Giving birth to a baby is very happy and most awaited moment for everyone in the family. A mom to be will be eagerly waiting for the arrival of the precious bundle of joy from the start of her pregnancy and she will have mixed emotions during the last days of her pregnancy like fear and happiness. Once the baby is delivered, the entire family will be jumping out of joy and cherish each and every moment trying to capture the memories in the best possible way. Amidst all these, a mom will be lying down tired, restless, scared, joyful, anxious, happy, all the emotions at once. Right, all these emotions hit most of the new mom’s post-delivery which is normal.
I was also badly hit with pregnancy blues but thank god I soon recovered before I could get hit with postpartum depression. I wish people had told me what to expect after delivery, I wish I knew about the mood swings and how to deal with them then things would have become easier for me. I got all the advice from all over about baby care, how to handle a baby, breastfeeding and foods to eat during breastfeeding etc but not even a single person hinted at baby blues and postpartum depression.
What are postpartum baby blues and postpartum depression and how are they different?
Baby blues are experienced by most new moms after delivery and it might last up to a week or 2 weeks. Baby blues occur due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy and after childbirth. The sudden decrease in pregnancy hormones is the reason for it.
While postpartum depression symptoms are similar to baby blues it is more intense and it lasts for a longer duration. It will also have other symptoms affecting your life and might also affect bonding with the newborn.
What are the symptoms of baby blues and postpartum depression?
Baby blues symptoms include
Weeping even for silly things
Being scared for no reason
Having trouble to sleep
Postpartum depression symptoms are
Extreme anger and irritation
Finding it difficult to bond with baby
Lack of interest in life
Lack of interest to carry out regular activities
Some moms might even get panic attacks
Thoughts about harming self or committing suicide.
How to cope up with baby blues or postpartum depression
1. Talk to your loved one. Stay connected with your family and friends who matter to you, talk to your friends and family. Do not keep your feeling within you. Express it with others and you will feel relieved.
After my delivery, I remember being very scared and anxious only during the night but was not sure what was causing the fear. I would just weep for everything, I wept inconsolably even when my clip broke. I would feel when will the breastfeeding journey ever end and thought to breastfeed as the biggest headache. I felt worthless and a bad woman to feel that way. I finally opened up to my sister and she consoled me saying it’s normal and that it’s okay and I was very much relieved.
2. Get attached to your baby. Do not let this pregnancy blues affect the bonding with your child. Respond to your babies need like feed when the baby is crying, carry and try to soothe your baby, smile when your baby is smiling. Enjoy each and every moment with your child and stay connected. This will help you enjoy your motherhood.
3. Get some rest and more rest. Whether you had a normal delivery or a C section you need to get some rest and sleep. If your baby is awake at night then you will also have to be awake so try to sleep whenever your baby is sleeping. I know this is not as easy as said, but sleep is very essential so try getting sufficient sleep or this will definitely have an impact on your health and mind making you feel depressed.
4. Take care of yourself to feel better. Avoid doing too much work if at all you are doing it. Try doing some mild exercise and this will make you happy. Walk for at least 20 minutes and get some sunlight as well. I know while handling a newborn its difficult to get time for yourself but try to take some time for yourself. Ask for help from your family to take care of the baby while you can rest.
5. Eat healthy and more nutritious food which is good both for you and baby. Include more green leaves and fruits, fresh vegetables. Avoid too much spicy food and masalas. Let the food be simple and healthy.
Please note, if you are feeling depressed for a very long time and the symptoms don’t seem to subside, kindly consult your doctor and take better treatment for this. Also, note that feeling this way is really okay and common in most new moms but act before its late. Get treated and recover soon.