If you recently had a baby, but you’re not feeling the way you thought you should, don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are so many expectations for moms about how they are supposed to feel, act and look after they give birth, but the truth is – a lot of new moms don’t feel that way. And that’s perfectly okay. Postpartum depression is a lot more common than you might think and it’s not at all shameful or wrong to feel that way. That being said, you shouldn’t just let it consume you. Here are different ways to get through baby blues and get to all the good parts of motherhood.
The symptoms of postpartum depression
There is a difference between postpartum depression and just the baby blues. They both share a lot of symptoms: after giving birth, the hormones in our body go crazy and it can trigger all sorts of different feelings. And while baby blues aren’t that pleasant and they can make life a bit more difficult, postpartum depression is a lot more serious. If you are withdrawing from your partner and not bonding well with your baby, feeling anxious even if nothing is wrong and your baby is sleeping and eating well or getting feelings of guilt or even suicidal thoughts – talk to a doctor, and they will be able to help you. Remember it’s not wrong to ask for help and you deserve it.
Create a connection with the infant
For some mothers, this connection comes naturally and they don’t need any help connecting with their baby, but if this doesn’t happen to you, don’t worry – you can learn how to interact with your child. It is all about the interaction and communication with your child. If they cry, you should soothe them, or if they ask for your attention, you should never ignore them. Even if the feeling does not come natural to you, you should force yourself to interact as much as you can with your baby to establish the connection. For some people, the fake-it-till-you-make-it method works great, because it means that you are positively communicating with your baby, and it is positively responding to you.
The importance of physical contact
There is a reason why experts rush to reunite the mother with the baby as soon as the child is born. Physical contact that is formed between the mother and the baby is the primary connection and the one that the baby will remember more than any other. What you should do to improve the connection is try to physically interact with your baby as often as you can. Cuddle them, breastfeed if you can – or if you can’t, hold them while you feed them – play with them and generally try to keep them by your side, especially in the first few months. Baby wraps are a great way to keep your baby close by while you are running errands, relaxing or just doing some of our hobbies. Include them in as many of your activities to strengthen the bond, and even look around for some mom & baby activities in your area. That might also connect you with other moms who are going through the same thing, and you can work through it together.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone in this. Your friends and family are there to support you, but there are also thousands of women around the world going through the same thing. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and get started on developing a healthy relationship with your child and with motherhood.