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The average first-time mum doesn’t fully enjoy motherhood until baby is six months old, with over half feeling they have lost their identity and over a third missing work, according to a survey.
The average first-time mum doesn’t fully enjoy motherhood until theirbaby is six months old, with over half feeling they have lost their identity and over a third missing work, according to a survey.
More than half of the 2,000 women surveyed for Nurofen for Children, were surprised to find they suffered a complete knock in confidence because they didn’t know what they were doing.
New mums also said they were baffled by many aspects of motherhood, including health, illness, feeding and safety. One in six mums didn’t really start to enjoy their little one until they passed their first birthday.
The study shows 52% of mums really felt like they had lost their identity after having a child, and 35% really missed leaving the house and going to work. Some 55% said they found it difficult getting used to the fact they couldn’t simply go out whenever they wanted to anymore.
Similarly, many mums lost their common interests with existing friends – while 52% felt as though they had to carve out a totally new circle of friends so that they could socialise with people in the same boat.
And just over half of those polled found it hard to accept the changes childbirth had made to their body – which made them less confident in their own skin.
But the biggest challenge for women after giving birth was the lack of knowledge about their new role as a mother. Moreover, while 27% struggled to juggle housework and producing a hot meal with childcare, 24% found breastfeeding a real challenge.
Neverthless, eight in 10 mums say having a child is the best thing they’ve ever done, and the positive aspects of motherhood now far outweigh the negative. Just under half felt their performance as a mother was being continuously judged by others.
And only 56% felt their partner provided enough support during those exhausting first few months.
GP and mum of one Dr Pixie McKenna said: ''It is easy to underestimate the impact having a baby has on a woman’s life.
''Before embarking on parenthood, many women are settled in a job, know what they are doing on a day to day basis, and are confident in the role they have carved out for themselves.
''They have independence, aren’t responsible for anyone but themselves, and their abilities and decisions aren’t questioned constantly.
''The minute a baby comes along a woman’s world is turned upside down – with that initial rush of love and joy comes the unknown, and it is this which can throw women completely off balance.''