Some women experience the baby blues, also called postpartum depression, but there are ways they can help themselves, like getting more rest and focusing a little more on themselves. Having a baby brings a sweeping change in a woman’s life, and no matter how you prepared for it, this change be overwhelming.
After taking a baby home, some women experience “postpartum blues.” A new mom with postpartum blues will experience mood swings, irritability, sadness, anxiety, confusion, weepiness and feelings of dependency.
The symptoms can last for one to three weeks after giving birth and will go away without the need for treatment.
However, a new mom can also suffer from postpartum depression (PPD). This condition usually develops in first two to three months after giving birth, but it can last for up to two weeks.
The symptoms of PPD include depression, intense anxiety, obsessive compulsive behavior, irritability, sleeplessness, feeling unworthy and incompetent, changes in appetite and thoughts of committing suicide. Although, PPD only lasts for a short time, it can have a lasting impact on the mother and the baby.
If you’re on your way to being a mom or just gave birth, it’s also important to take care of your emotional health. Here are ways to deal with the “baby blues”:
1. Invite Some People Over To Your Home
On the first few days and weeks after you take your baby home, ask a few chosen friends and family members to come over. During this adjustment phase, you need all the support you can get.
They can teach you about the proper caring of your baby, point out what you’re doing wrong and empathize with your feelings. Dealing with your difficulty alone can make you feel even lonelier and more helpless.
2. Let Your Tears Flow
Different people have different ways of dealing with stress. If you feel like bursting into tears, let your tears flow. Crying does not mean you don’t love your baby, and isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s just your way of coping with your emotions, just like all the other new moms out there. You will feel a lot better when you accept your feelings and let it out.
3. Discuss Your Expectations With Your Partner
Having a baby is a major change in your lives. Talk to your partner about your plans and expectations about parenthood. Let him know what kind of help you are expecting from him.
It’s important to be honest about what you want, so your partner will know what to do. Doing so will prevent resentment and disappointment in the future.
4. Continue To Be Intimate With Each Other
A lack of intimacy and closeness between you and your partner can add to your emotional burden. Now more than ever, you have to keep the communication lines open and your relationship intact. Talk to your partner about your worries, and tell him you need his comfort and support.
Always find time to spend time together. Having sex is a good way to relieve stress and depression, but if it is too painful for you yet, you don’t have to force it. Just holding hands, caressing each other and kissing can provide the same great feelings.
5. Spend Time Outside
Most times, moms feel guilty spending time away from their baby. However, it is important that you get to spend time by yourself, so you can deal with your emotions and reconnect with yourself.
After sitting and sipping juice at your favorite restaurant or a trip to the grocery store, you will find yourself more energized, refreshed and ready to take on another day of motherhood.
6. Join A Support Group
Find and join a new mom support group. Sharing your experiences with other new moms can help make you feel that you are not alone. It’s nice to have some people whom you can relate to and who can relate to you in terms of worries and insecurities. You can also share tips on breastfeeding, the brand of baby products to use, and other ways in dealing with other new parent concerns.
7. Take Care Of Yourself
Taking care of a baby is time and energy consuming, but this does not mean you should stop doing things for yourself. With the proper time management, you can take care of your baby and yourself.
While your baby naps, you can take a relaxing bath, read a magazine, watch a TV show, or you can also take a nap. Reward yourself after a rough day or night.
8. Stop Worrying About Your Weight
Weight gain is normal during pregnancy, and it’s not just the added weight of the baby. The pounds you gain help your body store nutrients and prepare you for breastfeeding.
The rest of the weight you gained comes from your enlarged breasts, uterus and placenta. Plus, your blood and body fluids have increased in volume.
Although losing weight after giving birth usually takes place after your body returns to normal, it would probably take a year before you regain your figure. But, if you gained more than the healthy weight recommended during your pregnancy, you may need to consult a nutritionist first before you start losing weight. Your body needs nutrients from food intake, especially if you are breastfeeding.
9. Be Open To Getting Help From An Expert
You do not have to wait for a few more weeks after birth to conclude you have postpartum depression.
If you feel your emotions are starting to get in the way of taking care of yourself or your baby, do not hesitate to ask for help from a medical professional right away.
The baby blues normally occur and will soon pass, while postpartum depression doesn’t go away by itself. Thus, it is important to seek help from a professional.
10. Do Not Isolate Yourself
It is important to stay in touch with your family and friends, even if you would rather deal with it alone. Isolating yourself will make you feel even more helpless and lonely.
Talk your feelings out and let the people around you know how you feel and what you need, so they will know how to help you. Apart from lending you a hand in taking care of your baby, they can lend you their ears. Bottling up your emotions can make things worse.
11. Do Not Be Too Hard On Yourself
As a mom, you want to make sure you have everything your baby needs, from nutrition to keeping their environment clean. Don’t feel bad if you can’t finish the chores, or if you failed to do something.
You don’t have full control of your time, so it’s okay to miss out on some things. No one is expecting you to be a supermom. Be honest about what you can do, and let go of things you can’t do.
Your baby is your bundle of joy, and you would protect them from everything; however, being a new mom isn’t easy. You need to take care of your emotional health, too, so you can be happy and take care of your baby.