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To those outside of the exclusive club of motherhood, welcoming a new baby into your home is supposed to be the happiest time of your life. And it is.
But it also isn’t at the same time, especially if you’re suffering from a bad case of the baby blues. To explain that conundrum to someone that hasn’t birthed a child or had a C-section is very difficult. I tried to understand what baby blues was while I was pregnant and I recognized oh I might be sad I’m not pregnant anymore. That simplistic perception of my mental health postpartum gives an idea of the inability to understand without experience.
Heck, that’s the whole experience of being a parent. You have no clue until it happens to you.
When your baby is home and you’re reeling with the changes, remember nothing is “wrong” with you. Your feelings are valid and it doesn’t reflect the depth of love for your baby. There are things you can do to help you feel better, even if it’s temporary. For the majority of women, it’s a fleeting time.
However, I am not a doctor. Please, please, please seek a doctor’s advice if your baby blues persist for longer than 6 weeks. I suggest using a mood tracker because in the case of postpartum depression, the feeling can begin to feel “normal” and you might just think this is your new life. If your mood tracker is showing consistently bad days, again please consult your doctor. Medication is there to help you if you need it.
You have to find some personal time after you bring a new baby home. When your day-to-day activities change so much and become so restricted by a newborn it can be a real downer. You can feel imprisoned, like you’ll never get your life back.
Work out a schedule for you to get “me time” every day. Talk with your husband or boyfriend or mother, whoever is helping you. During this time, shower or soak in the tub (not too long though, because you’re healing). Use candles and bubbles. My boyfriend bought Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt Solution and it was the best way to unwind. I was still very sore from giving birth and I looked forward to my bath soak every evening.
After the bath, I lathered up with coconut lotion and it helped me feel like a normal person again, not just a lactating mess.
Get in a nap if there’s time available or eat a hot meal. Whatever you need to feel energized and ready to tackle a baby again.
Get Out with Baby
This can be hard if your significant other quickly goes back to work, but it’s a must for your mental state. Fresh air is healing and rejuvenating.
Do NOT worry about a baby meltdown. Who cares if your baby starts crying and you have to leave? Chances are your baby would have cried even if you were at home. With a small infant people understand crying and if they don’t, they are not your concern (probably heartless grumps).
I don’t mean take on your whole list for the week at the grocery store. Run to the store and grab that ice cream your craving or that chicken for dinner. Definitely get me hydrating drinks like Gatorade for your milk supply! Go to that boutique or your favorite store and shop around. Go to Walmart and browse face masks or nail polish. Just get out.
Make home relaxing
So your home might take a hit. You might not have time to do all the housework you want. Don’t do, you will catch up.
You want your house to be a little haven though. Invest in some candles you love, buy a few comfy cozy blankets, Make sure you have an excellent comfy nursing bra, new socks, and house slippers.
Comfort objects are very helpful during emotional turmoil.
Acknowledge and Accept your Feelings
Denial will do nothing in helping you move past the baby blues. Even if you’re a hormonal mess, you need to give yourself permission to be that way.
Acknowledge not only the emotions you are feeling but why you might be feeling that way. Sadness over the loss of freedom you had before. Overwhelmed at the lack of sleep and all-consuming nature of newborns. Angry or resentful to your husband, feeling like his life has hardly changed while your whole world has turned upside down. Cry if you need to, there is NO shame in it, momma.
Once you’ve acknowledged them, you can accept that these feelings are a result of a MASSIVE life change. Everything is different after a baby. It’s an adjustment period made more difficult by the hormonal disaster your body is. You WILL adjust and the love for your baby will grow and grow. Children are miracles that will continue to inspire you every day.
The timing is different for everyone, but one day you’ll wake up and it’ll be so much better.