Pregnancy and the joy of childbirth are a delight for all new mothers. However, in the days and weeks after giving birth, you might notice that you don’t feel quite like yourself. The changes involved with your hormone production can leave you feeling distraught and depressed, even though this should be the most exciting time in your life.
Postpartum depression, otherwise known as “the baby blues,” affects up to 80% of new mothers. When you’re pregnant, the body increases estrogen and progesterone levels to assist with fetal development.
However, after birth, it takes the brain some time to catch up with the body, and you’ll experience a reduction in estrogen production for up to six to eight weeks after giving birth. Postpartum depression affects everyone differently.
The effects of postpartum depression wreak havoc in your life, but it also affects your relationships and how you feel about your baby. In the most extreme cases, the syndrome can cause some women to become suicidal or think about harming their child.
Hormones have a powerful action on our body and mind, and you must have a form of support structure you can rely on during your recovery. With the right therapy, you can beat the baby blues and return to hormonal health.
What are the Signs of the Baby Blues?
The baby blues appear in the first days or weeks after the birth as hormone levels fluctuate wildly. Some women report feeling bouts of sadness for no reason, and they might burst into tears with no cue.
Restlessness and anxiety are common, and many new mothers don’t understand why they’re feeling this way after going through the lifechanging effect of childbirth.
To get a hold of yourself, you need to step back and reflect on your current life status. If you notice any of the following emotions or thoughts occurring, you have an official case of the baby blues.
- Negative emotions and feelings around birth. Maybe you wanted to go naturally but had to go in for an emergency c-section. These feelings of guilt can plague your mind and make you feel emotionally unstable.
- You experience an adverse reaction to the look of your baby.
- You waited to see the sex of your baby at birth and feel disappointed at the result.
- You feel like your partner blames you for something.
- You have unhappiness in the way you look.
These issues are by no means an extensive list of issues that can go wrong with your emotional state during the postpartum recovery period.
However, if you consider the emotional struggle you experienced during the pregnancy and birth, it’s no surprise that things are feeling up to par. However, things can’t go on like this, and you’ll need to make a change to experience sound mental health again.
We put together a quick list of seven ways to beat the baby blues, give a few of these methods a try.
Lower Your Expectations and Responsibilities
If you have feelings of inadequacy, squash them in the bud. After a few weeks tending to your newborn, you’ll feel much more comfortable in your mommy role. So, for the meantime, do yourself a favor and lower your expectations – of absolutely everything in your life.
Theirs is no such thing as perfect parenting, and no o-one is expecting you to be supermom. Focus on healing and doing what you need to for your child.
Rely on Your Partner
Many moms feel like they must go it alone. However, your partner is there for you, and you need to learn to let go and rely on them. Taking care of a baby with round-the-clock feedings, crying sessions, and handling spit-up is a shared responsibility.
Your partner will be likely enthusiastic about helping any way they can. So, use it to your benefit; you’re not selfish.
Give Yourself a Mom Moment from Time to Time
Now and again, take a break from your parenting responsibilities and get some me-time. Watch your favorite show, or read a book. Separate yourself from the madness of raising children for a few hours before getting back into the thick of it.
It’s time to stop trudging around the house in your PJ’s, with hair that looks like you stuck your finger in the wall socket after the first week back at home is over.
Get yourself back on track and your life in order. The simple task of dressing regularly and going through your skincare routine will help restore a sense of completion and order.
Go Out on a Date Night
When the baby is old enough, get a sitter and get out of the house for a date night. Go to a restaurant for a romantic meal or watch a movie at the cinema. Break the mundane routine of staying at home and get back out into the real world.
Try to get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s a trip to the grocery store. Staying at home can feel like the walls are closing in after a while.
Get Some Exercise
A short walk around the block is all you need to get the blood moving and start the endorphins running around in your brain.
These feel-good hormones give your mood and mental state a boost, allowing you to think clearly, instead of wallow in self-pity. Check local yoga studios for postpartum classes and sign up for a few sessions to see if you enjoy it.
Try Red Light Photobiomodulation Devices
Red light and other laser photobiomodulation devices produce an intense red light deep into your skin, muscle tissues, and brain. This therapy helps to activate energy production at a cellular level, helping you recover from the effects of childbirth on your physical and mental state.
When to See Your Doctor
Most cases of the baby blues resolve without medical intervention in around 6 to 8-weeks. If its been three months and you’re still no better, you might have a hormonal balance or an underlying health issue. If that’s the case, then you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.