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Lying in bed, uninterrupted nights with the partner and eating out in restaurants are among the things new mums miss the most after giving birth, a study has revealed. Researchers found that while they surround themselves with their new baby in the first weeks, mums can’t help but miss parts of their ‘old’ life, with sleepless nights meaning simply lying in bed is the thing most new mums crave.
An uninterrupted conversation with a friend, late nights and being able to change plans at the last minute are also among the things new mums miss.
The study, commissioned by P&G to launch its Everyday Effect campaign highlighting the small acts that make a difference to the everyday, also found that more than two thirds of mums admit they weren’t prepared for how stressful it would be to have a new baby.
Kirstie Allsopp, TV presenter and ambassador for P&G’s Everyday Effect campaign, said:
”In the first few weeks after having your baby, you are mostly occupied with nothing else but your new born.
”But as you settle into a routine, it’s easy to find yourself looking back to your life ‘pre-baby’ and thinking about the things that have changed.
”One of the biggest differences is the amount of sleep you get and the results seem to back this up with just being able to lie in bed for as long as you like the thing new mums miss the most.
”It’s something so simple that is easily taken for granted before you have children, but once your baby is born, you would do anything for a bit of uninterrupted sleep and a relaxing few hours in bed.
”It’s the little things which can often make the biggest difference, so someone offering to look after your baby for an hour or two so you can just doze in bed for a while is invaluable for many new mums.”
The study of 2,000 mums found that just being able to lie in bed is the main thing they miss in the weeks after having a baby, followed by uninterrupted nights in with their partner.
Being able to be spontaneous and change plans at the last minute came third, while an uninterrupted conversation with a friend and being able to eat out, stress-free, completing the top five.
A night out with their other half was voted into sixth place, along with going to the cinema and late nights out with friends.
Romantic getaways and a relaxing shopping trip with friends were also among the things news mums miss as they adapt to their new role.
Researchers also found that 41% of new mums described the first six weeks after giving birth as ‘a whirlwind’ while another 47% said they were ‘happy but utterly exhausted.’
Just 15% said they felt in control and organised during those first few weeks with their baby.
And the average mum even admitted they think it took them around 10-and-a-half weeks to settle in to their new role as a parent.
It also emerged that more than half of mums would have rather had someone offer to help with the household chores instead of buying them a baby gift so they could really focus on their baby.
One in four mums said a friend or relative offering to look after their baby so they could have a bit of time to themselves was the most useful thing someone did for them in the weeks after giving birth.
Another 15% were most grateful for a loved one offering to cook a meal for the family, while 14% made the most of an offer to help with the cleaning so new mums could make the most of their baby’s first weeks.
Helping to look after older children and doing some of the ironing were other things people can do to make a big difference to a new mum’s first weeks with their new baby.
Kirstie Allsopp, ambassador for P&G’s Everyday Effect campaign added:
”This really strikes a chord with me.
”Tidiness is my thing, and while others may want a food parcel delivered to them, for me, it was great if anyone unloaded the dishwasher, got the Flash out or put a load of washing on, as it meant I could spend more time cuddled up on the sofa with my new baby.
”They may seem like small things but they really do make a big difference. That’s why P&G is celebrating the power of the Everyday Effect.”
Psychologist and life coach, Linda Papadopoulos said:
”Having a baby is one of the biggest life changes you can go through and means an adjustment in the way you think and behave.
”During major life events when life can sometimes seem chaotic, it is the little things that centre us – the everyday acts that ensure we feel on top of everything.
”Friends and family should ask what little thing would really help and it’s important for new parents to accept these offers of help.
Those little acts will help bring the calm amongst what can often feel like a storm.”
TOP TEN THINGS MUMS MISS AFTER GIVING BIRTH
1. Lying in bed if you are tired
2. Uninterrupted nights in with partner
3. Opportunity to change ideas and plans at the last minute
4. Conversation with a friend without an interruption
5. Eating out
6. Night out with partner
7. Going to the cinema
8. Late nights with friends
9. Romantic escapes
10. Shopping with friends
TOP FIVE FAVOURS FROM A LOVED ONE AFTER GIVING BIRTH
1. Look after the baby so I have some time to myself
2. Cook me and the rest of my family a meal to heat up
3. Do some of the chores/house cleaning
4. Helped with the older children – school run, had them for tea etc
5. Helped with the ironing