As a new mom, you are bombarded with new emotions, responsibilities and sleep deprivation not to mention the return to normalcy in your hormones and body. All this and much more lend themselves to what so many refer to as the baby blues. While these are often considered the less severe cousin to postpartum depression, they can be equally as scary and be trying while you’re experiencing them.
It is estimated that “although half of all women develop “baby blues” that lift after a few weeks, 13 percent experience postpartum depression that can last up to a year,” says Lauren B. Zoschnick, M.D. who is the medical director of the Livonia Health Center in Michigan. She adds that many women who do experience postpartum depression don’t begin to experience symptoms until months after the baby is born. This can be a result of returning to work under the stress of the added responsibility of a child and lack of sleep.
A recent study in Pediatrics states that these three questions are as effective in determining postpartum depression as a professional screening: Have you blamed yourself unnecessarily when things go wrong? Have you been anxious or worried without good reason? And have you felt irrationally scared or panicked? To help keep track of your mental well-being, take stock and answer these questions honestly every few weeks or if you sense that your mood may be changing.
For the almost undeniable bit of baby blues that all moms experience, here are a few strategies for kicking those blues and regaining your sense of self. Please remember that we’re talking about the mild case of blahs, not depression or if you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions. If you can line up a friend or family member to be your helper before the baby comes these tips will work even better for you.
Allow your designated helper to clean your toilets, wash some of the additional laundries, and watch the baby while you sleep. Now sleep! Allow yourself to nap. You need it and the baby needs you to be rested. When you wake up, take a long shower then do your hair and put on makeup as you normally did B.B. (Before Baby). If weather permits, pile you, baby and your friend in the car and go to the park for a walk. Even if it’s the dead of winter, step outside as often as you need to and take a deep breath. Fresh air will work wonders for you.
Read More Cooking With Coconut Oil.
Any of these small things done alone can help you kick the baby blues, combine them for an even bigger boost. You’ll be amazed what a swipe of mascara, a clean shirt or a walk to the mailbox can do for your overloaded brain.
Keep in mind that even if this is your second, third or fourth child, you may experience different postpartum emotions and symptoms with each child. Don’t fear any negative experiences you’ve had after previous pregnancies or dismiss any new challenges you’re having with later pregnancies. Preparation and honest communication with yourself, your spouse and your doctor are crucial to your good health and to your baby.