The postpartum phase of life, after bringing a new child into the world, can be both wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. Having a baby is one of the most life-altering experiences a person can have and mixing that with the fluctuation of hormones that rush through the body of a new mother can cause a lot of emotions. This is all very normal and should not be pushed down but instead better understood. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your time of postpartum, read the guide below for helpful tips on emotional well-being and managing stress, anxiety, and mood swings. 

Understanding Postpartum Changes

Baby Blues

This symptom of postpartum happens to most new moms and can be categorized by moments of crying, mood swings, anxiety, and even trouble sleeping. These are all normal occurrences and are completely understandable for a person who has just grown another person inside of them and is now physically separate from them. Although this range of emotions and lack of sleep schedule can feel eternal, the baby blues should only last for a couple of weeks as you adjust to your new routine.

Postpartum Anxiety

Anxiety that arises in the hours and days after giving birth can manifest in bouts of excessive worrying, panic attacks, and even dizziness. If these symptoms get more severe and you are not sleeping due to constant worry about your baby, talk to your doctor about breathing techniques and safe medications. 

Postpartum Depression 

Although sometimes mistaken for an extended version of baby blues, postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects some new mothers after giving birth. The symptoms to look out for in postpartum depression are excessive crying, trouble bonding with the baby, withdrawal from loved ones, and even thoughts of harm. If you feel like you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they have persisted for more than a few weeks, reach out to a therapist who can help you and your loved ones work on a plan for getting you feeling like yourself again. There continue to be new studies about this condition and how to cure it as more awareness is brought to the issue.

How to Care for Yourself

If you are feeling any symptoms from the conditions above, the most important thing is to take care of yourself first and foremost. You cannot take care of your loved ones if you are not first making sure that you are well both mentally and physically. 

Lean on Your Support System

Having a baby is a lot of work and the people in your life know that. Never be afraid to reach out to parents, siblings, and partners to ask for help. You will be surprised how many people will be ready and willing to take a few minutes to watch the baby so you can take a shower or a nap. Don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself and what you need in the first weeks of postpartum.

Cut Out Time For Yourself

Although spending time with your new baby can be a magical experience, it can also strain a person’s mental health. Make the time to schedule a massage or have lunch with a friend while your partner watches the baby. Keeping a semblance of normalcy in the chaos that is taking care of a newborn can make all the difference in the first few weeks and months. 

Speak to a Therapist

Even if you are not experiencing extreme emotional distress, it is still important to talk to a therapist about this big change in your life. Talking to a therapist also allows you to have real adult conversations with someone and break out of the constant baby talk. It can be very grounding to get your thoughts out there and focus in on your mental well-being once a week.

Prioritize Self Care

Self-care in the postpartum era looks like eating enough food, washing your hair regularly, and getting adequate sleep. Finding little ways to fulfill your needs while also settling into your new routine will help you manage your emotions better because things will become more predictable. As your baby starts to get a sleep schedule, try to rest whenever they are resting, eat when they are eating, and get outside for walks. A bit of exercise can do wonders for mental health.

Postpartum Emotional Well-Being: Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Mood Swings

How to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Build a Strong Emotional Bond with Your Baby

When the stress of being in charge of a little life gets overwhelming, remember to take the quiet moments with your baby and snuggle with them to build a better bond. This can be done through skin-to-skin contact in the early days as well as cradling them while rocking them to sleep. Find quiet moments to speak to your baby as your voice is one they have heard for months while growing in the womb. 

Communicate Openly with Your Partner and Family

Do not be afraid to voice your concerns about your emotional and mental well-being with those close to you. Having mood swings, stress, and anxiety are to be expected and family members and friends who care about you are ready to listen if you are struggling. Keeping open communication can help others in your life spot if something is going really wrong and they can help you in ways that you cannot help yourself sometimes.

Seek Professional Help

If your thoughts turn to wanting to harm yourself or your baby, seek medical attention immediately. This is a symptom of postpartum depression and has nothing to do with you as a mother. With the physical trauma that your body has gone through in the birthing process, your mind is struggling to process and you may need some medication to regulate your mental health. This is nothing to be ashamed of and is becoming more of a well-known and talked about issue among new mothers. The more people acknowledge that they need help, the faster they will get better.

Having a baby is a thrilling and stressful experience and long gone are the days of mothers trying to hide that they have it all figured out. Do not be afraid to speak openly about your struggles because other new moms are likely going through it too.

What do you think?

No Comments Yet.