This is how many frantic Google searches new mums conduct in the first year of motherhood
Sometimes when I look back at life when I had just come home from hospital with my first baby, I can't help but want to give new-mum me a big hug and assure her she's got this.
Because, trust me, I did not feel like I 'got it.' back then.
Walking out of the hospital with my baby girl, I remember feeling like it was a bit bizarre that they just let us take her with us – sure what the heck did we, at just 28, know about keeping a baby alive?!
I worried about was she getting enough milk, could my boobs produce enough to feed her, was she getting all her wind up, did she poop enough, too much (hello dehydration)? I worried about meningitis and loose cot sheets and co-sleeping and too little or too much clothing. Every rash, every fever, every sneeze – it all worried me, simply because I just didn't know what it was or what it could be, and because I was so, so new at this and so scared of not being able to do this right.
And I think this is the case for most of us. And in fairness, much as I was a lot more chill when baby #2 made his appearance, worrying about stuff is just a part of motherhood, and it doesn't change all that much as your children outgrow the baby phase either, you just worry about different things then – like screen time and child abductors and bullies and whether or not they will fall out of the boat on their class kayaking trip.
See, it doen't end. Motherhood and worrying go hand in hand.
But few things compare to the almost frantic worrying you do that first year, to be fair. In fact, according to a brand new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mead Johnson Nutrition, mums spend more than 1,400 hours worrying about their newborn’s health during the first year. Added up, guys, that is more than eight weeks spent doing nothing but worrying.
Such is prenting in the age of Google, I guess, with all the information available at our fingertips.
The thing is, though, just as much as it can help you, it can also do some harm. On average, the survey found, a mum conducts 330 Google or Internet searches about baby’s health, and makes 337 frantic calls or texts to her own mother about symptoms baby is experiencing and what they mean. Sounds about right? I know.
The thing is – it is important not to let all that worrying and all those Google searches take away from enjoying your baby and coming to terms with the fact that being a new mum is scary – for all of us. It is being thrown into unchartered territory and learning just by living it. Your own mum was the same when she had you. And your grandmother when she had her first. We are all in the same boat.
Curious as to what we all worry about the most?
The survey revealed parents worry the most about their infant’s overall health. Other concerns that follow closely behind are whether or not baby is reaching major milestones at the right age, if baby is getting the right amount of milk or formula, and if their little one is growing and developing at a regular speed.
So take a deep breath, mama – you are not the only one worrying and wondering if you are doing it all right. We all are. And rest assured that the fact that you worry about being a good mum means that you already are one. You got this.