Ways to Ease New Mom Depression and Enjoy Life with Baby (and Everyone Else)
Being a new mom is always a big adjustment. No matter how much you love your baby, having him or her turns your life upside down for a while. While some degree of “baby blues” is normal, new mom depression is more serious. Fortunately, you don’t need to suffer from feeling bad. Take these steps to recover and start enjoying the life you deserve.
9 Ways to Ease New Mom Depression
1. Get Some Fresh Air
Houston is a beautiful city with warm weather for most of the year. You’re missing out on a lot if you spend every moment of every day indoors. Getting out in some air will revive you and make you feel like you’re part of the world again. Put baby in a stroller and go out for a walk.
2. Eat Well
As a busy new mom, you might be skipping meals or grabbing whatever you can quickly eat. In the long run, eating poorly or too little can make you feel more rundown. Being undernourished can actually make new mom depression worse. Keep healthy, nutritious food on hand that you can eat with minimal preparation.
3. Get Some “Me Time”
It’s normal for new moms to spend most of their time caring for the baby. But you spend so much time caring for your baby that you are probably not getting much time to yourself. Enlist your spouse or a friend to watch the baby so you can spend an hour or two doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s browsing the bookstore with a coffee or getting a massage, it’s important to do something for yourself.
4. Take a Nap
Sleep deprivation is common when you have a baby in the house. But a lack of sleep contributes to new mom depression in a big way. As often as you can, let your spouse handle the baby for a bit and take a nap—you’ll almost certainly feel a lot better.
5. Spend Time with Friends
Remember how much fun you had with your friends before you had your baby? It’s time to reach out to your friends again. Spend an afternoon shopping at one of the great malls in Houston or meet for lunch. Isolation is also common for new moms who may be at home on maternity leave. This can make new mom depression even worse. Fortunately, the antidote is easy–just see your friends again.
6. Get Some Exercise
Exercise really is a cure-all. Not only will it help your body bounce back more quickly from your pregnancy, it can also help to stabilize your moods. If you’re having trouble finding time to exercise, consider taking a “mommy and me” exercise class with your baby.
7. Consider Medication
Many new moms think they can’t take medications like antidepressants, especially if they’re breastfeeding. Although you should always check with your doctor, many antidepressant medications are completely safe while breastfeeding.
8. Be Honest about Your Feelings
A lot of women feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of having a new baby or have a hard time adjusting to body image issues. Some new moms find that the reality of parenthood is considerably different than they expected. There’s a societal attitude that everything about being a mom should be fulfilling—but being unhappy can make you feel even more alone. Be honest about how you’re feeling. Just naming your feelings and giving yourself permission to feel them can help.
9. Talk to a Counselor
Depression counseling is nothing to be ashamed of at any time—but especially not when you’re a new mom. The right counselor can help you learn to process your emotions and change negative thought processes. Dialectical behavior therapy is a great way to make you feel like you’re more able to cope with life. Let our therapist Alexandra show you how that can help.
New mom depression may be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you have to accept. Practice some self-care and reach out for help. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy life with your new baby and can experience all the joy you deserve. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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