As Mama’s our bodies go through so much, with several changes throughout pregnancy and then into postpartum. Hormones change, our bodies stretch and grow, then contract again. This is no easy feat and can be mentally challenging as well. The “Baby Blues” are nothing new, but they are definitely a reality. Different sources have reported anywhere from 50-80% of women who have a baby experience postpartum blues. That is a big number! It is so important to be aware of the symptoms and to acknowledge them.
Negative feelings and or mood swings are key characteristics of Postpartum Blues. Often it presents with increased emotions, weepiness or crying for no apparent reason, irritability, impatience, insomnia, feelings of incompetence or overwhelm. Everyone will experience these things differently, but researchers feel hormones may be at the basis of it all. Pair this up with any physical changes you are going through, lack of sleep as a new mom, and the struggle can be very real.
I remember the feeling of not being able to control my emotion so clearly after having my babies. After my first babe I remember my cousin dropped by one day for a visit, and I opened the door to greet her and burst into tears! What a welcome that was! It was so hard to explain how I was feeling. I was happy to see her, I was overwhelmed with a new baby, I was the happiest I had ever been and utterly exhausted all in one moment. This is all normal after having a baby. So when should you start to worry that maybe what your experiencing is more than the blues? If your feelings continue after two weeks postpartum it is so important to discuss with your Health Care Provider, as your Baby Blues may have progressed into Postpartum Depression. If you have a history of depression prior to giving birth you should be followed closely by your health care provider. If your feelings are intense if you ever feel like harming yourself or your baby or someone else- seek help immediately.
Some ways to help manage the symptoms of Postpartum Blues are to talk about how you are feeling to a trusted loved one or friend. Getting it off your chest can help so much. To quote Dr. Jody Carrington, “You have to name it to tame it”. I think there is a lot of value in that statement. Journaling can also beneficial in helping sort through your feelings, getting it all out on paper. Ensuring that you are drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced diet is important too. Changing your scenery and getting outside for fresh air every day can help. If the weather isn’t co-operating, even cracking a open window and changing rooms in your house can give you a different perspective. Mama, lean onto your trusted support people. If help is offered, accept it. Having someone bring in a meal for you, watching the baby so you can go for a walk, or have a shower can make a world of difference. And lastly, give yourself some GRACE. Your body has been through a big change, you have a tiny human that you are feeding, nurturing, and loving on, you are human and you are allowed to stumble. Try not to seek perfection, and give yourself a break.
Please know that as Mama Coaches we are all here to support you in any way we can. We love working with Newborns and have a wonderful Online Newborn Course that is full of great information for you to utilize through your postpartum period. Please reach out to your local Mama Coach we would love to help!