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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Letting Off Steam: Diary of A New Mum

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You have just had a baby, and everything is rosy and pink and soft blue and cuddly cute! True? Well, if you want the truth, the answer is - not always.

While giving birth and bringing home a little bundle of joy is surely one of the best things that can ever happen, it is also one of those experiences in life that end up making you feel angry, depressed, frustrated and totally up the wall....

The feeling of helplessness that new parents, especially new mothers feel, is a difficult truth that is faced by moms all across the globe. While almost all mommies will experience this emotion, there are some who simply cannot take it anymore. For others, it is a constant struggle and help is sought from family and friends, while some will still try and do everything on their own.

If you have been feeling any of the following symptoms lately, it is a warning sign from your body and mind that you need a break:

  • Irritated without any apparent reason
  • Tired
  • Sleepy
  • Unable to sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Wanting to cry without any reason
  • Angry
  • Confused
  • Forgetting things
  • Disoriented
Why you may feel these symptom(s):

As a new mother, your body is adjusting to the changes that happened during pregnancy and at birth, and is trying to get back to its pre-birth and pre-pregnancy phase. As your body gets ready to recover from the trauma (in medical terms, delivery is considered a trauma to the body), your mind prepares you to take care of the baby. In most cases, in your quest to take care of the baby, new mums end up ignoring their own bodies completely, and till the time they reach a breakdown, they don't think about slowing down.

While you may want to do everything for your baby, it is also important to look after yourself. The simple logic behind this is that unless you are properly rested, relaxed and taken care of, you can't really care for the baby. It is important and okay to sometimes take a break.

Here's how you can relax using some real and practical ideas while also ensuring that your baby is cared for:
  • Take a nice warm bath (this is impossible if you are alone with baby, but you can always try this once your partner is home)
  • Lie down when baby is sleeping and listen to some soothing music
  • Go for a walk with baby in the stroller
  • Plan a small screen time with your partner and catch your favourite show while baby sleeps
  • If you can, go for a quick face and shoulder massage at a nearby parlour or spa (go to a local one near home as it will be easier to come back home in case baby needs you)
  • Take some baby oil and ask your partner to give you a nice back massage (avoid if you still have your stitches; in that case, go for a head or shoulder massage)
  • Express milk and ask your partner to feed baby while you sleep, rest or do something that is relaxing to you
  • Watch your favourite show or read a book while feeding baby
  • Get some aroma oil and use a drop on your pillow. This will not only soothe you while you are sleeping, but will also help calm your senses while you are feeding and using the pillow
  • Go stand on the window and take in some fresh air
  • Head out to a nearby mall and do some window or real shopping 
  • Put on some makeup, wear your favourite perfume and call in food.....
  • Get together with your friends - call them home. That way, you can also feed baby and be with them..
Some mothers have extended family or other resources to help them with mommy blues. But not all of us have the option of having someone to take care of baby for some time while we relax. In such cases, it is important to understand signs of stress and depression. The most obvious reaction to this is anger and frustration towards the baby - and this is not good in any given situation. Rest well, eat well and ask for help when needed.

Better still, don't wait for the signs of stress to aggravate. Ask your partner to help you out before it is too late.

And by the way, there is no blues that a dab of lipstick won't wipe away ;-)
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- Debolina Raja Gupta

**********************************************
And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!! Be good to your little one, and to the millions of little ones out there who truly need every bit of love and compassion they can get.....Be a grown up...save the little ones.... Debolina Raja Gupta
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