Baby blues refers to the common mood disorders that new mothers can experience after giving birth. Women who experience baby blues are typically overjoyed by the birth of their child but have symptoms of depression. And the anxiety that can interfere with their ability to bond with their child in the early days after delivery. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to get over baby blues and enjoy your new role as a mother. The sooner you start taking care of yourself, the better off you’ll be and the happier your family will be! These 10 tips will help you get over baby blues and start experiencing life to its fullest again!
Understand What Happens When You Have Baby Blues
When you first have a baby, everyone says it’s going to be the best time of your life. Yes, there are wonderful moments; but while you’re in them, they feel like they last forever. When those euphoric moments fade and things get tougher, though—and they will—it can sometimes feel impossible to see a way out. You may begin to worry that you won’t be able to bond with your baby, or that your relationship with your partner is doomed because of his or her lack of understanding about what you’re going through. What many new parents don’t realize is that having baby blues is quite common.
Don’t Hide From Those Feelings
Baby blues—which can range from feelings of mild sadness to overwhelming despair—is a normal reaction to the baby’s arrival. In fact, around two-thirds of new moms experience them after birth. Experts are still not quite sure what causes baby blues, but they usually appear in the first few days after giving birth and last no more than a few weeks. If you’re experiencing depression that lasts longer than that or severe anxiety—or if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby—it’s important to talk with your OB/GYN right away and also call 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with someone who can help.
Be Honest About Pregnancy Loss
About 10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, so if you find yourself crumpled on a bathroom floor or sobbing at your desk wondering why it’s perfectly OK to say, I think I’m having a miscarriage. Doctors will tell you not to worry about using that word when talking to loved ones, and there’s no shame in seeking help from experts who have dealt with these situations more than once. From what you should do immediately after losing a pregnancy to how best to handle telling others about it, here are some tips for getting over baby blues without feeling like you have to do it alone. (Because sometimes, that’s exactly what we need.)
Be Honest About Postpartum Depression
A lot of people will be very sensitive to you and your feelings during your pregnancy. However, postpartum depression is a serious medical condition, not just baby blues or something to be shrugged off. Friends and family members can often be helpful, but only if they know what to say and do. While you’re in recovery mode after having a baby, take some time to discuss with those around you how they can help when it comes to supporting you physically and emotionally through recovery after childbirth. It’s also important that they know what type of support is needed and when to help combat postpartum depression symptoms successfully.
Create a Life To Be Proud Of
Sometimes being a mom is tough. Sometimes it just plain sucks. Regardless of how you feel, remember that your baby needs you to be strong and healthy. Put yourself first: Find a way to take time out of your day to do something that makes you happy—not only will you feel better, but your baby will benefit too! The happiest moms are those who find a balance between their own interests and needs and their family’s well-being. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out if you think depression is getting in your way or making life harder than it should be. Your community center or mental health office can help set up appropriate resources.
Avoid Comparison Marketing
One of the best ways to overcome baby blues is to stop comparing yourself to other moms. When you focus on what you don’t have or what others appear to have, you can end up feeling like a failure or inadequate. It’s important not to let negative thoughts creep in when it comes to caring for your child. Focus on making sure he or she feels loved and secure instead of fixating on what your child is getting from another mom versus what they are getting from you. Babies don’t care if their clothes are designer or picked up at a resale shop—they just want someone who loves them enough to change their diapers!
Develop Good Habits While Pregnant
The transition to motherhood can be overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, it can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety. A lot of that comes from a lack of sleep and stress. Before getting pregnant, start doing things to make life easier on yourself. Get up at about 5 am every day and go for a walk—it’ll help you get through your day more peacefully. It will also let you take advantage of quiet time before everyone else wakes up! Do yoga while eating breakfast; it will calm down your body and mind before heading out into the craziness of work or school. Eat healthy foods like whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables regularly throughout your pregnancy. Don’t let cravings control what you eat!
Ask For Help When Necessary
If you are struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, don’t be afraid to reach out to others. It may seem like something you should deal with alone, but in reality, getting help is often all that you need to feel better. Other moms have likely gone through what you are going through and can offer a level of understanding and support that doctors simply cannot. Speaking with other women who have been through pregnancy/newborn depression can make a huge difference; it gives validation to your feelings and allows you to process your emotions in a safe environment. You also might find that talking to people outside of your immediate circle (family members/friends) can give you a new perspective on your situation, especially if they haven’t experienced what you are going through.
Keep An Exercise Routine
Everyone handles depression differently. While there is no one right way to overcome it, many studies have shown that regular exercise can help manage your symptoms and feelings of anxiety. It’s easy to let yourself feel overwhelmed by motherhood and all its demands, but if you don’t take care of yourself then you may end up feeling like a victim in all aspects of your life, especially when it comes to dealing with depression. Instead, take time every day to do something you enjoy (even if that’s simply watching television); get a workout in, or work on some personal projects just for fun (like crafting). By taking some time each day to recharge your batteries, you won’t feel so exhausted from everything going on around you.
Watch Out For That Second Baby!
If you are having your second child, be aware that it can take longer to get over your baby blues after birth. Don’t worry if you find yourself crying often, being short-tempered with your partner or other family members, and just not feeling like yourself. While it can be isolating to go through such a difficult time by yourself, know that most women who experience baby blues feel better after a few weeks or months. Don’t hesitate to ask friends and family for help if you think you need additional support. Until you feel better, don’t give up on activities or interests that make you happy; getting out of bed is an accomplishment when you have baby blues!