Updated: Aug 18, 2022
Journaling is therapeutic under any circumstances, but journaling as a new mom is particularly beneficial. This season of your life is full of changes and big emotions, so let’s talk about all the wonderful reasons to prioritize writing it all down.
The New Year is the perfect time to start a journal. Writing down your goals will motivate you to take the proper steps to accomplish them. According to Forbes Magazine, a study done at Dominican University found that 43% of people who write down their goals achieve them (Solomon, 2019). That could be you! When you write things down, your brain prioritizes them as being important and reminds you to get busy. For example, if your goal is to take your baby for a walk every day, write out the steps that you will take to achieve this goal. How can you set aside a little bit of time for the two of you to get out and stretch your legs? Create the life you want by regularly using your journal to write down your specific goals and the actions required to meet them. This will benefit you and your baby. A fulfilled mama equals a happy baby!
Mental Health Improvement
Your whole life now revolves around your baby, and to be the best version of yourself for your baby, you have to invest in your mental health. Research shows that journaling helps to decrease depression and reduce anxiety. (Eckerman, 2021) Anxiety: what new moms feel at every moment of the day! Write down everything you are anxious about and you will feel lighter and more prepared to conquer your fears. Journaling motivates you to look inward and reconnect with yourself, which is not easy to do when you're constantly taking care of everyone else. Set aside a few minutes a day, or even once a week, to write what’s in your heart and on your mind. This reflective exercise will promote mindfulness and positivity.
Journaling about your experiences as a new mom strengthens your bond with your baby. Write down important milestones: when did your baby first smile? What made your baby laugh? Write about the first time your baby got sick, how difficult daycare drop off is, or anything else that you want to remember about your special relationship together. Writing down what matters most to you will help you understand your role as a mom better, which will only help you and your child grow closer.
Sleep deprivation causes memory loss. (Eckerman, 2021) It’s a wonder that moms can remember anything about the newborn stage. Guess what helps to improve memory? Journaling! The act of writing something down preserves it in your mind for longer and in greater detail. New moms often live in a fog of exhaustion, dirty diapers, and spit up. Clear the fog by writing down all the wonderful things about motherhood. Document the first time your baby tried solid food, what story they love to listen to and how happy you feel when your baby is in your arms. Or, just write about a typical day!
There are no rules to journaling. When you can’t remember some of the precious details about having a newborn, you will be so glad you have it all recorded.
Becoming a mom is one of the happiest times for many women, but it’s also one of the most stressful. Journaling can significantly decrease stress. Seriously! Writing down details of your life contributes to stronger self awareness, which teaches you what your stress triggers are. The more you understand yourself and what makes you tick, the better you can work towards preventing stress. Some studies even suggest that journaling can strengthen your immune system, improve blood pressure, and promote better sleep (Eckerman, 2021). This makes sense because people who are less stressed are typically healthier.
If you want another fantastic way to reduce stress, start practicing skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Extensive research shows that skin-to-skin contact reduces stress for you and your baby (Seitz, 2018). The close, loving contact establishes a peaceful environment, which makes your baby feel safe and relaxed. Skin-to-skin contact also releases oxytocin, or the “love” hormone, which floods your body with warm and fuzzy feelings. It doesn’t get much better than that! These moments of relaxed bliss will become beloved memories.
So, dress your baby in your favorite Bonsie onesie, get skin-to-skin, and write about your adventures as a new mom.
Ackerman , C. E. (2021, December 14). 83 Benefits of Journaling for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-journaling/
Seitz, J. L. (2018, August 9). The Importance of Skin-to-Skin with Baby After Delivery. Sanford Health News. https://news.sanfordhealth.org/childrens/the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-after-delivery-you-should-know/.
Solomon, G. (2019, February 5). How to Use Journaling to Achieve Your Goals. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/gretasolomon/2019/02/05/how-to-use-journaling-to-achieve-your-goals/?sh=217ade151d80