Post-partum depression is a real condition that affects roughly 20 percent of new mothers. Giving birth is a traumatic experience on the body, and all the hormonal fluctuations that go along with pregnancy are troublesome. As a woman, you must open up to others when the baby blues get out of hand.
It’s normal to feel a bit blue after going through the experience of giving birth. However, you must realize that if your sadness lasts more than a couple of weeks, then you must do something about it.
Ten Natural Ways to Beat the Baby Blues
If you go to your doctor telling them that you believe you have post-partum depression, he or she will be eager to put you on antidepressant medication. Sadly, antidepressants don’t work for everyone, and they come with some nasty side effects.
Though the medical community praises these new classes of drugs as non-habit forming, trying to go off of one of these medications, cold-turkey can land you in the hospital.
Additionally, many new moms swear off medication due to breastfeeding their babies. Look to Mother Nature for your solution, instead!
Thankfully, you can turn to nature and the power of the body to heal and restore itself during this challenging time. Here are some ways that you can naturally combat the blues.
1. Stay Busy
It’s hard to have the baby blues when you keep your mind engaged and stay busy. Even though it’s hard to walk through new places and might be unsafe for a newborn, you should try to get out as much as possible. Even a 30-minute drive is an excellent distraction.
If you must take your child with you, then make sure to avoid situations where people are coughing and want to touch your adorable infant.
Part of the reasons why so many mothers fight depression is because their routine is interrupted. They are stuck behind four walls, and it seems as if the whole world has gone away. You must try to retain as much normalcy as possible as isolation is asking for trouble.
2. Get Outside in the Sunshine
Nature has many healing properties. Just 20 minutes in the sun can boost your Vitamin D levels, which are essential for your mental wellbeing. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass as it can help you feel grounded. No wonder they say the earth has such healing properties.
You can take a walk down the block and bring your baby along. The cool breeze against your face will feel good to you and your child. Never underestimate the power of Mother Nature’s therapy, especially when you have post-partum depression.
3. Take Care of You
While you’re busy feeding, clothing, and diapering your little one, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s okay to have your hair done, get a pedicure, and spend some quality time with your friends or family members.
How can you possibly take care of anyone else if you are tired and run down all the time? To take care of the demanding needs of an infant, you need strength and encouragement. There’s nothing better in the world than a little bit of pampering as it can instantly lift your spirits.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
As a new mother, you will need help. There’s no way you can do this all on your own. Don’t ever be afraid to ask your friend or family members to step in and give assistance.
It’s always best to have someone who has been through the process before, and they know exactly what to do.
However, you should take any help you can get when you are at wit’s end. There will be times when the baby is crying, and nothing consoles your child. When you feel out of control and like you cannot take it anymore, reach out for help.
Both you and your child will feed off from each other’s negative energy, and you need someone to step in and assist.
5. Try Herbal Supplements
There are many herbal supplements on the market that can combat post-partum depression. Some of the best herbs for the baby blues are as follows:
It’s excellent for calming your mind and bringing anxiety relief. It can be used on your pillow at night to induce a night of peaceful sleep.
• St. John’s Wart
This herb is as potent as some antidepressants on the market. Though it won’t bring quick relief as it needs to build up in your system, it can certainly be added to other herbs to help.
Chamomile is widely known for its calming effects that can help with sleep. It makes a delicious tea that you should use before bedtime.
There have been a lot of studies on this herb, as it’s known to be as calming as a benzodiazepine drug. There are many different magnesium varieties, so you want to make sure you get Magnesium lactate or oxide for your blues. Be careful when using this herb as it can be quite sedating.
• B Vitamins
B Vitamins have been highly praised because they can stop anxiety and depression by balancing the chemical levels in the brain. Find a good supplement that has B6, B7, and B 12 in it. It may be all you need to get better.
Many other herbal supplements will work for post-partum depression. You may need to try many and play with some combinations until you find the one that works for you.
Of course, you should check with your physician before taking any supplements–especially if you are breastfeeding.
6. Use Alternative Therapies
Many alternative therapies can be quite beneficial to someone suffering from the baby blues. These therapies include:
• Yoga or Tai Chi
7. Join a Support Group
When you’re a new mom, you will feel times of isolation and become lonely. It’s best to join a support group that can help you deal with this time in your life. Other women feel the same as you, and together you can talk through the daily stressors and get through them.
There are both online and in-person support groups. You can find one that suits your needs and connect with the most helpful people. These groups are meant to be a positive step in a stressful part of your life.
There’s nothing better than seeing your little one grow and change. However, it’s okay to admit that it’s stressful and overwhelming. Your support group can help you develop friendships with people in the same position in life.
8. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
It’s hard to get enough sleep when the baby is up to feed every couple of hours. However, when the baby is sleeping, you should try to rest too. Even if you only get a couple of hours here or there, you need at least 8-10 hours for the entire day.
If you build up a sleep deficit, it can cause problems, including the baby blues. If you’re not getting the required amount of sleep, you can experience anxiety, depression, become irritable and grouchy, and even hallucinate.
9. See a Therapist for your Baby Blues
If your problem with the baby blues sinks to horrible places, then you need professional help. If you have any thoughts about hurting yourself or your child, then it’s an emergency. Ongoing depression can cause you to think about all sorts of things that you would never consider in your right mind.
Get help immediately if you ever feel as if you are in the dark enough place that you don’t care if you live or die. There are too many cases in history where women fight depression after giving birth have ended their life or that of their child.
Exercise is one of the best ways to combat the baby blues. When you are moving, your heart rate and serotonin level increases. Did you know that many people avoid antidepressants and other treatments by merely exercising their way through it?
Few know how beneficial a workout is to your body. As you do maneuvers in exercise, your brain releases feel-good endorphins. These endorphins help you to feel better. It’s a healthy way to combat your depression that makes you feel good about you and your body.
Remember, you are not alone in your battle with the baby blues. Two out of every ten new mothers are going through the same thing. You can combat this difficult time in your life holistically. There’s no need to take medications unless you absolutely must.
You can find relief and healing through Mother Nature, the power of herbs, exercise, and leaning on your support group. It’s important to note that if at any time, you feel like you want to hurt you or your child that you seek prompt medical attention. The blues can quickly turn into a clinical depression due to hormonal shifts and imbalances that can be severe.
Always be safe rather than sorry. You will get through this time, and you will be able to help others one day experiencing the same thing.