May 8, 2020

Out of Nowhere: 8 Unexpected Challenges You Might Face as a Young Mum

Out of Nowhere: 8 Unexpected Challenges You Might Face as a Young Mom

Preparing for the birth of a first child involves an avalanche of information, which can feel overwhelming, especially for young moms. Doctors, parents, and friends will be constant sources of information on the big things, but there are many unexpected challenges a new mom might not anticipate after the birth of her child. Let’s take a look at a few of the unexpected physical, emotional, and practical challenges a new mom may face after childbirth.

Physical Challenges

Changes in a new mom’s body following birth are expected, but some changes may be more anticipated than others. Thicker hair, bigger shoe sizes, and acne can all be common after the birth of a child but are generally unexpected. New mothers should find practical and emotional help with acne breakouts, stretch marks, and other physical changes by talking to other new mothers and their doctors.

First-time mothers may not anticipate the amount of sleep they’ll be losing following the birth of their child. According to a study referenced in the Independent, new parents get an average of four hours and 44 minutes of sleep each night during the first year of their child’s life. For new moms, sleep deprivation can lead to mood changes, baby blues, and, in some cases, postpartum depression.

For new moms who choose to breastfeed, a common unexpected challenge is a nursing strike. This is when an infant, who has been nursing well for several weeks or months, suddenly refuses to breastfeed. Nursing strikes can be scary for young moms but are almost always temporary.

Unexpected challenges you may face as a new Mum breastfeeding

Emotional Challenges

Baby blues, sometimes also called postpartum blues, is a term medical providers use to describe feelings of sadness mothers feel after giving birth. These emotions are a result of fluctuation hormones in the body and can last a few days to a few weeks. Treatment is generally not necessary, as the feelings go away on their own as hormone levels even out.

Caregiver fatigue, sometimes called caregiver burnout, is explained by Parent Magazine as “mental, emotional and physical depletion” associated with being a caregiver. New mothers are especially susceptible to caregiver fatigue in the first few months after birth when the needs of their newborns and the needs of their own physical and emotional recovery are so demanding.

Feelings of sadness and anxiety that last longer than two weeks can be a sign of postpartum depression or PPD. According to the March of Dimes, PPD is the most common complication for women who have just had a baby. PPD is a medical condition, and new mothers experiencing it should seek treatment from their medical provider.

Practical Challenges

Family and friends are often excited about the birth of a new baby and want to visit soon after mother and baby return home. While pregnant, moms may be excited about the prospect of showing off their new baby. However, the first few weeks after birth are exhausting, and young moms may not expect how emotionally challenging it can be to have visitors.

Introducing pets to new babies is sometimes an unexpected challenge a new mother won’t think to plan for. The ASPCA offers practical advice on introducing pets to new babies, including practical advice for helping “only child” dogs adjust.

Unexpected challenges will present themselves after birth, and while young moms can’t anticipate everything, they can anticipate many by talking to other parents. Older moms, grandparents, caregivers, and even dads can offer valuable insight into what sorts of small challenges a new mom can expect.

Thanks for reading xxx


Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.

I really wanted a concrete place to share my thoughts, ideas and my ups and downs on family life, sharing our family adventures and love for fashion. I’d love for it to be a community of support and advice for others too.

I chat everything from Disney, parenting hacks to the latest haul from Primark! I love going on family breaks and holidays and love to document these times of creating special memories.

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