Having a newborn can be a lonely time. You can feel isolated from pre-baby friends, and may not know anyone else in the same situation as you. Here are some ideas to feel connected.
You may not have someone on hand to talk through worries, or who can look after your baby to give you a break. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
Social connection is important for everyone’s mental wellbeing, so aim to have some human connection every day. This could be a phone call, a meet up via Zoom, or better still, seeing someone outside.
Our Walk & Talks (check your local NCT Facebook page or look here to see if there is one happening in your area) are a great reason to get out of the house, and meet and chat with other parents who live nearby. Just being able to talk about things with someone who is going through the same as you can make a big difference.
If you are widowed, you might find support from widowed groups such as WAY. If you are parenting without your own mother, look for groups such as ‘Motherless mothers’ on Facebook.
Check social media
Your nearest NCT group should have a Facebook page, and either be sharing events, or signposting to other groups. You can also see if there are any online NCT activities, like Walk & Talks and Bumps & Babies, happening near you by putting your post code in the search field on our local activities and meet ups page.
Many of our local NCT branches and breastfeeding counsellors run Baby Cafés, breastfeeding drop-ins or groups. Search on our local activities and meet-ups page or message your nearest branch to see what is happening in your area. Our NCT support line is open every day from 8am to midnight, including bank holidays. Call 0300 330 0700.
It's worth having a look at local social media for other groups. Further contacts include your Midwife or Health Visitor, and the local Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) page.
It’s important to keep doing things you enjoy. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to find moments of happiness. Try these tips to boost your mood.
So-called ‘awe walks’ are good for helping us see ourselves in perspective. Go for a walk in nature with your baby, whether that’s in the park or the countryside. Try and deliberately notice the things around you, like a bird singing or light coming through the trees.
Make a happiness audit by noting down how many times you laughed a day. Seek out laughter, no matter if that’s a funny programme, a meme on the internet or your baby burping!
Feeling connected has been shown to boost our mood. Help a neighbour or someone close by, even if it’s just by getting them a pint of milk. They’ll be really touched that you thought of them and you’ll feel better, too.
If you’re not in the early days of parenthood, volunteering can combat depression, make you feel happier and increase your self-confidence. So it’s a win-win all around. You might like to consider volunteering for NCT.
Other support groups, such as religious or special interest groups, can help you feel connected. They might help you to feel like you’re doing something for yourself and not just your baby.
Feeling tired can make things feel more overwhelming, so if you need it, prioritise rest when your baby sleeps during the day. It might seem like the evening is the only time you have to yourself, but allowing yourself an early night could make the next day feel much better.
Writing down your feelings has been shown to help reduce feelings of depression and enhance well-being. Some, but not all, parents find that being creative in another way, like drawing or writing expressively, can also be therapeutic and help them relax.
See our articles on how you might be feeling as a parent.
Accept help when it is offered
Don’t be afraid to accept an offer of help. You might not want to feel like a burden, but the person offering help almost certainly won’t see it that way.
It gives everyone a boost to help other people. By letting others support you by shopping for something you need or making your life easier some other way, you’ll make them feel better, too.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and is open every day from 8am to midnight, including bank holidays: 0300 330 0700 (option 1).
Local NCT branches run lots of activities for parents in their area, including our popular Walk and Talks. Check your local NCT Facebook page for details or look at our local activities and meet ups page.
Gingerbread is a charity providing expert advice, practical support and campaigning for single parents.
Single Parents is a website for single parents offering information and advice through separation, divorce and rebuilding lives.
You might find attending one of our NCT New Baby courses helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.