Having a baby can be a wonderful experience but as well as gaining a child, it can also be very challenging, as we consider how this change has bought about huge transitions (and even losses) to life as we knew it.
This aspect is often not talked about.
However, many of Britain’s new mothers are struggling to cope with the pressures of having a baby. Recent research showed that more than a quarter of first-time mums admitted to feeling lonely, with 24 per cent also saying they had no family nearby to help with the workload of caring for a young child. According to health experts, feelings of loneliness leave mothers more susceptible to mental health problems like post-natal depression. For many women, their social network declines after having a child, 14 per cent of those questioned said they had lost touch with old friends and colleagues. (Source: Survey in February 2015, commissioned by AXA PPP Healthcare and Netmums).
It was for this reason that a programme for new mothers was formed called “Mummyshock” (www.mummyshock.org.uk) which was Co-Founded by Rebecca Mitchell from Take Action Counselling and Ellen Baldwin from Release Counselling and Therapy for Women (www.releaseforwomen.org.uk) this programme runs very successfully in Brighton.
This eight week programme is now available as part of Take Action Counselling on an individual basis in London. See the bottom of the page for the programme outline.
Talking through this huge lifestyle change can help you to adapt and come to terms with what you have had to say goodbye to as well as embracing the joy that a new child brings to you.
Issues you may be facing:
- Struggling to adapt to the huge change of being a mum
- Feeling isolated daily with your baby
- The enormous impact it has had on your relationship with your partner
- Missing your friends and work colleagues
During these sessions we will provide a safe and supportive space for you to come to terms with the immense mental (and often physical) change you have had to face in becoming a first time mother.
We can explore together the challenges and changes you face as in becoming a new mum which can feel huge but actually are normal.
We can look at the way it has changed communication and the time you spend with your partner, and the pressures and pleasures the baby has bought to your relationship.
We can also explore your friendships with women friends. Do you feel you live in a different world from your friends without children? Have you lost what you had in common – and where this leaves you now in terms of friendships. What about your relationships with other New Mums? Have you found support from them or have you found that mother and baby groups have increased your sense of loneliness and perhaps even anxiety about how you are looking after your new child.
We can also look at how having a child has impacted the way you view yourself and your future; and ways you may want to hold onto your personal dreams.
We can talk about birth stories, changes in identity, relationships, expectations, support networks and more.
These sessions will help you as a new mum to grow in confidence and resilience, as well as feeling more attached and bonded to your baby – helping everyone get the best start.
Accessing the Mummyshock Programme can help you to:
- Understand why this may be the biggest change of your life
- Appreciate how a baby impacts on a marriage or partnership
- Look at your relationships with other women pre and post baby
- Embrace your new role as a mother
- Hold onto your own personal goals
The Mummyshock Programme Outline:
Session One: The Big Change
- The cycle you go through during change
- Saying goodbye to some parts of our lives
- Welcoming new experiences with our babies
Session Two: Our New Identity As A Mum
- Facing lack of achievement crisis
- Holding onto our personal dreams
- Feeling happy as the new you
Session Three: Loneliness
- Why it can be lonely being a first time Mum
- What research show us about this
- How we can spending time alone more happily
Session Four: Friendship: Staying Connected
- Transitioning relationships with old friends
- Feeling like you don’t belong
- What you would like from your friends new and old
Session Five: Baby Makes Three: Part One
- Adjusting your relationship with your partner
- Attuning your expectations of each other
- Creating intimacy together
Session Six: Baby makes Three: Part Two
- When partners feel left out
- Developing your friendship together
- The Sex Question
Session Seven: Bonding with your Baby
- Attachment with your new Baby
- Constant caring and holding
- What is a “Good Enough” Mother?
Session Eight: New Tools For Your New Life
- Using the tools in your life
- Buddying with other mothers
- Resources for getting further support
…on the Take Action Counselling blog
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and if you’d like to make an appointment.