How I Fought Baby Blues
I am looking at my 5-year-old munchkin working on her activity sheets. How days went by, how time flies! It feels like yesterday when I held my her in my arms. Today, she tells me she aspires to become a doctor, a swimming coach and chef (All three. Not just one). I was reminiscing the days when I was a new mom, trying to learn the nuances of parenting, taking each day as it comes. One thing that still stays in my mind was baby blues and how I made sure it didn’t develop into postpartum depression.
I had a C-Section delivery, so I had to stay in the hospital for a week or so. My mother was with me, trying her level best to give me the best support possible. I was struggling with feeding my little one, went through sleepless nights trying to calm my colic baby. All through the struggle, although my mother helped me, it was my husband I was missing the most. He visited me every day while I was in the hospital. It was decided that I live with my mum after getting discharged, following the tradition practiced in most Tamil households.
I still recall the first day with my baby at my house. She cried all night and I cried along with her. I didn’t know why I was crying. Maybe I was feeling clueless about how to soothe my little one. Maybe I was feeling sad about it too. I constantly fought with my mom for not giving me enough tips. My mother was helpless, poor woman delivered me 30 years ago. She doesn’t recall how she dealt with constantly crying babies (Apparently, I was a ‘good’ kid who made no fuss!).
It was during a lucky night, lucky because my little one slept for 2 hours straight, that I bumped into an article about baby blues and postpartum depression. I understood it was common among new mothers. I was then able to understand the reason for my sudden crying spells, anxiousness and sleeplessness. I wasn’t alone. Many moms across the globe go through it.
Here are some tips that I received to deal with baby blues, that I would like to share with new and future mommies
- Be practical. I had a heart to heart conversation with my mom. I told her that I want to leave my birthplace and live with my husband at our house. There was no reason to be sentimental, but be practical. I was missing him badly and this might be one of the reasons for feeling depressed.
- Seek help. I spoke to my husband and mother-in-law and told them I need a professional nanny to help me raise my little one. I was lucky they understood my predicament.
- Stop searching everything on the internet. Although I had the habit of surfing the internet to get answers to most of my ‘mommy’ queries, I realized I was over-researching. This only increased my anxiety levels. Consciously minimizing my online activities not only reduced my anxiety levels, but also made me realize how much time I was wasting in reading through countless articles.
- Take care of yourself. We become so engrossed in tending to the baby, we completely forget about our physical and mental health. Engage in activities that you like doing. It could be anything, from exercising to yoga, from reading a book to meditating. Anything to keep your mind positive will help getting rid of depression.
- Have couple time. Talk to your spouse about raising the kid. Seek his help and make him involved in parenting right from the early stages of raising the baby. Consciously avoid taking your frustrations on him. Remember, you are in this together, as a team.
Long story short, the only thing I can tell new mothers is, just hang in there. Take each day as it comes. You are not alone. Speak out. You think crying your heart out will help, please go ahead with it. Do not feel ashamed about it. If things persist, take help from a therapist. Motherhood is not only about dealing with hardships that comes with raising a baby, but also taking things on your stride and enjoying every moment of it.
Vidhya is a full-time working mother. The time she is not working, she likes spending time with her family. A movie buff, she loves watching movies and binge-watching series. She also secretly wishes to be a writer one day. You can connect with her on LinkedIn!