If I could go back to my first pregnancy as a first-time mom, there’s one thing in particular that I would tell myself. I may suffer from postpartum depression. It’s real, and it can be so much more than just the “baby blues,”. Luckily this is not my first rodeo, and I sort of know what to expect after birth.
- I will talk to my doctor. After having my first baby, I felt like I was suffering from postpartum depression. But I was too scared to talk to my doctor and tell her that motherhood was sucking, and I didn’t know how to make things better. Women suffering from postpartum depression can feel an array of feelings. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, I felt like my new baby son deserved a “more experienced” mom. Looking back at those days, it was the depression creating those thoughts in my mind. This time, I will talk to my doctor, I will tell her if I need help, I will reach out.
- Go to therapy. Negative thoughts can circulate in your mind, that is when you know you need to talk to someone. Just like a doctor is supposed to make you feel better, a therapist is there to help your mind (and you) feel better! A therapist can suggest ways to help you cope with your depression, and it’s okay to feel sad, but you don’t want to ‘get stuck’ in that feeling.
- Medication. This may be controversial to some. In those early day trenches, you may feel like there is no escaping your feelings. You may feel like its never going to get better. It may affect your everyday living and how you see yourself and your surroundings. But mama, you need to get better that baby and your family needs you! It’s okay if you need to leave the baby in his or her crib while you take a moment to breathe.
- Have a support system in place. Coming home after having a baby can be daunting especially if you’re a first-time mom! It’s true what they say, babies don’t come with a manual and you might feel completely overwhelmed having a newborn. One thing I’ll be doing differently this second this time around is I will have a support system in place! I am asking my mother and mother in law (and any other family members) if they can help watch the baby for a couple of hours while I catch up on sleep or do some chores! I may also take some time to meditate, while I get my thoughts together.
- Exercise. Sure, that may sound cliché, but exercise helps your body release ‘happy hormones.’ Part of my plan is to take a walk after baby is born outside. It might be hard to exercise during those first few weeks with a newborn, but even 10 mins a day can make a difference in your mood levels! Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regime.
I won’t pressure myself to do anything perfect or in a certain way. There’s a rumor going around that you feel more relaxed with your second (or more) baby, so I’m hoping to have a smoother transition now that I know what to expect. It’s okay to leave the baby in his or her crib or a safe space while you catch your breath, we need you to be okay, mama.
Anna Haylen is a mom to two handsome little boys. Anna loves writing about her every day simple life thoughts. She is a new writer and author with a passion for “keeping it real”.