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Five tips for managing your expectations of motherhood

Mother and toddler
  1. Be flexible: It is common for mums to struggle with coming to terms with what they planned versus what reality serves up. For example you may have planned to return to work by 3 months yet circumstances change when bub arrives.
  2. Don’t believe the hype: The media portrays a romanticised version of motherhood: Understand that life with a young baby does not look like a Huggies ad! There are amazing moments of joy and bonding yet this is mixed with plenty of dirty nappies, hard work and acclimatising to this massive transition.
  3. Love takes time: Bonding with your baby may not happen immediately: It is normal for bonding to occur over a period of weeks to months. If a baby has a medical illness bonding may take longer- this may not be in line with your expectations but it’s ok.
  4. It ok to be sad: There are many losses associated with motherhood: Having a baby is a time of wonderment and joy but acknowledging the losses will help you move forward-you are now a different version of yourself.
  5. There are no rights and wrongs: No one bit of advice or parenting book will have all the magic answers- you and your baby are a unique pair to be understood in your own right.
Dr Melanie Strang has always had an interest in mental health, and is passionate about helping mums and dads prepare for parenthood on an emotional and psychological level. She currently runs an education program in Australia which helps prepare parents for what is to come: www.wellmumwellbaby.net.au

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