Motherhood and Mental Health

Motherhood can bring about hormonal changes, sleepless nights, difficulty maintaining other important relationships, and a ‘never enough time’ mentality. In fact, about 13-percent of women who have just given birth experience a mental health disorder, as recorded by theWorld Health Organization. 

I’ve outlined a few tips and tools that will help you navigate the emotional and mental strain of motherhood, and help you get back in the groove.

Acknowledge the Signs & Symptoms

According to Healthline, as many as 80-percent of mothers have had the symptoms of postpartum depression. Symptoms run the gamut, from feelings of sadness and exhaustion, to feeling overwhelmed, worthless, out of control and irritable. This can manifest in the body in the form of aches, pains and illnesses. 

Remember, this is completely normal and usually fades within a few weeks. If it doesn’t, it might be time to visit your doctor. Baby blues aside, being a new mom, or parent in general is stressful and many days, you’re going to feel drained and perhaps defeated. 

To set yourself up for success, start here:

  • Get as much sleep as you can. When you’re tired, you can’t think clearly and your mood shifts
  • Watch what you eat—meaning, incorporate Whole Foods and supplements recommended by your doctor! Studies show that what we consume has direct correlation to our mood & energy levels. 
  • Try to drink at least two quarts of water each day
  • Take baby breaks
  • Get your body moving 

Limit Your Social Media Use

So Long Social Media? – PSU Chronicles

Between feeding, pumping and trying to sooth your little one, social media might seem like the perfect escape. In many ways, platforms like Facebook and Instagram can feel like safe havens for moms, and an effective tool for building community. 

But anyone who has caught themselves scrolling for too long knows there’s a dark side to social media, too. It’s really easy to go down a rabbit hole and start comparing ourselves to other moms or indulge in all the ways you’re ‘not good enough.’ 

If you catch yourself looping in negative self-talk, it’s time for a screen break. Log out of social media and tap back into the real world. Use this hands-free pump time to call a friend you haven’t connected with in awhile, get ahead on work emails, or listen to an audiobook. 

Accept and Ask for Help 

Research Suggests Therapy For Mothers With Postpartum Depression Can Change  Their Babies' Brains | Mothering Forum

We all need help every now and again, and there’s absolutely no shame in that. From our lens, asking for and accepting help is one of the most selfless things you can do as a person and as a mom, because it benefits everyone you come in contact with. 

If you find yourself burned out, frustrated or overwhelmed, it might be time to ask for help. Ask a friend or fellow mom to come over for a few hours. They can help with feeding and burping the baby, and keep an eye on things while you take a couple hours to yourself. Use that time to shower, eat, squeeze in apumping session or take a nap. You’ve earned it! 

Of course, if things feel out of control and you fear that you are spiraling, make sure to find a therapist or counselor in your area. There are many who are able to meet virtually, in the case that an in-person session is not possible with your schedule. 

One of the good things that came out of Quarantine is that many people start to speak out about the importance of therapy! There are so many affordable online options. A quick google search will bring up ones near you! 

Trust your intuition

As women, and especially as moms, our intuition is something to celebrate. Yet, so much of the time, we ignore what our intuition is telling us and in some cases, do the exact opposite only to find out that we were right all along. 

For moms, intuition can play a key role in decision-making. If something doesn’t feel quite right, voice these concerns to your doctor and avoid the urge to silence your own intuition. More often than not, these gut instincts are there to tell us something. 

Prioritize Self-Care Time

15 Self Care Ideas For A New Mom (That You Can Do With A Baby Around) - The  Empowered Mama

Caring for a little one is a full-time job in and of itself, so it’s not all that surprising that you feel like you’re running on empty. When there’s already so much to do, it’s easy to deprioritize self-care or dismiss it all together. 

However, even setting aside a couple 5-minute breathers every couple of hours can do wonders for your mood and overall motivation levels. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a mini pampering session (although, we’re all for that). This is basically your excuse to do whatever you want: run an extra load of laundry, take a power nap or flip on the TV. 

‘Me’ time can also become ‘we’ time. Maybe it’s a night out with your partner or a weekly juice run with your neighborhood running buddy. However short (we know you’re busy), take the time you need to rest, reset and come back stronger than ever.

Comment down below your favorite self-care activity! 


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