Alfie and I going out for a bit of fresh air
I've got to admit that the baby blues, or postpartum baby blues as it is also called, have hit me. To be honest, I am surprised it has taken almost two weeks for them to arrive. Quite grateful too as it gave me a good amount of time to just enjoy my little addition to the family. I have started to notice a change in myself in the last days though and I could feel it creeping in.
A good friend of mine has admitted her worry to me that I would maybe hide any depression I might get, that I may try and deal with it alone, so I feel it is important for me to admit it on here. After suffering from a very long and incredibly tough post-natal depression last time and not admitting it until I was past the worst of it, I know this time around that it's vital that I don't try and deal with it all alone and to be open about the blues to stop it before it turns in to something worse. When you are flying solo, it is easy for things like this to slip under the radar. Sufferers can be so good at hiding the hardest aspects and without people seeing you regularly, seeing you at home at different times of day, there's no-one to really spot the signs. Honestly, even at my worst stages last time around, no-one had a clue I was suffering so badly. Only Milo's dad was witness to my some of the daily tears I shed and I never admitted to people quite how deeply I felt I should just disappear and how much better off (I believed at that time) I felt Milo would be without me.
Anyway, thankfully, things aren't like that this time around. I definitely have the blues. I feel low. I have no appetite and I feel exhausted and the need to just hide from the world but I have to fight against it. Not eating can't be an option, I need the energy for both my boys and I know that I have to keep seeing people and talking. If I don't, I know what can happen, how bad it can get and I don't want that if I can do anything to stop it happening.
So here I am. I am admitting the blues and I am making it public as an extra push to force me to not be able to go in on myself. I have also been recommended a few natural remedies to fight against the hormonal changes that create such a low postpartum and have researched a few more. I am going to try them out for myself and see what helps. Here are some of the tips/ideas I've found for anyone else finding themselves in a similar position:
- Fish oil - I've seen these supplements recommended on a few websites.
- Fresh air & where possible, sun light! - When you are feeling low, it's very easy to just stay inside and not want to leave your sofa but getting out and feeling the fresh air does help pick you up and is important for both you and your baby. If there's some sunshine out there, all the better!
- Socialising - of course don't over-do-it, make sure you are still getting the rest you need, but organise to have some visitors and make sure you see some friendly faces to chat. Talk about how you are feeling and open up. If you know anyone who's been through it themselves then talk to them about it as they will understand what you are going through.
- Eat well - Foods high in Vitamin B are supposed to be good against depression. These include green leafy vegetables, fruit, beans and fortified grains. Eating well will be good for your energy levels generally and of course, if you are breastfeeding, it is important to help keep your milk flowing.
- Take naps - all the books say 'nap whilst your newborn is napping' and this is true. I know from my own experiences that this isn't always easy to do. My newborn is asleep now and here I am writing a blog post! However, I do try and nap here and there as I know it's good for me and helps me find the energy for Milo when he's home too.
- Do something that cheers you up - for me, writing this blog cheers me up so that's why I'm writing. Whether it's watching a film, taking a long shower, getting a hair cut. If it makes you happy, find some way to do it. If it's something like getting a hair cut, ask a friend to help out holding the baby whilst you are at the hairdressers or to hold your newborn whilst you take a long shower.
- Accept help - This is something a lot of people find hard, myself included. I am a lot better than I was last time around but it is still difficult to accept help. I find it especially hard as I am so used to dealing with things on my own that I don't always realise when I could do with a helping hand. If people are offering you help, accept it. Believe me, you won't always have the opportunity, you get offered a lot more help in the early days than later down the line, so make the most of it!
How did you / do you tackle the baby blues?
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