Average of 18 months for mothers to feel "Normal" again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

As the dirty diapers pile up and a good night's sleep seems a distant memory, it is easy for a new mother to think life will never be the same again.

But it will happen - even if it does take an average of 18 months, according to a poll of thousands of ­British women.

During that one and a half year period, however, sleepless nights, loss of independence and weight worries all contribute to a crisis of confidence.

Six out of ten claimed their confidence took a hit when they realized their old clothes didn’t fit.

And a quarter of the 3,000 women said they felt they were competing with other mothers – including celebrities – to lose weight quickly after birth.

Unsurprisingly, 64 per cent of those polled for fashion website A Beautiful Mummy claimed a lack of routine in the early months meant they struggled to make it through the day.

Around a third blamed breastfeeding for limiting what they could wear and 39 per cent felt unattractive in every outfit they put on.

Others struggled to adjust to the loss of "me time," with 63 per cent saying they let themselves in terms of their hair, make-up or clothes.

Siobhan Freegard, of the Netmums parenting advice website, said that while 18 months might be the average figure, many women will take longer.

"New mothers go through phases," she said. "The first is the dressing-gown phase. Then you get to the phase where you have managed clean hair. Clean hair and make-up is another phase... But this doesn’t mean you are not happy during that time," she stressed. "It just means you have different priorities."

The change in priorities also meant that nine in ten new mothers polled said work no longer seemed as important after they gave birth, and 79 per cent didn’t want to leave their baby to go back. Many also feared they would no longer excel in their job.

For those who did take the plunge, it tended to take at least ten months to feel part of the gang again when returning to work after maternity leave.


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