New mothers are expected to be all giddy and excited, after all, babies are blessings right? But what happens when a new parent doesn’t feel this way? What happens if a new mother resents her newborn child for depriving her of proper rest, for giving her sore and cracked nipples from breastfeeding, for turning her quiet, steady life into poopy nappies and relentless crying for no reason? Some mothers may feel baby blues, and for some others who have it worse, they may even suffer from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression may affect both genders, but more than 12% of women experience it (source). It is a serious clinical condition that requires professional medical intervention. While postpartum depression seems to affect a lot of new mothers, most of them still avoid talking about it for the fear of being judged as a ‘bad mom’.
As we all know, parenting is no joke, add the hormones going haywire, and expect a lot of crying – both from the baby and the parent. Because babies don’t come with manuals, new parents may tend to be clueless on how to raise their child gracefully. They can get overwhelmed by parenting responsibilities, and may doubt their parenting skills. These feelings, although not fun, are quite normal. Here are some ways to deal with baby blues.
1. Have enough rest.
Although the phrase ‘enough rest’ is quite controversial and probably non-existent for new parents, it is a crucial need. You may think that you have experienced the worst when your sleep pattern has gone crazy since you were pregnant, when you carried a seven pound tiny human in your belly, who by the ways loved to kick your ribs, and when you finally pushed that baby out into the world. Along comes the sleepless nights, sore nipples from breastfeeding, waddling and endless rocking to sleep. It is tiring! And you have to have enough rest, but since that’s debatable, the point is you have to rest as much as you can. Let your husband changer diapers, or cook you food, or clean the house. You have to take advantage of the time to rest while your baby is resting, because that time is golden. You’ve done quite a tedious task of carrying and birthing a human that is both physically and emotionally exhausting. You deserve to rest. You have to rest.
2. Ask for help.
You know the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Well, that is 200% true. While you think you’re a supermom who can do anything for your baby, the truth is, most of the times, you can’t. Sometimes, you have to let other people help you, and sometimes, you have to ask help from people. Stop denying yourself of the help people, especially your family, are willing to offer.
3. Declutter your space, declutter your mind.
Parenting can be overwhelming for the most part, we sometimes forget about our own well-being. Sometimes we’re too engrossed in taking care of our newborn baby that we forget to shower, or clean the house, or just have a me time. Having a baby can turn your life from quiet and steady into poopy nappies and relentless crying for no clear reason. It can drive you nuts if you take your own sanity for granted. So for one, go take a shower, go out for a while to smell the breeze outside, or have a sip of tea while reading your favorite inspirational book. Have someone to babysit for a while, and go out with your husband for a dinner or movie. Keeping in touch with yourself will keep your relationship with your baby a positive one. You may also want to have a general house cleaning, maybe hire a professional rug cleaner in your area (for this service, visit carpet cleaner in Lexinton KY), or just rearrange stuff in your room. A new feel of your environment is always refreshing and exactly what you need to stir away from overwhelming thoughts.
4. Be honest about how you feel.
One step into dealing with baby blues is accepting that you have them. While not everyone wants to talk about it, it is something that a lot of people go through. Admit that your situation as a new parent is something tremendous for you to handle, and that you want to take a step back and just free your mind of all the parenting difficulties. It’s not about not wanting to parent anymore, but it’s more of taking a hold of yourself so you can be a better parent to your child.
Remember that you don’t have to be alone in your parenting journey. Your spouse, family, friends, and even your doctors and nurses are very much willing to help you have a more positive parenting experience.