It’s been a while that I wrote on my blog. Life has been busy and I’m on a deadline to finish a short novel. (You can find the rest of my books here: http://www.debdubois.ch/)
Did you hear that “a man whose job it is to help preserve Japan’s cultural heritage has accidentally smashed his car into the country’s oldest toilet at a centuries-old Buddhist temple. The communal loo at Tofukuji in Kyoto dates back to the 15th century and is designated an important cultural asset“…? Yeah. That’s the most exciting and valid news I’ve heard of late – sorry, not sorry that I am not going to comment on Ukraine war. And this morning I started listing to “A Very Backstreet Christmas” by Backstreet Boys.
They are back baby!
So one thing that I didn’t talk about is postpartum depression and anxiety.
It involves mood swings, trouble bonding with your baby, and difficulty thinking or making decisions. It’s correctly nicknamed “baby blues,” as postpartum depression can cause severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of displacement. It can go on for quite a while, as weeks and months after giving birth can be emotional and stressful. Every mother experience it differently. I experienced it with exhaustion.
My bond with my child is strong. I know what he wants and when. Attuned to his needs. And I have two babies at home these days (apart from the third fur baby!) – as it’s a “boys are sick” household. And I have to force feed both of them and literally shove medicine down their throats. So quite often the father-son bonding is strong over “mommy gives disgusting medicines“! These days his dad is clearly his favourite human (the smile he has when his dad gets home or picks him from the Kita is just – wow!), and I am more than comfortable with it. My methods of bonding with my son is for another blog post. But here I will share some tips about baby blues (again, I’m not a doctor, consultant your doctor before taking any medication and if your blues are out of hand).
My method was “self care”. But truly that wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have a loving partner who (without fail) brings me my first coffee to bed every morning. But you single moms out there. Who’s taking care of you? You have to be your own partner and take care of yourself. That is very very important. Here are some tips:
Eat omega-3. Fish. Fish. Fish. If you don’t like fish get supplements. I didn’t shun Sushi during my pregnancy. But I made sure I had fresh products – not the semi frozen supermarket ones. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish such as herring and salmon, during pregnancy and after pregnancy is so important. I take a particular supplement rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin D. Huge mood balancer!
Sunshine. The number of times I was pushed out or dragged out of home by my partner to just sit outside in the sun, have a drink (alcoholic as I didn’t get to breastfeed) and just relax – I think I didn’t realise then that he was quietly but surely taking care of me. Even when I was being crabby. So take time, meet your friends, sit under a tree or in the sun – outdoors are cure to the sore soul.
Exercise. Not heavy exercises but light ones like walks with your baby in the pram. If you had cesarian then don’t force yourself to go out before 4 weeks and sit as many times as possible. Like it or not – it is a major operation even if you think it’s just birthing a baby. In one of my previous blogs I mentioned how easily the natural-birth moms could walk around after giving birth while the cesarian moms were bent down in pain. Yeah. Your lower belly was torn open and stitched up again. So take it slow Hero. But as soon as you can – Just Do It?!?! Aim to be active for around 20–30 minutes per day. Even exercising for 10 minutes can benefit your body.
Me-Time. Take a long hot shower or a long bath. Go for a haircut or shopping (even a toffee from the Kiosk is what I consider shopping) – whatever sails your boat, do so. It really helps. Consumerism at times does have benefits.
Medication and Doctor. If nothing helps – see a doctor. Don’t let it go untreated cause mommy or mother-in-law says it’s momentary. No. There are selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which includes fluoxetine and sertraline for nursing moms. Also effective is venlafaxine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Go to your healthcare provider and ask about them. Don’t let your “baby blues” go untreated.
Apart from all that, remember – if you are not well, you cannot care for another. There’s a reason why we are advised to put the mask on ourselves first before helping a child in flight emergency situations. You, as a new mommy, are as important as your little one.
Don’t neglect yourself.