Bringing a new baby home from the hospital can be a wonderfully exciting time. However, hormone changes, fatigue, stress from major changes, and the lack of support in a woman’s life can cause many women to experience major mood swings. It is common for a new mom to be joyful one minute and crying the next. She may be irritable, anxious, confused, forgetful, and have headaches. These feelings can last up to 3 weeks after the baby is born. Here are some suggestions that have helped other new moms get through this wonderful but trying period:
- Avoid extreme fatigue sleep when your baby is sleeping. Let your partner or other support person feed the baby occasionally, so you can get extra rest.
- Share your feelings and frustrations with your partner or close friend. Remember that it is normal to feel resentful, overwhelmed, guilty, and confused at this time.
- Eat well and drink plenty of fluids.
- Concentrate on yourself and the baby. Let others help with housework, laundry, cooking, shopping, etc.
- Get out of the house every day. Go for a walk or meet with a friend. Treat yourself to something you enjoy doing.
The following symptoms are not normal.
- If your feelings last longer than 3 weeks and are interfering with caring for yourself and the baby you may be experiencing postpartum depression “Baby Blues” or an anxiety disorder.
- Other symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders are:
- unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- loss of appetite
- feeling down most of the time
- feeling that even the smallest tasks seem to take too much effort
- feeling very critical of yourself and others
- worrying constantly about the baby
- having thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.