When you’re a new mom, it’s important to manage your emotions. It’s very common to experience depression after having a baby and many women feel like they can’t talk about it or be honest with their partners and friends about how they’re feeling. The most important thing you can do as a new mom is be aware of your feelings and know that there are ways to deal with them. While this article won’t provide specific advice on how to cope with postpartum depression (that depends on what works for you), here are some ideas for dealing with those difficult emotions:
1. Spend some “Me Time”
Getting alone time as a new mom can be challenging, but it’s important for your mental health and well-being. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Enlist the help of a partner or family member: If you have a partner or family member who can watch the baby for a little while, take advantage of it. Even an hour or two of alone time can be beneficial.
- Schedule some time for yourself: If you have a predictable routine with your baby, try to schedule some time for yourself during the day. This can be as simple as taking a long shower or going for a walk alone.
- Take advantage of nap time: When your baby is napping, try to use that time for yourself. You can take a nap yourself, read a book, or do something else that you enjoy.
- Join a support group: Joining a support group for new moms can give you a chance to connect with other moms who understand what you’re going through. Many support groups offer childcare, which can give you some time to yourself.
- Hire a babysitter: If you’re comfortable with it, consider hiring a babysitter for a few hours so you can have some time to yourself. Make sure you choose someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
It’s okay to take some time for yourself as a new mom. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. Taking care of yourself will ultimately make you a better mom to your baby.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Mom’s
Comparing yourself to other new mothers can cause depression in a number of ways. Here are some possible reasons:
- Unrealistic expectations: When you compare yourself to other new moms, you may set unrealistic expectations for yourself based on what you perceive to be “normal” or “perfect.” This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure when you don’t meet those expectations.
- Self-doubt: Constantly comparing yourself to others can cause you to doubt your own abilities as a mother. You may feel like you’re not doing things right or that you’re not as good as other moms.
- Social isolation: If you feel like you don’t measure up to other new moms, you may be less likely to socialize with them. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can contribute to depression.
- Inaccurate comparisons: It’s important to remember that people often only share the best parts of their lives on social media or in person. Comparing yourself to others based on what you see on the surface can be inaccurate and unfair to yourself.
Overall, it’s important to focus on your own journey as a new mom and not compare yourself to others. Every baby and every mother is different, and there is no “right” way to do things. Instead, focus on your own strengths and accomplishments and seek support when you need it.
3.Talk to other new moms.
Reaching out to other new moms to share experiences can be a great way to find support and make connections. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Join a support group: Look for a local support group for new moms in your area. This can be a great way to meet other moms who are going through similar experiences. You can find these groups online, through your healthcare provider, or through community centers.
- Attend local events: Look for events in your community that are geared towards new moms. This can be anything from a breastfeeding support group to a baby yoga class. Attend these events and strike up conversations with other moms.
- Use social media: Social media can be a great way to connect with other new moms. Join a Facebook group or follow other moms on Instagram or Twitter. You can share experiences, ask questions, and offer support.
- Talk to other moms you meet: If you’re out and about with your baby and you see another mom, strike up a conversation. You never know, she may be looking for someone to talk to as well.
- Take advantage of virtual support groups and events to connect with other moms from the comfort of your own home.
Connecting with other new moms can take some effort, but it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make the first move. Many other moms are looking for connections as well.
4. Lower Your Standards
Lower your standards. You don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to do everything right. You don’t even have to be a supermom, or the best at everything. In fact, the more you try to be the “perfect” mom who does everything right all the time, the more likely you are to feel depressed because of this unrealistic expectation (and let’s face it: there’s just no such thing as a perfect parent).
Instead of expecting yourself and others around you (like family members) not only expect but demand perfection from every aspect of being a parent–from breastfeeding on cue every two hours during naps; nursing off schedule? Well then maybe it’s time we stop saying “I’m sorry I can’t nurse him right now” and instead say “I’m sorry but I need some space.”
5. Take care of yourself.
You have a lot to do, and you’re probably feeling exhausted. It’s important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, so that you can be the best mom possible.
- Sleep: Sleep is so important for new moms. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your mood will suffer and it will be hard for you to take care of yourself or others in your life who need support from their mommy (like babies). If you have trouble sleeping, try getting more exercise during the day and reducing stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga before bedtime
A healthy and balanced diet is important for both you and your baby. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods: Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats in your diet. These foods will provide you with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to stay healthy and energized.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and other fluids like milk, juice, and herbal tea to stay hydrated. Breastfeeding can be dehydrating, so make sure you are drinking enough fluids to replace what you are losing.
Consume enough calories: New mothers need extra calories to produce breast milk and support their own recovery. Aim to consume about 300-500 extra calories per day, depending on your individual needs.
Avoid restrictive diets: It is important to avoid restrictive diets or extreme calorie-cutting as this can affect your milk supply and overall health.
Choose healthy snacks: Keep healthy snacks on hand, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and yogurt, to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
Limit caffeine and alcohol: Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as these can be passed on to your baby through breast milk.
6. Have fun! Find things that make you happy
Having fun as a new mother is important for your mental health and well-being. Here are some ideas for how you can have fun:
- Take your baby on a walk: Taking a walk with your baby can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. You can explore new neighborhoods, listen to music or audiobooks, and enjoy the scenery.
- Plan a date night: If you have a partner, plan a date night. This can be as simple as ordering takeout and watching a movie at home or going out to a restaurant.
- Take a class: Consider taking a class that interests you, such as cooking, art, or dance. Many community centers offer classes for new moms and their babies.
- Host a game night: Invite some friends over for a game night. You can play board games, card games, or even video games.
- Try a new hobby: Use your free time to try a new hobby, such as knitting, painting, or gardening.
- Join a mom’s group: Join a mom’s group in your area. You can meet other moms, share experiences, and have fun.
Having fun doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Even small activities can bring you joy and help you feel refreshed. Find activities that you enjoy and that fit into your schedule as a new mom.
7. Recognize that experiencing depression as a new mom is common and nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s important to recognize that experiencing depression as a new mom is common and nothing to be ashamed of. Depression can occur at any time during your pregnancy or after you give birth, but it’s particularly common during the first year of your child’s life.
Reasons why new moms might experience depression:
- You may feel overwhelmed by all of your responsibilities as a parent. This can include taking care of yourself, caring for your children and managing household chores. You may also worry about how much you can do on any given day without feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by all of the tasks ahead of you each day (and night).
- Your hormones are changing rapidly–and this can make some women feel depressed or anxious when they’re pregnant or after giving birth because their bodies aren’t producing enough serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood) naturally anymore due to these hormonal changes caused by pregnancy/labor/postpartum period; this could make certain individuals vulnerable towards developing postpartum depression (PPD).
New Mom Help in the Denver Area
As you can see, there are many ways for new moms to cope with depression. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there is help out there if needed. If your symptoms are severe or don’t go away after trying these tips, we are here to help in the Denver area. We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation with a sex therapy specialist. Click here learn more about our Therapy Services