How to Cope with the Baby Blues

Research shows that 8 in every 10 moms will experience the baby blues. You may feel worried, anxious, tired for no reason and unable to concentrate. Here are some coping tips you can try at home:

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Don’t Deprive Yourself of Sleep: A full eight hours may seem like an unattainable luxury when you’re dealing with a newborn but poor sleep makes depression worse. Do what you can to get plenty of rest—from enlisting the help of your husband or family members to catching naps when you can.

Set Aside Quality Time for Yourself: Make time to relax and take a break from your mom duties. Find small ways to pamper yourself, like taking a bubble bath, savoring a hot cup of tea, or lighting scented candles.

Make Meals a Priority: When you’re depressed, nutrition often suffers. What you eat has an impact on mood, as well as the quality of your breast milk, so do your best to establish healthy eating habits.

Soak Up The Sunshine: Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day.

Ease Back Into Exercise: Studies show that exercise may be just as effective as medication when it comes to treating depression, so the sooner you get back up and moving, the better. No need to overdo it: a 30-minute walk each day will work wonders.

Make Your Relationships a Priority: When you’re feeling depressed and vulnerable, it’s more important than ever to stay connected to family and friends—even if you’d rather be alone. Isolating yourself will only make your situation feel even bleaker, so make your adult relationships a priority. Let your loved ones know what you need and how you’d like to be supported.

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Don’t Keep Your Feelings to Yourself: In addition to the practical help your friends and family can provide, they can also serve as a much-needed emotional outlet. Share what you’re experiencing—the good, the bad, and the ugly—with at least one other person, preferably face to face. It doesn’t matter who you talk to, so long as that person is willing to listen without judgment and offer reassurance and support.

Join a Group for New Mothers: Even if you have supportive friends, you may want to consider seeking out other women who are dealing with the same transition into motherhood. It’s very reassuring to hear that other mothers share your worries, insecurities, and feelings. Good places to meet new moms include support groups for new parents or organizations such as Mommy and Me. Ask your pediatrician for other resources in your neighborhood.

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