Every day I would wake up and feel like I was in a fog. I would shuffle around the house, robotically fulfilling the needs of my kids. And somehow I was not caring for myself.
I am not sure if it’s because I didn’t know how to, didn’t want to admit it, or was too apathetic to try.
I knew hormone fluxations after birth could swing far and wide, but sometimes even the thought of trying to combat the baby blues seemed too daunting. But a simple vitamin regimen and daily routine help pull me out of the funk.
Learn even more about Whole Postpartum Care for new moms in our series!
It happened with my first.
I didn’t feel like I felt overwhelming “aha” true love until she was 22 months old.
But because my second daughter’s birth experience was different, I thought I had it under control. That somehow because I didn’t have a c-section or birth trauma that a homebirth was my magic solution. That maybe, this time, I wouldn’t feel so foggy or uneasy.
I even tried placenta pills too, but those were not my happy pills. Those only made me crazier. Because it is a hormone after all.
So instead, when the fog set in several months after my youngest was born, I knew I needed to find a better way to combat the baby blues, so I decided to pour into myself.
Because pouring from empty was helping no one.
Take care of yourself by making sure you’re getting the nutrients you need
I am currently pregnant with my third and just weaned my second after having been pregnant, nursing, or both for 4+years.
And my anxiety started going through the roof.
You see, they don’t really talk much about how postpartum depression can set in well after those first few weeks and months. Sometimes it can be a year later or longer. And every time, it seems to hit me when my body isn’t functioning at its best.
So the first thing every mom needs to do for post-baby anxiety and depression symptoms is to evaluate her diet and take whole-foods supplements. This means eat clean and take non-synthetic vitamins.
Because it makes a difference!
Continue taking your prenatal vitamin list and add if necessary. Because sometimes it all goes to baby and you still need to take care of yourself.
9 ways to combat the baby blues & help you be the best mom you can be after birth
One of the best ways to help yourself and be the best mom you can be is to make sure you’re staying healthy. Included are affiliate links for reference.
Wake up & open up all the curtains & blinds
Sometimes, the best thing we can do for yourself is to just be present and make a conscious effort to do so. One thing that has helped me so much is just the reminder to get up at the same time every day, get dressed, and let in the morning sun.
It gives me a boost to kick start my day.
Drink some warm lemon water
Flush out your system in a healthy way by also drinking some warm water with lemon juice squeezed into it before you ever eat anything.
The water in your system will also help give you clarity and isn’t filled with sugar or anything that would cause you to drag through your week.
Take some DHA after you eat a healthy Breakfast
Eating right and eliminating sugar and junk food can help improve our health and our mood. Our gut is just as important to our mental health as the brain! So NOURISH it. Make sure you’re eating whole grains, fermented foods, eggs, and lots of healthy veggies.
Once you’ve eaten, pop some fish oil. I love Nordic Naturals DHA. It’s not fishy and I can actually tell a huge difference after a few days of it in my system that I feel more energized and more myself.
Not only does this support health in the long-term (such as *heart health), it contains EPA and DHA & Omega-3 fatty acids that can support mental clarity while also providing some of the fats needed in your breastmilk to grow your sweet baby’s brain.
Go for a walk to get some fresh air & to get moving
Our bones need to get moving. It helps release pent up energies and emotions, but getting out also allows us to take in deep breaths in the outside air.
This is great for both mom and baby.
It doesn’t have to be a run or a jog. A simple walk around the block will do. And by adding this into your daily routine, your body, and your mind will thank you for it. You can spend some quality time with your little one or just think to yourself. Either way, it’s a win!
Take Turmeric when you’re stressed
Curcumin in Turmeric encourages an increase in the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which controls nerve cells & growth.
What does this mean? It means that taking turmeric can support long-term memory and mood because BDNF hang out in the hippocampus of the brain.
It also supports your immune system* which means that as stress wears you down, you can choose ways to build yourself back up wth the right nutrition, spices, and supplements.
When you start feeling low, take some St. John’s Wort
Nothing seems to support my mood like St. John’s Wort. I even took it while pregnant at the recommendation of my midwife because I couldn’t handle some of my own hormonal swings. So of course, it’s in my post-pregnancy protocol.
Diffuse lavender essential oil to promote a relaxing environment in your home
Just like when my oldest is having a crazy day, I have found that diffusing lavender helps calm the mood of the entire house. It’s a paraben-free way to make your home smell refreshing and ease the stress level in your home.
Make sure you’re eating enough protein & seasonal foods
Getting an adequate amount of protein ensures you have energy, but it also helps cut any sugar cravings you may have. And because sugar can spiral your mood downwards, this is actually a great way to stay on top of your mommy mental health.
And chowing down on seasonal food helps provide nutrients your body needs and is the best way to eat your fresh veggies.
Last, but definitely not least, don’t be afraid to seek help. There is no shame in something so many moms like you have faced. It doesn’t make you any less normal to admit that you need help.
Make a phone call and let someone you love know you’re struggling and talk through it. And find a local counselor or go to your doctor if you’re feeling lower than blue. Getting help should happen before you hit rock bottom so don’t be afraid to find someone qualified to work through your feeling & emotions with you.
The statements in this post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please seek the advice of a trained midwife or primary care provider for more information.
What has helped you get out of the mom funk and overcome postpartum depression?
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!