrician with questions that come up as you care for your baby.
     
  • You will learn best through experience. Each new phase of parenting brings on new questions, so remember, there is a constant learning curve. And know that with each different experience, you’re becoming a wiser parent.
     
  • Engaging in relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can be great stress relievers. You may find that taking a breather for yourself each day (or several times a week)—by running errands alone or having a soak in the tub while your partner, relative or friend watches your baby—can level you out and take some stress away.
     
  • If you find your anxiety is overbearing, and is affecting your ability to care for your baby, contact your doctor to talk about the possibility of postpartum anxiety.
See also ...

•  Common worries and fears for parents of a baby

•  Pregnancy or postpartum obsessive symptoms

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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