The journey of pregnancy can be a roller-coaster of emotions, to say the least. But even after giving birth, you might find yourself reeling. Even if it’s not your first time as a new mom, the process can feel like a whole new experience, and you may be feeling a cocktail of feelings from being challenged and overwhelmed to fearful or afraid. But don’t worry if you feel like your mental health is taking a strain after giving birth, you’re not the only one, and there are plenty of things you can do to get yourself back on track.
With this in mind, today we’re going to explore some of the best tips you need to know
when it comes to maintaining your mental health as a new mom and making the most of this beautiful experience.
Spend Intentional Time with Your Baby
The birth of a baby can be exhausting, and of course, as a new mom, there’s so much you’re going to be thinking about and so many thoughts racing through your head. Likewise, there are going to be times you feel like you do nothing but spend time with your baby. However, one of the best ways to ease your mind and relax into things is just to spend intentional time with your baby and bond with him/her. Take some time out of your day just to enjoy the company of your baby and form that connection. Hold, talk to, and feed your baby to nurture those feelings and to appreciate the wonderful time of this life you’re currently in.
Don’t Compare to Others
Whether you’re looking at the seemingly blissful lives of other mothers in your peer group or community or taking note of the advertisements on the television and social media, remember, the journey through motherhood is different for everyone, and your journey as a new mom is your own. While unique and special in their own way, no mother is flawless, and everyone gets stressed out, overwhelmed, and exhausted from time to time. It’s okay to feel this way, and it’s okay to open up about it to friends, your partner, or other mothers. You don’t need to force yourself to believe things should be a certain way. Just accept the present and move forward with it.
Look After Yourself
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of spending all your time looking after your baby and other family members that you forget to look after yourself properly. Always take time to yourself, whether you’re reading, watching TV, having a bath, or just going for a walk. Eat and drink properly to make sure your own health is well looked after.
“Being healthy is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to
happiness, and if you’re living as healthy as possible, this level of well-being is going to creep into your everyday life” states June Harper, a lifestyle blogger for Paper Fellows and State of Writing. “It’s important to take breaks and look after yourself, and while being a mother is a full time job, having time for yourself is one of the most important steps you can take.”
Be Open with Your Feelings
As we spoke about above, it’s okay to feel negative emotions after giving birth, and while
it’s important to accept them, it can be incredibly helpful to talk about your experiences as a new mom with someone else. It doesn’t matter who this is, as long as you trust them and there’s a chance they’ll understand you. If you feel alone, seek out parenting groups and do your best to meet like-minded mothers who are at the same stage as you. After all many of us are going through the same things. “Baby Blues,” for example, is something that can commonly occur for a new mom around ten days after childbirth and includes symptoms like feeling depressed and anxious, suffering from mood swings, or crying for what feels like no reason. This is all normal and is just your body trying to balance with your hormones. Give it time, and things will return to normal quickly. However, talking with others is one of the best ways to keep things in perspective and remember that what you’re feeling is not uncommon.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Sleep is, hand’s down, one of the most important considerations you’ll need to be thinking about when it comes to preserving your postpartum mental health. Sleep is the be-all and end-all when it comes to good mental health even when you’re not a new mom, so you need to make sure you’re getting enough of it, especially now. This may seem an impossible task in the early days, but it is critical so don’t be afraid to ask your partner or another friend or family member for help when you feel exhaustion setting in.
“Of course, the baby doesn’t yet know the difference between day and night, but setting up
routines and making sure you get a good solid number of hours will make a world of
difference,” explains Betty Arnold, a health writer for Academized and Australian Help.
The Bottom Line
Having a baby is a life-changing event, and there’s so much beauty to be found at this
moment. While amazing, remember have feeling bad or having negative feelings/emotions
is completely natural. As long as you’re proactive in being yourself, these are feelings that
can pass in time. If you feel abnormal for a prolonged amount of time, you can always seek the advice of a medical professional who can help you on an individual and personal basis.