The baby blues. I think in one way or another just about every Mama will experience the baby blues. Some experience them more than others. 9 months of preparation and then bam! you are responsible for a human life. That can be a lot to handle all of a sudden. In this blog I want to explain to you what the baby blues are and what will help you get through them without going completely insane.
The world likes to tell you that having a baby makes you so happy and while it does, ours bodies are sometimes not equipped in handling the hormonal changes that we go through during and after pregnancy. The postpartum blues can be described as feelings of hopelessness, prolonged crying, anxiety, worrying, poor sleep, quick mood changes and a sense of vulnerability. The cause is complicated but research shows that the rapid hormonal change can be too much to handle. It also states that women with a family history of anxiety and depression are more likely to experience the baby blues. While the baby blues usually don’t last long, postpartum depression can be more serious and more debilitating. It is described as intense feelings of inadequacy, guilt and fatigue that last longer than 2 weeks. You also may experience somatic symptoms such as a headache, rapid heart rate or obvious rise in blood pressure characterized as sweating or feelings of dizziness. Some women could experience a lack of connection with their baby. I want you to know one thing.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Many women experience these types of symptoms from pregnancy, to the birth of their child, to their child’s one year birthday. These feelings do not make you a bad Mama and they are completely normal. The fact is not every single moment in motherhood is dreamy. The good news is, there are many ways you can combat these symptoms.
First, get up and go!!!! Allow yourself to get up every morning and create some kind of ritual. Now, this ritual is most likely going to be completed around your babies schedule but that is okay! This ritual should be for yourself and could be as simple as having a cup of coffee, taking a shower or just doing your hair. It will provide you a sense of self-awareness and feeling of zen. It also gives you something to look forward to each morning. Reach out to your support system! It is okay to share these feelings with people who are close to you. These feelings are normal and it is important to get them off of your chest rather than bottle them up inside.
Keep a balanced diet which I realize can be so difficult with a newborn. Keeping a healthy diet and eating about every 3 to 4 hours helps with keeping your blood sugar in balance. Take a rest and a break from caring for your baby. I know this sounds like something that you would never want to do but it’s much healthier for you to have a small break here and there rather than overwhelm yourself caring for your baby every single second of the day. Allow your partner or someone you trust to take over while you meditate or just take a quick walk to get some fresh air. Go to a safe place with your baby such as a yoga studio, the park or even a new mom workshop where you can share your thoughts and feelings with other Mom’s.
If you’re feeling like none of these options are working for you or the symptoms persist longer than 2 weeks, seek a therapist. Take an hour out of the week where you are able to vent to someone who is literally there to listen to you. I want you to understand that sometimes life can get the best of us. Practice some self-awareness so that you are in touch with your feelings and are able to recognize when you are feeling off. Movies, social media, etc. want us to believe that motherhood is easy but the truth is that it can be hard! Make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby!