Welcoming a new baby can be an exciting time for the family, but this could also mean a lot of potential stress for a new mother. Whether you’re a first-time mom or not, the feelings can be overwhelming at times. When you’ve just given birth, there could be a lot of emotions, fears, and not to mention physical exhaustion that piles up. And new mothers are somehow catapulted into a whole new universe.
With everything a new mother goes through, it may not be surprising how postpartum depression, among other mental health problems, can become real. It’s a fact that’s no longer a taboo. Yes, the newborn baby needs care and attention, but so does the mom. Anxiety and depression can take a toll on a new mother, with the worst effect as drastic as lost lives.
There are a few things a new mother can do to help manage postpartum blues away. This article outlines some insights into how a new mother can achieve mental wellness.
- Know The Signs Of A Mental Health Issue
Feeling tired once in a while can be different from that piling up of stress and exhaustion, leading to sudden bursts of anger or tears. The former can be typical, given the amount of work new moms have to face. While the latter, might be a mental health issue brewing up.
Postpartum depression can generally happen to new moms from the first month to a year of giving birth. It’s a real mental health issue affecting thousands of new moms across the globe. And as such, it’s crucial to know and understand the signs of a mental health issue. By doing so, you can submit to therapy and seek help from a therapist in Portland Oregon, or wherever you’re from.
Treatment is readily available to new moms nowadays. And it doesn’t make you any less of a good mom when you decide you need therapy and seek professional help. In fact, when you’re in a bout of depression, therapy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family, who depend a lot on you.
- Take Care Of Your Physical Well-Being
Taking care of your physical well-being as a new mom is more than just about vanity. After birth, it’s normal for moms to feel like they’ve lost their self-esteem and confidence. Sleepless nights may have them looking tired and restless, or the added baby weight may not make you so happy about your physique. Then there’s the now-limited time to take care of yourself and dress well.
When taken as a whole, that loss of confidence in one’s physicality may also result in mental health issues. This fact is one of the reasons why it is essential to take good care of your physical well-being, even as a new and busy mom.
There are so many ways you can take good care of yourself. Below are some things you can consider:
- Take a walk outside, even if it’s only for a quick time.
Taking care of a newborn may have you feeling like you’re trapped inside your home the entire day, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. You can sneak in even half an hour a day to take a walk outside, such as when your baby is asleep.
Taking a walk outside can be good for your mental and physical health. Walking is one of the easiest but most effective ways to lose some of the excess baby weight you’ve gained. As to your mental health, exposure to natural light and getting a chance to see other people may have drastic effects in avoiding depression and anxiety.
- Invest in a stylish maternity bra.
Just because you’ve given birth recently doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish anymore, or you can’t desire to look and feel sexy. The intimates department of fashion has seen and heard your cries, moms, for better-looking maternity wear.
As such, consider shopping around for stylish ones. There are various maternity and breastfeeding bras that are as stylish as regular bras. Even this piece of clothing can have a tremendous effect in helping you feel sexier and better about yourself, even when you’re breastfeeding.
- Embrace dry shampoo.
There are those days when getting a full shower isn’t possible. Or, perhaps you could be too tired and busy to think about washing your hair. That’s fine, as dry shampoo is there to save the day!
On the days when you’ve only managed to have time to wash your body, you can leave your hair in your dry shampoo. With just a few sprays, you can have bouncy, shiny, and beautiful hair, as if you’ve taken the time for a good hair care routine. Doing this could help make you feel instantly presentable, especially when guests suddenly come in for a visit.
- Set Small, Achievable Goals
Moms are often touted as today’s modern wonder women. However, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything every day. Even if you’ve been the master of multi-tasking and productivity, it may be a different story now that a new baby has arrived. They can demand so much of your time and attention, often even more than you initially expected.
As such, give yourself a break from those long to-do lists. For instance, you don’t have to make your house picture-perfect all the time. No one will care if, when they visit, your house is a bit untidy. And those dearest to you will understand how challenging it is to care for a newborn.
To avoid burning yourself out, consider keeping your goals for the day limited to small and achievable ones. Once the baby is asleep, it’s normal to have that urge to be productive. But, take it one task at a time. You can do the dishes or the pump parts first. If you’re exhausted or hungry after that, you can relax and have a quiet time to sip tea or eat without rushing. All the other chores can wait.
Those little accomplishments may help you feel more successful, even as a tired and sleepless new mom. It might be better than that disappointment of feeling like you haven’t ticked anything on your to-do list.
- Sleep When Baby Sleeps
This suggestion might be something commonly heard by many new moms. Sleep when the baby sleeps. It may be an all-too-popular phrase, but it’s still worth discussing.
As briefly touched on in the previous section, it’s normal to feel like you have to use the time when the baby is asleep to catch up on things at home. Yes, the chores are always going to be there, or perhaps you want your home to look good and tidy. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.
If your energy is up for it, you can go ahead and do the tasks one at a time; however, if you feel tired and sleepy, you can skip doing the chores and sleep with your baby instead. Note that sleeping is essential and not a waste of time. In fact, you need it too for a good rest, so your physical and mental health won’t suffer.
Generally, when you lack proper sleep, you won’t be able to think clearly. In effect, your mood may suffer. You wouldn’t want to let that mood lash out on the entire household because of exhaustion. Eventually, you’ll be able to settle into a good routine and schedule, especially once your baby starts to sleep better.
- Give Yourself Permission To Learn About Motherhood
Despite reading over a hundred parenting books before the baby arrives, nothing can prepare anyone for motherhood more than the experience itself. Many would say that a mother’s instincts will kick in after birth, and in most cases, there’s truth to that.
Also, there’s no single way to parent, and you’re bound to make a few mistakes here and there. But, as long as your baby stays happy, healthy, content, and safe, that could mean that you’re doing a great job.
That said, be gentle with yourself. Permit yourself to learn about motherhood as you go. It’s normal for everyone around you to have an opinion on what to do, what not to do, and how to parent your child. However, you don’t have to feel like you need to please everyone and listen to everything they have to say. With time and practice, you and your baby will eventually find what would work best as you learn from each other.
- Eat Well
You are what you eat, and this also applies to new moms. Especially for breastfeeding moms, you may have to be particular about what you’re eating, as that’s also what your breastmilk will contain. One of the simple rules to remember is always to choose healthy food over junk food.
You can allow yourself a treat and a break once in a while to have chocolate, ice cream, pizza, or whatever food makes you happy. However, for your daily meals, you may want to skip the urge to run to fast food or junk food.
New mothers always want to give the best care and love to their little ones. And in between those busy days and long nights, it can also be an all-too-common scenario to see new moms forgetting about their well-being.
Often, their needs may come last, including their mental health. Depression doesn’t have to be a reality in a new-baby household, especially when the mother is happy and getting all the love and support. As you shower your little one with love, don’t forget to give yourself some love, too, with doable techniques like those above.