Caring for a newborn baby can be a surprisingly isolating and exhausting experience, particularly for first-time moms. During pregnancy, women are showered with attention and, when the baby is born, there’s often a steady flow of visitors. Then the excitement fades and moms are left alone with the task of taking care of this amazing new being and dealing with fluctuating hormones and sleep deprivation. Whether they’re on maternity leave from work or staying home permanently, it’s likely a much different life than they had before.
A new baby uproots things for experienced moms, too. It can be challenging to meet the needs of other children amid all the rocking, nursing, and diaper changing. However, moms who can draw on a community of support are better equipped to handle—and even enjoy—this intense period and the years beyond it.