coping with a newborn

Stressful days and nights with your new baby are inevitable, but don't let these feelings take over your life. You may find that you have "flashpoints" where something really gets to you. But these experiences are perfectly normally the key to keeping them under control is working out how to avoid them.

Help yourself

  • Try not to feel too bogged down by the responsibilities of motherhood, or be too hard on yourself. If you're struggling, ask for help: talk to your partner, baby health nurse or doctor.

  • Ease the pressure on yourself by accepting that your baby will cry sometimes for long periods at a time but that this doesn't make you a bad parent.

  • It's important to get enough rest and sleep, so try and get into the habit of napping when your baby does. If you find this difficult, playing a relaxation or self-hypnosis tape could help.

  • Don't be afraid to ask friends or relatives to take the baby for a while so you can get some rest or just some time away from her.

  • Try to keep things in perspective this won't last forever, we promise!

  • Becoming a mum doesn't have to mean giving up your old life completely: set aside half an hour every day just for yourself. Read a book, make a few phone calls, paint your nails or have a relaxing bath.

  • Remember to make time for your partner as well – you both need love, support and understanding at the moment.