By Jackie Edwards:
Most people think that the first few days after giving birth are some of the most joyous moments in a mother’s life. After all, nothing can be more special than welcoming a new addition to the family. However, some moms may feel weepy, vulnerable, irritable and emotional right after giving birth; so if you’re feeling the same way, you’re not alone. According to research done by the CDC, one in nine women experience postpartum depression or the “baby blues,” but luckily there are some natural and healthy ways to get through this phase.
What are the baby blues?
There are several symptoms of the baby blues. If you’re crying more than usual, withdrawing from loved ones, or feeling disconnected from your baby, it’s likely that you are experiencing this common condition. You may also have the baby blues if you’re constantly worried about hurting the baby or if you’re doubting your ability to be a good mom.
Natural alternatives to antidepressants
Some women choose to turn to psychotherapy and antidepressants to chase these negative feelings away. However, others are uneasy about taking such measures, especially when they’re breastfeeding. Keep in mind that any medication that you take will absorb into your breast milk. While your doctor may be open about the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants during this challenging time, you may prefer choosing a different way to beat postpartum depression without potentially affecting your baby’s health.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to overcome the baby blues, and there are a few things that you can do to feel better. Here are some simple and natural ways to cope with the baby blues.
Talk with someone that you trust
Most women who suffer from the baby blues tend to do so in isolation, but it’s important that you talk about your feelings with someone that you trust. Invite someone that you’re very comfortable with to come over — this means that you don’t have to dress up, put on makeup, or take pains to entertain this person. The best person to invite to your home is someone who can give you great advice but will also take the time to simply listen to you.
Eat foods that are rich in Omega-3
A study shows that a low intake of foods with Omega-3 during pregnancy is associated with developing the baby blues. As the body’s stores of this nutrient become depleted during pregnancy and after giving birth, you’ll need to eat more foods that contain Omega-3, such as salmon, chia seeds, or flax seeds.
A daily intake of chia seeds may also benefit your baby if you’re breastfeeding, as the protein in the seeds helps your baby’s growth and brain development. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds mixed into a smoothie or sprinkled on cereal or yogurt enable you to meet your daily recommended dose of this healthful food.
Get enough exercise
If the weather is pleasant enough, head outdoors with your baby, and take a walk in the park. Just 10 minutes of physical activity a day can do wonders to improve your mood. Going outdoors will also let you and your baby enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine, so try to go out early in the morning before it gets too hot.
Use essential oils
A study shows that some essential oils can be beneficial to improving one’s mood. Bergamot, basil, lime, grapefruit, sweet orange, and neroli have uplifting effects, while lavender has a soothing and relaxing effect, which is good if you’re feeling anxious or worried. Put a few drops of oil on your hand, then rub your hands together. Bring your cupped hands to your nose and inhale. You also can try a self-massage using essential oils. Just add a drop or two to a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, before massaging it into your skin.
You can try all of these tips to alleviate the feelings of loneliness or depression from the baby blues. These methods won’t have an adverse effect on your health or your baby’s well-being. Remember to be kind to yourself and accept help if you need it. Before you know it, you’ll start to enjoy your baby, and you’ll feel better about yourself.