Managing stress as a new parent

May 7, 2023, 8:00 AM | Updated: Sep 5, 2023, 3:19 pm




SALT LAKE CITY – Parenting can be stressful, especially for new parents who are just starting to figure everything out.

In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Studio 5 KSL’s Parenting Contributor Heather Johnson to discuss what causes this stress, why mothers tend to worry more than fathers do, and how new parents can work together to help manage that stress.

What are some of the biggest stressors for new parents?

There are so many reasons why new parents go through stress and anxiety. One reason is that they’re not sure what to expect since they’re experiencing this for the first time.

“Just not knowing brings a lot of stress to couples as they’re trying to navigate it,” Johnson said.

There are also concerns about getting enough sleep for themselves, giving their baby enough food, and more.

Has this changed?

“I do think there’s a lot more resources, but I also think that there’s a great deal of pressure still that we put on ourselves as new parents—worry that we might not do it right,” Johnson said.

The Pew Research Center did some research showing that moms feel more worried about taking care of their baby than dads do. Why is that?

“Brain chemistry is different between moms and dads. Hormone fluctuation has been tied to women worrying more… Women are more likely to have anxiety than men are,” Johnson said.

She described anxiety as being worried about something that could happen in the future that we won’t be able to control. For example, mothers might worry about the struggles their children may have in the future.

“I think that moms tend to feel more judged—that they feel like the world is looking at them and judging if they’re good enough or doing it right. All these things would put a mom in a situation where she’s worried,” Johnson said.

Listen to the full episode below to hear the rest!

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Managing stress as a new parent