You’ve just had a baby, and you feel like you should feel like you’re on top of the world. But you might not be feeling joyful or excited. Postpartum mood swings, those “baby blues” are normal (about ⅔ of new mothers experience them), and you may feel sad or anxious shortly after giving birth. Here are some natural ways to support your mental health after delivery.
It’s important to get moving, as this can have a positive effect on your mood. Even if you just go on a walk around the block, or do a quick Youtube video workout, make sure you’re doing something to ground yourself in your physical body (and get yourself out of your head) each day.
It can be hard to eat nutritiously as a new mother, but it’s important that you eat a well-rounded diet that gives you -- and your newborn -- the nutrition you need. Meal plan ahead of the week if you need to, and plan out healthy, whole-food snacks ahead of time. You may also want to add more Omega-3 Fatty Acids, like those found in salmon and seeds, which can support your mood.
Take Care of Yourself + Get Support
It can be hard to find time for yourself, especially if you feel overwhelmed and exhausted as a new mother. Rely on friends, family members, or your partner to take care of your newborn; don’t feel like you need to do it all yourself. Use these precious moments of alone time to take a shower or get a quick nap in. And talk to your partner, friends, family members, or other mothers about how you’re feeling. If your feelings of sadness last more than two weeks, talk to your doctor.
Sleep is critical to your mental health. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps, take naps during the day when you can, go to bed early, and rely on your partner to bottle feed your baby, if you’d like an uninterrupted night of sleep.
Sources: Healthline, UTSouthwestern Medical Center, Harvard Health Publishing, Healthline