As a new mom, the joys of bringing a baby into the world can be eclipsed by a touch of the baby blues.
Before I share my personal story of my own Baby Blues and how I got over it, here are some basic information:
First things first…
There is a range of emotions when it comes to the postpartum experience, and some of which is not all rosy.
Did you know:
• 50-80% of women experience “baby blues” within the first two weeks following delivery
• 10%-25% of women experience postpartum depression (PPD) also known as postpartum major (PMD)
• 0.1% to 0.2% of women experience postpartum psychosis usually within the first 4 weeks following delivery
How do I know if I have the “Baby Blues” or if it’s something more severe?
Baby Blues is a mild form of post partum depression, and it can often be as gentle as having mood swings, crying, worrying or irritability. Of course other signs include helplessness, sadness, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. If these symptoms persist over two weeks, it might be a sign of depression.
This can come about from:
Significant role changes from being a mother
Changes in relationships with partner, family and friends
Lifestyle changes (financial pressures)
Fatigue (low energy)
Physical changes in body (weight gain)
9 Things I Did to Get Over the Blues
I felt like a failure not able to comfort my child. Any movement from wherever I was in the room to my child’s crib was labored and clumsy. By the time I got to her, my yuesao already appeased her.
1. Remember Your Priorities
I had to remember we hired a confinement yuesao because we wanted to focus on my recovery and rather than overwhelm ourselves from the get-go.
I felt incapable. I wasn’t able to coddle my child. At most I was just the feeding machine.
2. Get Rest
I hated my yuesao for not giving me enough time with the baby the first week, I realized her role is to assist me until I am in a better condition to handle mothering duties and a breastfeeding schedule.
Feedings were a chore, not an enjoyment. I felt like I was a prisoner in my own home.
3. Speak Up to Your Needs
My yuesao knew I was exclusive breastfeeding. She kept pushing for natural breast over pump regardless of cracked nipples, I had to talk to her about my needs and my personal comfort zone. Especially, how she plans on handing over caretaking responsibilities to me over what period of time to control my expectations.
I was frustrated at all the gizmos attached to the breast pump, and spent middle of the night feedings wishing it was over rather than relishing in the glow of motherhood.
4. Personal Oasis
One of the things I was grateful for having is a diffuser and my oils. During the most painful periods of breastfeeding I was able to create a calm atmosphere with an infusion of oils, which helped distract me from the pain of missed latches. Also, a relaxing playlist of songs was a great help to set the mood.
I felt anxious for not providing enough for my baby. I was frustrated at everything that wasn’t done according to how the countless baby books described.
5. Talk it Out
What helped me get through the first few weeks of bringing our baby home was having heart to heart talks with my partner. We were able to openly share our feelings, how we could improve and what we needed from each other.
I was jealous of my yuesao and my partner for having all the time with my daughter. I was angry with myself for not recovering fast enough.
6. Find an Activity to Bond
My partner and I formed a feeding and burping team when it was baby’s feeding time. In the circumstance where I am unable to breastfeed, our yuesao would bottle feed next to us while I pump, and my partner would continue to assist burping.
My stomach still looked as if I am 8 months pregnant. I was swollen like an elephant and I felt like an exhausted dairy cow.
7. Pelvic Floor Exercises
By doing pelvic floor exercises at home, I was able to feel more energetic and more positive about my body image. This also helped me feel in control of my postnatal recovery, which for the first time since the delivery, I felt I was in-charge.
8. Retail Therapy
Looking like a kangaroo-elephant hybrid did nothing for my self-esteem. Instead, I invested in a good postnatal belly wrap and shopped for one to two new dresses that will lift my mood.
After 9 months of foregoing manicures, pedicures and massages, this is the time to squeeze in some pampering. Of course it is harder if you do not have the help, but if you are able to have an extra pair of hands to look after your little one for an hour or two, getting pampered is a must for lifting up the blues.
** Please note the author is speaking from her own personal “Baby Blue” experiences and in no way coercing you to conform to her choices.
To learn more about the baby blues or postpartum depression, you may contact H.Sema Malinova at:
Mobile :+86 13162397067
About H.Sema Malinova
Director of International Department Shanghai Baijia Maternity Hospital
IPCF Registered Senior Psychology Consultant (Prenatal –Perinatal Psychology) CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapist) Oxford College UK
Working with Lamaze International and Waterbirth Organisation.
Raising awareness on natural healthy birth practices and importance of prenatal -maternal mental health.
Pioneer of Self Hypnosis Based Gentle Birth China/Birth Coach
Lamaze Childbirth Educator Parent Advocate / Breastfeeding Consultant
Delivering hospital staff trainings, and providing “Prenatal Perinatal Psychology Support Counseling” to the women and families together with the maternity services at Baijia Maternity Care Holdings’ Hospitals.
Shanghai Baijia Maternity Hospital
Address: 1045 Hong Mei Lu
Tel: 021 6728 5299
WeChat ID: SH-Baijia100