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5 Gentle Ways to Beat The Baby Blues

Sep 23, 2016

Even though you probably feel somewhat like an exhausted beached-whale towards the end of your pregnancy- you can deal with it. Because you know that waiting for you just at the end will be your precious newborn baby. And because you’ve attended my Easibirthing sessions and practiced at home, you feel calm, confident and empowered about the birth itself and you just can’t wait.

It’s like waiting for Christmas! You can’t wait to be the one experiencing that surge of happiness and love, instead of just hearing about it. You can’t wait to feel that bond, and fall head over heels in love with this brand-new part of your family.

But what happens if, when it happens, instead of getting that warm fuzzy feeling, you feel…well…kind of empty inside?

Flat. Numb. Like some has flicked your emotional ‘off’ switch and has left you on autopilot. Or alternatively, completely overwhelmed by sadness?

If this is you, you probably feel as if you have been short-changed by the system, that you’re somehow less of a mother for experiencing these things.

But be assured that you are not alone. In fact, 70-80% of new mothers just like you experience some degree of sadness, anxiety or even depression after the birth of their baby. And the good news is that an episode of ‘baby blues’ is usually really short-lived and easy to tackle.

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk with you about this often forgotten side of childbirth- the baby blues. I’ll explain the hormones behind the emotional rollercoaster, and what the gentle ways you can get through.

Hormone party central!

Throughout your pregnancy, your hormone levels have been flying around your body at about twenty to thirty times higher than during any other time in your life. Isn’t that an incredible thought? Naturally, all these hormones are doing a variety of very important jobs keeping your child healthy and growing exactly as they should be. It’s a cocktail of oestrogen, HCG, progesterone, oxytocin, endorphins and prolactin.

When you actually give birth, the party comes to an abrupt end and the levels of all of these hormones plummet. The result is a bunch of symptoms quite similar to PMT, including weepiness, irritability, fatigue, anger and many more (you can add your own to the list!).

At the same time this is going on, you’re recovering from the physical effort of giving birth, and your body will be facing a whole new task- keeping this little bundle alive and happy. It’s no wonder things can feel tough.

The problem with labour interventions

It’s even worse if you’ve had an intervention during the labour itself. For example, you might have been induced, had your labour sped-up or even had an epidural. You see, these things interfere with the natural hormonal changes you experience after giving birth, and mean that you are more likely to find yourself on that emotional rollercoaster known as ‘the baby blues’.

Becoming a new parent

How you feel about becoming a parent also has its role to play because it’s such an emotional time. And I don’t just mean the part when you meet your child for the first time and begin to adjust to your new life together, but everything else too.

For example, you’ll no longer have quite the same freedom as you did before, your family dynamics might shift, you might not have experienced exactly the birth you’d hoped for and there are likely many more things going on for you emotionally too. This is compounded further if you don’t have the right kind of emotional support, or you are under certain social pressures or stress.

How to feel better when you have the baby blues

Even though these hormonal changes are normal after you give birth, as are the emotions you will be experiencing, that doesn’t mean that you have to ‘put up and shut up’; there are still many things you can do to support yourself through this time of change.

Understand that having the baby blues is normal

Feeling low just after birth doesn’t make you a bad mother- it makes you a normal one. Expect the ‘baby blues’ to hit at around day two to five, remember that it’s your hormones settling, and have faith that it will pass.

Relax and calm

It’s vital that you remember to relax and calm your body and mind as much as possible during this time. Not only will it help you feel less anxious, it will also help lower your cortisol levels and help those hormones rebalance faster. During your Easibirthing classes, you’ve learned some calming anchors that you can also use for this purpose after the birth to help you find your centre again.

Nourish your body

Just because you’ve given birth, doesn’t mean you can start ignoring your own health. Your new child needs you to be healthy and strong, so continue to eat wholesome, nourishing foods, get as much sleep as you can, and be kind to yourself.

Don’t be afraid to lean on loved ones

Your partner or family members love you and they want to help you through this wonderful time in your life, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Perhaps they could bring over a hot meal so you can relax and feed the baby. Maybe they could help stick in a load of washing, or run the hoover around the house.

Seek help if you still feel blue

If you’re still feeling low and teary beyond about a week, make sure you talk to someone to rule out possible Post Natal Depression, and look for help. You can even reach out to me if that feels easier- I’m here to help.

Your body has brought your beautiful new baby into the world, so please, be kind to it. Understand that your hormones will shift, and you might get a little teary, but that’s ok. Provided you take care of yourself as much as your child, and ask for any help that you might need, you will be that happy and vibrant mother that you hope to be.

Don’t forget- it’s never too late to have a calm, fear-free birth, so please contact me if you’d like to know more about my popular Easibirthing classes. I’d be more than happy to help you.

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