5 Biggest Challenges First-Time Mums Face and How To Overcome Them

To become a mother is such a rewarding and beautiful experience. Months of pain and discomfort are immediately erased as soon as you hold the baby in your arms. However, there are moments, even as you stare at your bundle of joy, where you struggle and wish for a break from it all. 

From lochia (bad blood after delivery) to breastfeeding challenges to the cry (more like howling) of a baby at 2:00 AM, no one warns you about these challenges, and as a first-time mom, it can be quite daunting. 

This article identifies the 5 biggest challenges first-time moms face and how they can be overcome.Challenges First-Time Moms Face

5 Biggest Challenges First-Time Mums Face 


1.) Sleep deprivation and tiredness:

Newborns require constant attention for several reasons which include feeding, diaper changes, and in some countries where the weather is hot, outfit changes. As a first-time mom, the transition from having a night full of sleep to a few hours of fitful naps can be quite frustrating as you are constantly occupied with frequent feedings, diaper changes, and walking around with a fussy baby.   

This can be more difficult to handle if you do not have a supportive partner and/or family members who are willing to share the burden and help out with the baby. Research shows that lack of sleep interferes with cognitive function, mood, and overall well-being as the body is more likely to produce cortisol (the stress-response hormone), thereby impairing the ability to think clearly. Sleep deprivation can also cause other psychological problems such as irritability, depression, etc.

2.) Breastfeeding difficulties:

Breast milk is the major food intake for newborn babies and for first-time moms, breastfeeding can be quite challenging especially in the first few weeks after delivery. Some of these challenges include latching, sore nipples, low milk supply, and engorgement. For some new mothers, nursing may come naturally whereas for some, it takes a lot of time, practice, and effort. There are some first-time moms too who may struggle with birth complications, or a sick baby. Another struggle that is not very easily seen or recognized is pressure and/or bullying from friends and family members. When a new mom is faced with an issue with her baby, it can be quite challenging for her to filter out the noise in the form of advice from family and friends to

take care of her baby better. While  advice is good, it can drive one to the edge of insanity when it is unsolicited for and coming from all corners. Other challenges include self-doubt, feelings of unworthiness, and low self-esteem that new moms feel because of the major changes their bodies undergo during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

3.) Postpartum recovery:

Recovery after childbirth is known as postpartum recovery. This can be long and challenging for every mother, whether first time or not, especially if there were complications during delivery. Childbirth can take a physical as well as emotional toll on you, and it may take a while before you can feel like yourself again, even as you try to adjust to your role as a new parent. 

4.) Balancing life between work and home:

For many first-time moms, it is a struggle to transition back to work after the long maternity leave, and for stay-at-home moms, it can be quite challenging too. Navigating life between caring for a newborn, putting in your best at work, and carrying out other domestic chores is no easy feat and can be very stressful.

5.) Social isolation:

A newborn requires constant attention and as a result, motherhood can be hard, demanding, and tiring. As a new mom, the pressure and societal demands could make you retreat from social media and even cut yourself off from social activities. 

This is because the demands of caring for a newborn, especially as a first-time mom can leave you feeling socially isolated.  Social isolation and lack of social support can also contribute to postpartum depression and other health issues.

Read Also: 10 Ways You Can Fit Self-Care Into Your Daily Routine As A Busy Mom

How To Overcome These Challenges As A First-Time Mom 

As a first-time mom, your life should be filled with laughter, comfort, joy, and a myriad of other positive feelings. However, the challenges mentioned above can dampen your feelings and leave you feeling depressed and sad. Some new mothers also experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and guilt. Below are some of the ways you can overcome these challenges. 

1.) Acknowledge and address any mental health issues

There should be no stigma attached to this. If you notice constant mood swings and/or any other mental health issues, consult a mental health practitioner immediately. This helps to improve the developing relationship between you and your baby as well as the quality of your life. You can also engage in self-care activities like hobbies, meditation, and yoga.

2.) Maximize your child’s sleeping time:  

This shouldn’t be just about completing house chores and taking care of others. You should use this time to rejuvenate. You should also accept and enlist the help of family or friends to take care of your baby for a few hours. 

3.) Seek professional help if you experience breastfeeding difficulties:

Since breast milk is an essential nutrient for your baby’s health, you can seek the guidance of a lactation consultant or join a breastfeeding support group for support and encouragement if you have any difficulties. 

4.) Be patient with yourself:

With a new baby, it can be difficult to adjust to a new normal. The key, however, is to be patient with yourself and find a routine that works for you and your child. To balance work and home life, you could seek support from your employer for flexible work arrangements, hire a nanny, or realign your priorities. 

5.) Fight loneliness:

As we’ve already identified, being a new mother can be isolating, and it can be quite easy to sink into the depths of depression. To tackle this, you could join a physical or online group for new mothers or attend seminars where you can meet new parents and make connections. 

6.) Surround yourself with positive energy

To protect yourself from criticism, doubts, and guilt, surround yourself with supportive and non-judgmental people who care about you. Also, remember not to be too hard on yourself. 

Read: How to Cultivate Healthy Female Relationships In Your 30s


Lack of sleep, tiredness, breastfeeding difficulties, postpartum depression, balancing work and motherhood, and social isolation are all challenges that first-time moms face. However, with the right support from family,  medical professionals, and loved ones, you should be able to navigate these challenges successfully and thrive in your new role as a mother.

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