Home > Health > Health > Mind > Pregnancy > pregnancy > Tips For Coping With Conditions Like Baby Blues & Post Natal Depression.

Carrying a human around in your body for nine months and then giving birth to said human, is a feat of nature that’s so wonderous and profound. The physical and hormonal changes that our body experiences during this time often contributes to our moods, and we should never underestimate just how life altering pregnancy and childbirth is.

Baby Blues

Having a baby can offset a whole range of emotions such as euphoria, excitement, and a deep abiding love for the life you’ve carried into the world. But it can also trigger negative emotions. Baby blues is a condition that 50 % of women are likely to experience after giving birth. Symptoms include but are not restricted to feeling sad and weepy, irritability towards your partner and loved ones, and feeling disconnected to the world around you. Medical experts state that baby blues usually occurs during the first week of pregnancy and is often confusing for women because the expectation is that we should feel jubilant and contented after having a baby.

Postnatal depression

Many conflate baby blues with postnatal depression because the symptoms can be quite similar, but they are in fact two separate conditions. Women tend to experience postnatal depression 2-8 weeks after giving birth, and 1 in 10 of us will sadly go through it. While baby blues symptoms don’t usually stop you from functioning and living your day-to-day life, postnatal depression can be debilitating and may even require medical intervention and treatment in more severe cases. Dr Carla Runchman is a Clinical Psychologist who also writes about the psychology of motherhood on her blog Mama Diary. Speaking to The Mum Club, she says, “Whilst ‘baby blues’ in the first few days is normal, persistent low mood is not. This can look different for different people, but might typically include, feelings of hopelessness, struggling to feel connected with your baby, loss of appetite or eating more than normal, or feeling anxious or experiencing panic attacks. These are some of the most common signs of postnatal depression, but there are many complex factors that influence our mental health. One size does not fit all, and you are the expert on you.” If you’re currently feeling any of these symptoms, it’s crucial that you open up about it to your partner or a friend/relative, although we recognise that it isn’t always easy to do so when you are in the thick it. Acknowledging that you’re finding life after baby challenging is so difficult, but once you allow those thoughts and feelings to be expressed, you are on your way to getting better and getting the help and support you need. Get in touch with your health visitor, who will be well equipped to recognise the signs of postnatal depression and will be able to provide assistance. It’s also important to make an appointment with your GP so they can make an accurate assessment based on your symptoms. Treatments for postnatal depression include counselling or prescribed anti-depressants in some cases.

Tips for coping with the baby blues/postnatal depression

We’ve mentioned that more serious cases of postnatal depression are best handled professionally, but there are some useful tips you can incorporate for milder cases of the condition as well as the baby blues.
Get out of the house

This is such an overlooked tip, but it’s so super important that you get out as often as you can when you have a baby. We know it can often take such a huge effort to get up, get dressed as well as get baby fed, dressed and watered (especially during the midst of the sleepless night’s stage), but trust us – the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Fresh air and daylight are awesome mood boosters. They release serotonin that stabilises your mood and ignites feelings of happiness and contentment. Similarly, walking is also beneficial to your well-being. It improves your sleep quality, elevates your mood, and reduces stress and anxiety.

Delegate tasks

With so much pressure from society to be perfect mums we take it upon ourselves to do everything around the house when we’ve just had a baby. From cooking organic meals, ensuring the house is spotless at all times, to catering to baby’s every whim – it’s no wonder that we’re often left feeling exhausted and deflated. Dr Carla explains why delegation is fundamental, stating: “You must ensure your basic needs are being met. Can someone look after the baby while you have a shower, take a nap or eat some delicious, nourishing food? These very simple acts of self-care can make all the difference to how you feel in the early, chaotic days after giving birth.”

Join a mums group

It often goes unsaid how terribly lonely those early months can be after giving birth. After the fun and excitement of friends and relatives popping round to meet your newborn quietens down, and your partner goes back to work after paternity leave – it’s often just you and baby. And of course, you adore your little Bubba to bits, that goes without saying, but the absence of day-to-day interaction with adults can be difficult to deal with. Joining a mother and baby group is an incredible way to meet and connect with women who are experiencing the exact same thing you are – the good, the bad and everything in between. Ensure you are signed up to our newsletter so you can be notified of upcoming events.

Minimise social media activity

In the week that brought us Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp outage and a Facebook whistle blower exposed to the world the extent to which social media plays a part in depression and feelings of unworthiness, it’s safe to say we should all be taken inventory of how we use technology. While it can definitely be a force for good and connect us with like-minded individuals, endless hours of scrolling can indeed contribute to negative emotions such as social status anxiety, FOMO, unrealistic life expectations, anxiety, and depression. Keep your social media usage to a minimum, and instead spend the time enjoying every moment with the beautiful new life you’ve brought into this world.

Get. Some. Sleep.

We can imagine the eye roll at this heading, but we’re going to say it anyway: quality sleep is essential to your wellbeing. Yes, we know when the baby sleeps it gives you the perfect opportunity to catch up on the washing, house chores, the latest episode of Squid Game, and a chit chat with your bestie. But please, get your sleep on anyway. There are so many awesome physical and mental health benefits from sleeping. It moderates your stress levels, energises you, reduces inflammation, improves your concentration, and detoxifies your brain, just to name a few.

Talk, then talk some more.

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to talk to someone if you’re feeling low. Even if you feel it’s of little importance because your sadness only feels fleeting and surface-level – talk anyway. Most of us have experienced mental health challenges related to pregnancy and childbirth, and it’s high time we start normalising that.

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