What are the Baby Blues?
The Baby Blues are emotional stress, worry, and sadness a woman may feel shortly after having a baby. Yes, this is a miraculous time in your life and there’s no doubt you love your baby, but this can also be a challenging and overwhelming experience as well. You must adjust to a completely different lifestyle. In addition to taking care of another person, you are also healing and recovering from labor, which may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your life.
The Baby Blues are often distinguished from Post Partum Depression (PPD) as the feelings usually come and go, but are not constant like with PPD. Also the baby blues should get increasingly better as time passes and you settle into mommyhood.
PPD is especially suspected if you have a history of depression. PPD also may require you to get counseling and seek treatment while the Baby Blues usually passes on it’s own, although there are things you can do to alleviate it.
The Best Treatments for the Baby Blues
Anxiety, nervousness, and exhaustion all contribute to women feeling emotional down after having a baby. However, there are several ways to pick your spirits up.
Late nights, frustrations, long days in the house cause many women to binge on sugar and junk food the first few weeks after giving birth. While this may give you a temporary energy boost and high, it exasperates feelings of sadness and irritation. Eat more greens and drink plenty of water. This will not only keep your spirits up, but it will also better nourish your healing body and your growing baby (if you’re breastfeeding).
There are a few supplements that can help boost your mood and energy level. A B-complex vitamin can help give you the extra umph you need to get through the first few weeks. Vitamin D is also a great mood boosting vitamin that many pregnant women have a deficiency in. Take Omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil, flaxseed, or hemp oil are some of the best options. The liquid works a lot faster than the capsules. In addition to regulating your moods and serotonin levels, Omega 3s will help prevent plugged milk ducts, boost your baby’s brain development, and give you pretty hair and skin.
For ultimate nutrition, ensure your vitamins are wholefood supplements and not artificial isolates (click here to learn more about the difference and it’s impact on your health.)
Get Out of the House
Go for a short 10-15 minute walk around the neighborhood or take a quick trip to the store. For new moms who are use to being active, staying home all day during those first few weeks can really take a toll on them. If you’re stimulated by being connected to others, than don’t totally cut off that connection. Also, spending some time outdoors can help boost your vitamin D levels, which is considered the happy vitamin.
Talk to Your Friends or Make New Ones
Talking to loved ones is a great way to give you an emotional boost. Don’t cut yourself off from the world. Of course you need a few days to recover, but calling up a good friend could really do wonders for mood enhancement. Also, being a mom enables you to make lots of new friends with other moms. Women you meet at the hospital, babies r us, or anywhere else will have a lot in common with you. Don’t be afraid to make new contacts.
Keep Your Baby Close
Study after study shows that keeping your baby close to you helps both mommy and baby feel whole. You were together for nine months (in some cases maybe less, maybe more). A little bit of separation anxiety is normal. So don’t worry about “spoiling” your child. Babies only want their needs met. They’re not trying to conspire to manipulate you into getting their way for the rest of their lives. Cuddle with your little one as much as you need to by sleeping together, having skin to skin contact everyday, and babywearing.
These are some simple ways to deal with the baby blues. Try them out for at least a week. If your condition worsens or remains the same, you may want to contact a healthcare provider in your area.
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