mom holding her baby on a wooden path

Feeling Lonely as a New Parent? Here’s Help

By Jessie Everts, Ph.D., LMFT
October 17, 2022

Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.

You can read books. You can listen to podcasts. You can call your friends who have kids. But no matter how much you prepare to be a new parent, it’s common to feel unsure. And very alone.

After giving birth, your body is healing. Your hormones are wild. Your mood is up and down. It’s common to feel alone. But many new parents go through the same thing.

If caring for a new baby has left you feeling lonely, here’s a list of ways to take care of yourself.

Take Time Out for Self-Care

It may feel like you’re just trying to get through each day. But small ways to rest and restore your energy are key. Here’s what experts suggest:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Stay active
  • Try to get more sleep or naps
  • Practice yoga, meditation, or deep breathing
  • Write in a journal
  • Spend time in nature
  • Enjoy music
  • Ask for support

Caring for a newborn can drain you. But taking care of yourself will allow you to take even better care of your baby.

Connect with Others

Look at the way animals stick in packs and herds. Humans are social beings, too. As a new parent, time with others is vital to your health and well‑being—studies even support this. It’s not always easy caring for a little one, but you’re not alone.

Here are some ways to connect, even if it’s hard to leave the house:

  • Ask a friend for a weekly call.
  • Call, text, or email one person a day to say hello or share pictures of your baby.
  • Join a support group online—search for a topic that you’re stressed about (for example, NICU, postpartum depression, or babies with special needs). But avoid groups that feel judgy. Or those that bring you more stress.
  • Try therapy—even if you don’t meet in person, therapy is a safe space to share your feelings and get support.
  • FaceTime or Zoom someone you care about.

Give Yourself a Break

Feeling stressed or worried is common. Sometimes you just need time a break—a good cry in the shower or a solid nap can help you feel like yourself again. Self-care is even more vital when you’re stressed or tired.*

Don’t have someone to help you take a break? Place your baby in a safe place, like their crib. Then take some deep breaths. Or practice some quick self-care. Pick up your baby when you’re able to safely care for them again.

Shift Your Thoughts

The way you think about a hard time matters. You might feel “stuck at home.” See how “safe at home” makes you feel instead. Rather than “I can’t get a break,” try “I deserve a break, and I can find a way to make it happen.” Maybe you’re stressed about not being perfect. Try saying, “I’m doing my best.” It can help if you write your new message down on a note and post it in your house where you’ll see it.

*If you have any thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, please reach out for help. Postpartum Support International (PSI) has a helpline that you can call (800-944-4773) or text (English: 800-944-4773, Spanish: 971-203-7773). They also have a website where you can look up local resources in the United States and internationally.

Jessie Everts, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., is a therapist, mom, yoga/mindfulness teacher, and the owner/founder of Empower Mental Health. Her book on living mindfully postpartum, Brave New Mom, was released in 2021.