Importance of Good Mental Health for New Parents: There is no greater life change than becoming a new parent. It is exciting, exhilarating, and terrifying all at the same time! New parents can – and will – feel many different feelings after bringing the baby home, and sometimes those feelings are anxious and depressive.
New parents often rarely take time for themselves, because they are all-consumed with the new baby at home. However, nothing is more important than taking care of your own self first. As new moms and dads, parents must prioritize mental health.
Why is your mental health important?
In order to provide care for someone else, you must first take care of yourself, just as they tell you on airplane rides.
Research agrees that mental health anxieties affect men and women – and it’s more common than you may think. In one clinical study, more than fifty percent of women experienced postpartum anxiety, including postpartum depression, and nearly twenty-five percent of men experienced anxiety and depression with the arrival of a new baby.
Can this affect my baby?
The short answer is: yes, the health of mom and dad can affect the baby. If you can’t focus fully on taking care of yourself – and being your best self – you can’t effectively care for the needs of your newborn to the best of your ability. But there are things you can do to help your own mental health that will, in turn, help your baby.
What can I do to take care of my mental health?
The good news is there are many different treatment options you can explore that help you navigate this new season of life.
- Therapy: Counseling or therapy can help you understand this new season of life and can give you coping tools you can use when the stressors of a newborn get in the way.
- Medicine: After connecting with a mental health professional, your doctor can help you with a prescription for depression or anxiety, if necessary.
- Family and Friends: Your family and friends are there to support you and love you as you transition into parenthood. If you need help, connecting with your families and friends can be a really important way to take care of yourself.
- Rest: Create time in your schedule to make time for yourself or your partner to rest and recuperate.
While new moms and dads are overwhelmed and have their hands full with a new baby, new parents can’t forget to also take care of themselves first and foremost. Postpartum depression and anxiety are very common, but the good news is there are treatments and resources available to help new parents acclimate to parenthood while taking care of their own mental health.
MyTherapist, an online counseling platform that provides affordable access to a licensed therapist, is here to help new parents with their own mental health journey because taking care of your own mental health as a new parent is equally as important as taking care of the health of your new baby.