Postpartum Baby Blues Rollercoaster
Experiencing the baby blues can come as a terrible shock to you as a new midlife mummy! Who would even have imagined needing a postpartum baby blues survival plan!
After all, you’ve achieved your ultimate goal of having a baby.
How can you not be filled with joy, basking in the glow of ‘proud mama’ happiness?
Well, please set your mind at rest because it’s perfectly normal to have this big emotional dip!
Let’s start by clarifying the signs of postpartum ‘Baby Blues’.
How To Recognise The Postpartum Baby Blues Signs
After the initial euphoria, possibly immediately after childbirth or within the first couple of days post-delivery, you feel like crying.
I know … after all your hard work to bring this treasure into the world it just doesn’t seem fair that you should fall into a giant pit of exhaustion and weepiness!
One minute you’re on top of the world and the next you feel sad, irritable, discouraged, moody.
But it’s not your fault … it’s your hormones’ fault!
Postpartum Hormone Nosedive!
Because first, they’ve had to deal with post-delivery. The sky-high levels of estrogen and progesterone that increased during pregnancy take a nosedive after delivery. By about day three, they are essentially back to baseline.
There may also be a drop in thyroid hormones. These hormones help regulate the way your body uses energy. Low thyroid can cause depression or irritability, problems with sleep and concentration and weight gain.
According to Aviva Romm MD, the postpartum drop is considered the single largest sudden hormone change in the shortest amount of time for any human being, at any point in their lifecycle.
Hence it’s hardly rocket science to see how this can cause huge emotional changes and challenges for mum.
And There’s More!
And then there’s the stress of having to keep your newborn alive. If this is your first baby, this new level of responsibility is terrifying, just on its own! It’s to be totally expected that you will be feeling anxious.
On the other hand, you may also have the additional responsibility of other children to care for.
Now throw sleep deprivation and total fatigue into the mix.
No wonder you’re on an emotional rollercoaster and feeling emotionally fragile!
Help, where’s the postpartum baby blues survival plan?!
Comparisons & Judgements
As a newly minted mum, it’s also highly likely that you are measuring yourself against the ‘Perfect Super-Mummy’ scale and giving yourself a big, fat ‘0’. And that’s when ‘The Guilts’ set in.
You have images in your mind of Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) emerging on the hospital steps with baby No.3, freshly made up and hair looking amazing just hours after the birth.
You’ve seen the Johnson & Johnson, or one of a zillion other ads, where the mother looks immaculate and swooning with happiness when they hand her the baby!
And then there’s Instagram – say no more!
Seriously unrealistic and totally misleading!
I’ll bet when Kate got home she couldn’t wait to take off the makeup and put on trackie pants! She probably handed the baby to a nanny and promptly fell asleep from total exhaustion!
Please do not compare and judge yourself by these ridiculous expectations.
Because the reality is that giving birth is a huge deal and you will be affected by the massive drop in hormones. All of which has nothing to do with your abilities as a mother.
Baby Blues Good News!
The good news is that these postpartum Baby Blues symptoms should reach their peak approximately one week after delivery and then taper off by the end of the second week or so.
However, if your anxiety becomes so severe that it prevents you from sleeping or eating properly and mood swings and feelings of sadness, worthlessness or guilt are longer-lasting, then these are red flags for postpartum depression.
But for now, back to the postpartum baby blues survival plan.
The Postpartum Baby Blues Survival Plan
Understanding that you have been experiencing postpartum baby blues and that it’s quite normal and not something wrong with you is a great first step!
And in case you are wondering, ‘no’, age is not a factor in relation to getting the baby blues or postpartum depression!
In fact, it’s estimated that 50% to 80% of all mothers experience postpartum baby blues!
This is critical information all new mothers should have. Unfortunately, social media often contributes toward the unrealistic image of what it’s like to be a brand new mum.
It’s a stressful time whilst your hormones are ping-ponging and your body is recalibrating after the effort of pregnancy and birth. It requires a great deal of physical and emotional adjustment.
2. FOLLOW THE 5-STEP PLAN
When baby sleeps during the daytime you must sleep, even if you only manage to keep it up for the first few weeks.
Because if you can get about 40 – or even 20 – minutes of sleep each time baby naps, then it will help to pre-empt some of the impact of lost sleep down the track. You’re storing energy for future use!
Sounds a bit ‘woo-woo’, right?
But it has a name!
It’s called ‘sleep banking’ and it can make a huge difference in your healing and life!
So please don’t be tempted to use that ‘baby-nap time’ to run around like crazy cleaning the house or returning overdue phone calls, responding to text messages and trying to catch up on everything.
You and your baby must be the #1 priority whilst you get back on your feet.
Realistically, you are not going to bounce back as quickly as you would have done a decade or two ago! So be gentle and patient with yourself and rest!
2. NUTRITION – POSTPARTUM
I’m sure you know already how essential it is to eat healthy, nourishing, fresh food not only for your own wellbeing but also for your baby’s wellbeing if you are breastfeeding.
This, of course, includes fresh fruit, vegetables, foods low in GI, good proteins and healthy fats.
It’s really important that you don’t skip meals or let your blood sugar drop.
This is because keeping your blood sugar steady keeps your mood steady.
It also helps you sleep better and keep your energy levels up.
If this all sounds overwhelming right now, we have you covered at Midlife Mummies!
We have 4 bespoke diet programs that make it easy for you to stay on a healthy diet to reset, repair and rebalance your body after having your baby.
We provide you with meal plans and planners and delicious recipes, food lists and shopping lists. These are downloadable from the website and are all included in the program.
One mama’s advice on what to do when the Baby Blues hit!
“If you are feeling really low, give yourself permission to eat some extra dark chocolate, curl up with the baby on the couch and watch chick flicks, order takeout and forget about chores.”
Sounds like a plan!
3. REPAIR & RE-BALANCE
Your body is doing a lot of postpartum repairing and re-balancing. So, it is essential to give it the support it needs for this process by adding the right nutritional supplements to your self-care program that give you internal balance.
In our diets, you take supplements that have been specifically designed to balance and repair your gut, increase your energy and vitality, reshape your figure – losing postpartum belly fat – reducing your appetite and cravings, improving your sleep and rebooting your entire system.
It’s the combination of the right foods and our supplements that works the magic for your body!
As a midlife mama, this is exactly what you need to move successfully through the postpartum Baby Blues and give you the energy and stamina to care for your baby.
This is also the optimal way to get back to being a healthy, happy you and not slip into postpartum depression.
Read my Postpartum Anxiety & Depression post here.
4. BONDING WITH YOUR BABY
It’s so important to focus on creating a secure attachment with your baby. This emotional bonding is vital for your baby’s ability to interact, communicate and form relationships throughout their life.
As a newbie to the job, close bonding also benefits you by releasing endorphins that make you feel happier and more confident as a mum.
A great way to achieve all of the above is by ‘wearing’ your baby – i.e. having your little one in a sling.
This also helps to …
- calm fussy babies, so babies cry less
- decrease the level of stress hormones circulating in the baby’s bloodstream, resulting in a more relaxed, happy baby
- help to ease the distressing symptoms of colic or reflux by promoting good digestion
Furthermore, having your baby secure and relaxed is going to be so beneficial for easing your stress levels!
This is all good news for getting through the postpartum baby blues.
It’s vital to keep the communication channels open between you and your partner (if you have one) because you are in this together … you are a team.
- Keep in mind that your partner is not a mind reader, so you need to be open about what’s going on for you and what support you need from him/her.
- Explain about the Baby Blues and that the experience won’t last forever, but your body is adjusting right now … big time!
- Take time out to be together. You don’t have to actually go out. Just set the time aside to catch up and share what’s going on for you both.
FAMILY & FRIENDS
Ditto with your family and friends. Being open about your experience is key. Don’t assume people know how you are feeling.
You will be amazed at how many people confess to having experienced postpartum Baby Blues themselves, or even postpartum depression, once you open up and tell them what’s really going on for you!
If you are in the fortunate position to employ a mothercraft nurse/postpartum doula or a housekeeper or cleaner that’s great.
But if not, ask for help from family and friends with house cleaning, laundry, meals, shopping. And get the big weekly grocery shop delivered by your supermarket.
Finally, be patient with yourself. The first few weeks are tough. Everything is new and you need time to settle into your new role and get acquainted with your baby.
MIDLIFE MUMMIES SUPPORT TEAM
When you join one of our 4 programs as a midlife mama, you have instant access to the members’ private Facebook Group.
You also have the on-going support of me (Kisane) and Carmel.
We are here to provide on-going support and answer all your questions.
Best of all, you don’t pay any extra, it’s freely included in your program!
This is a vital resource as many midlife mothers can feel lonely and isolated during the first few weeks following the birth.
And of course, there is the support and encouragement in the FB Group.
THE WEIGHT LOSS COMPONENT
There’s a big difference between feeling pressured by social media to quickly lose weight and wanting to lose weight safely and sensibly to feel healthy and happy.
You have a new ‘mama’ body now. One that has produced a miracle and is quite possibly breastfeeding a tiny human being.
You’re a legend!
And you are also entitled to want to look your best.
After all, you are not only a mother, you are also a woman in your own right, with a life that involves significant others and quite possibly a career you will be returning to one day.
How Midlife Mummies Helps
Through healthy eating and holistic, organic supplementation, we assist mothers in our programs to lose weight naturally after their pregnancy.
You have 4 choices within the program, the Lifestyle Diet, the Yummy Mummy Diet, the Breastfeeding Diet and the Quick Weight Loss Diet.
The Lifestyle Diet is designed to help you get back to feeling energised and like YOU again! If you have a little baby weight to lose, that will slowly disappear too – bonus!
The Yummy Mummy Diet is specifically designed to help mamas lose their postpartum belly pouch.
We show mothers who want to lose weight after having a C-section birth how to reduce their tummy through a healthy, balanced diet plan and nutritional support customised to their individual requirements.
This diet also applies to mothers who have given birth the natural way and want to have the best nutrition and lose their belly fat.
The Breastfeeding Diet is specifically designed to nourish you mama, whilst you are supplying a food source to your baby. The breastfeeding supplements provide nutritional support to maximise the health of your body and that of your baby.
In all the programs, the meals have been expertly crafted to give the body the vital nutrients and minerals it needs the most during this postpartum time, including foods high in protein, calcium, and iron.
For details of the above 3 diet programs go here.
The Quick Weight Loss Diet has recently been added for our ‘mummies in a hurry’, who have a deadline or maybe a specific event coming up.
This diet will reboot your body from the inside out and transform your life! Your incredible results will be gained from detoxifying and reshaping your body.
Check it out here.
You get 550 recipes, food lists and shopping lists and meal planners, you also get a weight tracker that charts meals, calorie calculator, ideal weight calculator, and BMI.
We’ve Got Your Back!
And, most important of all as mentioned above, you get the support of Carmel, the creator of the diets, and myself. We will make sure you stay on track!
Research shows that self-monitoring of food intake – enhanced mindfulness – helps to develop a sense of accountability.
Then, concern about what those whom one is accountable to may think about the progress being made is further incentive to stay on track!
Being accountable to others who are there to support and cheer you on can make the difference between failure and success.
“In the realm of dieting, there is evidence that social support is a positive factor influencing weight loss.” Kenneth Schwarz PhD
Best of all, this is all free as all you pay for are the specific supplements for your chosen program.
Our diet programs have been created by Carmel and when you check them out, I think you will agree they are quite unique.
Check out the team here.
Well, I do hope the above outline of the Postpartum Baby Blues Survival Plan has helped to clarify the ‘baby blues’ for you and that you have found the information, strategies, and tips in the 5-point plan useful tools to guide you through.
I would appreciate it if you would share this post, as it is important to get this information out to other women.
It’s amazing that it is still not common knowledge in 2020 that the rapid drop in hormones postpartum can have such a profound impact on the birth mother’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Let’s get the message out there!
Do please leave a comment below if you would like to share your thoughts or a postpartum baby blues experience or words of wisdom for other midlife mummies. We’d love to hear from you!
Take care of you …
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