You anticipated the arrival of your new baby for months. You envisioned blissful joy and infinite love. But SMACK! Reality just hit you hard. 80% of new moms will have the Baby Blues. This is not the same as postpartum depression or anxiety. But, is it ever rough to deal with! The reality of having a new baby is sometimes surprising. You’ll cry over the littlest things. On top of the hormonal upheaval, you’re getting little to no sleep. No matter how many babies you’ve given birth to, this rough patch is a big adjustment.
Since 80% of new mothers experience the Baby Blues, you, hopefully, will have a lot of empathy from others who have also had the Baby Blues. The Baby blues usually begins in the first week postpartum. You may find yourself crying over nothing at all. You may even find some serious resentment towards those who get to sleep straight through the night – including your loving partner! You may even wonder, “What the heck was I thinking having a baby? This is flippin’ hard!”
A Hormonal Tsunami
You just grew a whole human being in your body. Do you know what kind of energy and hormones that requires? Just because people do it every day doesn’t mean it’s easy. You also are having rapid and extreme hormonal changes beginning but not ending with labor and birth. Those rolling hormonal changes keep on coming as your body adjusts to this new reality.
Symptoms of Baby Blues:
Unable to Concentrate
Feelings of Insecurity
Challenges of Being a New Mom
In additional to that postpartum hormonal tsunami, you are sleep deprived. That alone can make anyone feel crazed and dazed! If you had a traumatic birth or a disappointing birth, you will need lots of emotional support to work through your birth experience. It is normal to feel grief over the loss of your dream birth. So have empathy and ask for empathy. Having to be at someone’s beck and call 24/7 can be overwhelming no matter how much you love this little baby. If you had a surgical birth, you are also recovering from major abdominal surgery. That’s huge! And if breastfeeding your baby isn’t going so well, that is an entirely different challenge. Breastfeeding can be difficult for a lot of women for various reasons. More women have breastfeeding challenges than you can imagine. Lactation consultants can be a God send.
Get Emotional Support
Find a Lactation support group.
See a psychologist who specializes in postpartum depression and Baby Blues.
See a lactation consultant to help you with breastfeeding.
Ask for help with everything from dinner to grocery shopping to laundry.
Find someone to come over to watch the baby so you can take a nap.
Sleep when your baby sleeps.
Find a mothers’ support group.
Get moderate exercise.
Eat a balanced diet with as much fresh foods as you can and limit the processed food.
Hang in there! “This too shall pass” – usually after the third week postpartum.