- 10 Mental Health Tips for New Moms
- Ditch social media for real life
- Change up your to-do list
- Trust your intuition
- Forget the snap-back
- Stop comparing yourself to other moms
- Stop comparing your baby to other babies
- Appreciate your body (and all its been through)
- Leave time in your schedule for nothing
- Try talk therapy
- Remember this season doesn’t last forever
- Questions about Depression and Anxiety
- What are depression and anxiety?
- Are you talking about postpartum depression?
- What are some signs of depression and anxiety?
- How common are depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
- What are the risk factors for depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
- Can depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth affect my baby?
- Are there treatments for depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
- Is there anything I can do in addition to treatment?
- Can I prevent depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
- FAQs about: mental health tips for new moms
Are you a new mom struggling with your mental health? You don’t have to go through it alone! This article will provide you with essential tips to nurture your mental health while you make the transition to motherhood.
Quick facts: Mental Health Tips For New Moms
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10 Mental Health Tips for New Moms
Being a new mom is an exciting and daunting task, but it’s critical that self-care and mental health are prioritized. Mental health tips for new moms can help them feel more prepared to handle the demands of parenting. Here are ten tips to consider:
- Practice self-care. Find ways to do something enjoyable each day, such as reading a book or going for a walk.
- Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day.
- Get enough sleep, even if it means napping when your baby does or asking for help from family/friends so you can take regular breaks during the day or night.
- Consider therapy sessions with a professional who specializes in maternal mental health if you find yourself struggling with your emotions or any physical symptoms that persist despite your attempts at healthy routines and self-care activities.
- Connect with other moms in person or online for support, understanding, and encouragement; such connections can provide much-needed validation and perspective in times of difficulty or stress.
- Establish boundaries around your time and energy; learn to say no when necessary so as not to overcommit yourself unnecessarily
- Take regular breaks away from parenting duties (e.,g., one evening per week) to relax; use this time however you’d like!
- Ask for help when needed; don’t be afraid to reach out and ask family/friends/community resources for assistance that might make your life easier while still preserving your own independence
- Make time regularly for things that bring you joy (e.,g., creative pursuits, hobbies, exercise) so as not to lose sight of what makes life meaningful beyond parenting duties
- Reach out about any tough emotions you are having rather than trying to cope alone; talk about these experiences with supportive individuals or connect with organizations/resources dedicated solely towards maternal mental health needs.
Social media can be an incredible source of connection, but for new moms with a history of bipolar disorder, it can also be a source of anxiety and stress. If you’re having difficulty managing your mental health in the face of expectations to be “on” all the time and receive positive feedback from family and friends, it might be time to take a break from social media.
Often times when people with bipolar disorder are feeling depressed, they struggle with comparing themselves to others on social media and using social media as a benchmark for where they should be in life. This will only lead to further feelings of depression or anxiety. Taking a break from social media can help you focus on the present moment and appreciate the journey rather than comparing yourself to unrealistic standards set by other users.
Connecting with friends, family members or mentors in real life can provide more meaningful connection than virtual interaction. Focusing on meaningful relationships helps us feel wanted, accepted and loved which is especially important during this time period when we’re striving for mental wellbeing.
Change up your to-do list
Medical School Syndrome (MSS) is a term used to describe the mental health issues that arise from a busy medical student’s lifestyle, such as burnout, anxiety, depression and exhaustion. It is important for new mothers to be aware of this and take intentional steps to manage stress and create a healthy lifestyle.
One way of mitigating feelings of overwhelm when caring for an infant and navigating medical school is creating a daily to-do list that focuses on small achievable tasks. This will break down larger tasks into smaller goals which can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed by the large workload. For example, creating specific tasks such as “study for 2 hours” or “attend one class today” can make it more manageable to stay on top of important responsibilities while caring for your baby. Additionally, consistently evaluating your daily goals will help keep you motivated throughout your journey in medical school and motherhood alike!
Trust your intuition
When it comes to mental health and seeking help, the first step is trusting your intuition. Medical students may be hesitant to seek help due to feelings of confusion, inadequate knowledge of their options, shame, stigma or fear. By learning how to listen to and trust your own intuitive feelings and instincts you can gain greater self-awareness to recognize when a situation requires more attention than usual.
This can include acknowledging situations that need further support or further awareness such as depression, anxiety, burnout or traumatic events.
The key is being aware of your thoughts and feelings, recognizing patterns in them and then deciding whether these types of situations require professional care. With time and practice trusting your intuition can be a valuable tool in navigating the challenging world of medical student life and beyond.
Forget the snap-back
When it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing, who you surround yourself with is essential. As a new mom, it’s all too easy to become absorbed in the idea of the “snap-back”. Instead of focusing on ideals of perfection and unrealistic goals, prioritize connecting with those that can provide understanding and support.
Find communities both online and offline which are open and generous with their advice, stories, experiences and encouragement. Friends that resonate with you on a deeper level can be a valuable form of emotional self-care for your mental health. Lean in to conversations that feel safe enough for you to be honest about your struggles. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with family and friends who can relate or have been in similar situations themselves. Gather support from people who remind you to take care of yourself without judgement or shame – this is particularly important if they are moms themselves!
Stop comparing yourself to other moms
Comparing yourself to other mothers can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to mental health. New moms are already feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of a newborn and it can be easy to let that overwhelm turn into comparison and negative self-talk.
It’s important to remember that motherhood looks different for every family, and what might work for one family may not work for another. Remind yourself that each family’s unique structure is valuable in its own way, and allow yourself time to adjust to your new role without judgement or expectation.
If you need help managing any negative feelings related to comparison, seek out a qualified professional such as a counsellor or therapist who can provide guidance and support.
Stop comparing your baby to other babies
Comparing your baby to others can be one of the most difficult – and potentially unhealthy – things that a new mom can do. It is important to recognize that every baby develops differently and at its own pace. Each baby’s growth, milestones, interests, and abilities are unique and will not look the same as all the other babies around them.
Instead of comparing babies to each other, focus on what works best for your child. Celebrate each small accomplishment or milestone achieved without comparison or competition. There is no time limit on learning; your baby will learn as they get older, no matter how long it takes them or what “standard” they are expected to reach by a certain age. Take pride in their individual journey instead of focusing on how it compares to others. Allowing yourself the freedom to celebrate differences can lead to better self-esteem and improved mental health for both you and your little one!
Appreciate your body (and all its been through)
After having a baby, you are likely hard on yourself when it comes to how your body looks. It’s important to remember that your body created a human and that is no small feat. Celebrate the beautiful changes you have experienced and give yourself credit for all the new found strength they bring. Don’t dwell on any perceived imperfections and don’t try to look like anyone else- just enjoy being you!
Setting realistic goals is key here. Setting unrealistic expectations can be overwhelming and daunting, leading you down a rabbit hole of low self-confidence. Instead of trying to “lose it all fast” or “tone up in no time”, focus on taking steady steps towards self-acceptance and body positivity.
- Accepting your body for what it is now, can help keep you from succumbing to unhealthy trends or cobbling together drastic diet plans in the quest for quick results.
Leave time in your schedule for nothing
It can be tempting for new moms to fill every minute of their day with activities, errands, and tasks. But it’s important to make room for nothing—to create space within your day and your schedule for just being. This doesn’t mean sitting around twiddling your thumbs all day; it means setting aside time for relaxation, self-care, and reflection—activities that are often neglected in the hustle and bustle of modern parenting.
In addition to the benefits it has on mental health and well-being, this intentional downtime can also provide clarity on worries, doubts, decisions, or future plans. These breaks are essential when it comes to helping you become a more effective parent through giving yourself permission to pause and recharge.
Try talk therapy
Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a powerful tool for managing mental health issues and improving life satisfaction. When engaging in talk therapy, you will seek out a therapist who can help you identify and understand the struggles that you are facing. This can include identifying underlying issues that might be impacting your emotional health or developing coping strategies to manage difficult situations. Additionally, talk therapy can help to provide emotional support and build empathy within relationships.
The benefits of talk therapy are often well worth the investment – it can lead to greater self-awareness and improved relationships that both positively impact your life. Talk therapy has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression – which makes it beneficial for any mother who is dealing with postpartum depression or other mental health issues.
Remember this season doesn’t last forever
One of the most important mental health tips for new moms is to remind yourself that this season of life won’t last forever. Becoming a new mom can be overwhelming, and there will be times when it feels like you’re never going to get back to your “normal” life. But the truth is, this momentary phase of life will pass and eventually you’ll be looking back at it fondly.
Instead of wallowing in the feeling that you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle, try taking a few deep breaths and reminding yourself that this season will end soon. It may not feel like it now, but you can take solace in knowing that you’ll make your way through this with lots of hard work, patience and self-care.
Questions about Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety can have an incredibly devastating effect on new moms. Many new mothers experience overwhelming emotions and mood shifts, some of which are completely normal – while others may signal underlying issues like depression or anxiety. If you’re a new mother who’s concerned about your mental health, it’s important to understand the signs of depression and anxiety and to know when to seek help.
Questions about depression and anxiety can help you identify feelings that you may want to discuss with your doctor or therapist. Common questions include:
- Have you been feeling down, sad, or hopeless lately?
- Have you been feeling unusually anxious or irritable?
- Are there any activities that make you feel worse?
- Have the numbers on your scale been fluctuating in ways that bother you?
- Do you have difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or making decisions?
Answering these questions truthfully can give new parents an idea of what kind of help they may need.
What are depression and anxiety?
Mental health can be generally defined as a state of well-being in which individuals have the capacity to cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their community. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on an individual’s emotional, physical and social wellbeing.
Depression is a mood disorder that can affect one’s daily life significantly, often causing feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in sleep patterns or appetite, decreased energy levels, difficulty concentrating or making decisions and feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
Anxiety is an emotional state characterized by feelings of worry, agitation and fear that can adversely affect daily functioning. Symptoms associated with anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Tight muscles
Are you talking about postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a fairly prevalent form of maternal mental illness that can make it difficult for new moms to adjust to their new roles and responsibilities. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the feelings of anxiety, depression, fatigue and other symptoms of PPD. One such way is to utilize technology including tracking apps, telehealth services and online support groups.
Tracking apps can help monitor moods while telehealth services provide access to therapy at any time. Apps like TalkSpace, Pratter and MindShift allow new mothers to chat with therapists or outsource tasks like grocery shopping or meal planning. There are also online support groups where women can connect with other mothers who are dealing with similar challenges.
By using these digital resources in addition to traditional treatment options, new moms can better manage their postpartum depression symptoms and thrive during this special time in their lives!
What are some signs of depression and anxiety?
Pregnancy, postpartum, and early motherhood can be a time of significant transition and excitement, but it can also bring up many mental health challenges. It’s common to experience some level of depression and/or anxiety during this time.
Some signs of depression include feeling a lack of joy or interest in activities that you typically find enjoyable or meaningful; feeling guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness; sleeping too little or too much; difficulty concentrating; restlessness or fatigue; changes in appetite (either overeating or loss of appetite); isolating yourself from friends and family members.
Symptoms of anxiety include excessive worry about the present or future; restlessness, feeling on edge; problems sleeping; panic attacks; heart palpitations; muscle tension, feelings of jumpiness. It is important to recognize these signs if you are experiencing them, as mental health issues can have a serious impact on your quality of life and the well-being of your family.
How common are depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
Depression and anxiety are surprisingly common amongst pregnant women and new mothers. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly one out of nine pregnant women reported symptoms of depression or anxiety in 2018. These rates are even higher post-partum; an estimate from the American Psychological Association indicates that 10-15% of mothers suffer from postpartum depression. Anxiety is also a common emotion for new parents. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that approximately 15% of women develop an anxiety disorder during pregnancy or the postpartum period, making it one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues amongst this group.
To cope with these overwhelming feelings, it’s important to take time to care for yourself and focus on self-care strategies that can help alleviate stress.
What are the risk factors for depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
Depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth can be caused by a variety of risk factors. These can include prior history of depression, stressful life events, large family changes (such as the addition of new members), insomnia, low socioeconomic status, trauma, and relationship stresses. Women who experience domestic violence or substance use issues are also at greater risk for depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy. Additionally, it is important to note that postpartum depression can affect people of all backgrounds, regardless of their previous mental health history.
It is important for people to develop coping skills in order to support their mental health and have resources available to them in case depressive or anxious episodes arise during or after pregnancy.
Can depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth affect my baby?
Depression and anxiety that occur during pregnancy or after childbirth, also known as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), can potentially impact the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of both the mother and her child. Mothers with PMADs often have difficulty bonding with their baby or getting necessary rest due to the severity of their symptoms. In addition, untreated depression or anxiety can influence a child’s temperament and behavior while they are still in the womb.
For example, research suggests that babies born to mothers with clinical depression may be more likely to exhibit anxious behavior or chronic irritability than those born to mothers without it. Unfortunately, children of mothers with PMADs may also be at an increased risk for developing behavioral problems such as poor concentration and hyperactivity in childhood.
Therefore, it is important for new moms who are struggling with depression or anxiety to get treatment via medication, counseling/therapy, support groups or other forms of help in order to ensure that any potential effects on their baby are minimized. Additionally, providing extra emotional support for the new mom can help her cope better during this challenging time. Finally, helping your child feel safe and secure can be invaluable when it comes to providing them assurance during this difficult period.
Are there treatments for depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
Depression and anxiety can be experienced during pregnancy or after birth and can have an adverse impact on the health of both the mother and baby. Seeking help from a mental health professional is highly recommended for mothers who are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety during this time.
Therapy, psychotherapy, counseling, or other forms of talk therapy are typically the first step in treating depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth. Different types of therapies may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), marriage counseling, individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, etc. In addition, medications such as antidepressants may also be prescribed to mothers suffering from mental health issues.
In any case, mothers should consult with their doctors or a mental health specialist before making any decisions about treatment options.
Counseling (Talk Therapy)
Counseling, or talk therapy, is a great way for new moms to cope with their worries and anxieties in a safe, non-judgmental environment. During counseling sessions, you’ll work one-on-one with a mental health professional to process and understand your thoughts and feelings and learn healthy coping strategies. Counseling can be done on an individual basis or as part of a group.
These types of therapies can be short-term or long-term, depending on your needs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of counseling that is particularly useful in helping new moms become resilient and cope better in challenging times. CBT helps you identify patterns of thought that may be getting in the way and encourages you to create healthier relationships with yourself, others, and society.
Counselling can help provide valuable insight into situations that feel overwhelming and provide the support needed to move forward in life.
Medication can be an essential tool in managing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. However, it should never be a replacement for other forms of treatment such as therapy or mindfulness-based approaches.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment, allowing us to stay grounded in our experiences and observe our thoughts, feelings and behaviors with compassion. Medication may be necessary to help manage symptoms quickly, but mindfulness can provide a more durable form of relief. Studies have shown that mindfulness-based treatments are highly effective for improving mood, reducing anxiety and eliminating symptoms associated with depression.
It is important to talk to your doctor about all your options before starting any new medication or lifestyle change.
Is there anything I can do in addition to treatment?
Yes, even if your child is receiving treatment for his anxiety, there are additional things you can do to help your child feel more connected to his classroom and friends. Some suggestions include:
- Encouraging social activities with friends that follow safety guidelines.
- Getting involved with online support groups or classes.
- Having your child write letters or emails to classmates and friends.
- Joining a virtual book club or recreational sports league.
- Scheduling video chats with classmates and friends.
- Taking educational field trips together by watching documentaries, visiting nature preserves, etc.
- Listening to calming music together (or alone).
- Encouraging him to use hobbies like art and photography to express how he’s feeling.
Additionally, it’s important for your child to develop coping skills that are tailored specifically towards managing anxiety in the classroom. By participating in activities like these, you can help your child learn healthy coping strategies for both in-person and virtual learning environments.
Can I prevent depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?
Pregnancy and postpartum depression and anxiety can be difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to preventing or avoiding these mental health conditions; however, there are steps you can take to positively affect your mental health during and after pregnancy.
First and foremost, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are many resources available that can provide support as you navigate the emotional journey of motherhood. Seeking professional help in the form of counseling or therapy may be beneficial if you feel overwhelmed or find yourself struggling with depression or anxiety symptoms.
Additionally, it’s important to look after your physical health by:
- Eating well
- Exercising regularly
- Getting plenty of rest
- Staying hydrated
These habits can help reduce stress levels and boost overall wellbeing – both during pregnancy and after birth.
Finally, make sure you take some time for yourself throughout pregnancy; it’s important to find moments of relaxation each day in order to maintain emotional balance.
FAQs about: mental health tips for new moms
Q: What are some ways to manage stress during the postpartum period?
A: There are many things that new moms can do to manage stress during the postpartum period. Some strategies include getting adequate rest, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, participating in relaxation activities such as yoga or meditation, and seeking help from family and friends. Additionally, it is important to find time for self-care and to seek professional help if needed.
Q: How can I make sure that I am taking care of my mental health as a new mom?
A: It is important for new moms to be mindful of their mental health. Some tips for taking care of your mental health include setting realistic expectations for yourself, making time for yourself and for hobbies that you enjoy, and reaching out for help if needed. Additionally, it is important to practice self-compassion and talk to your doctor if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Q: What are some signs that it is time to seek professional help for postpartum depression?
A: If you are experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or guilt, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, difficulty bonding with your baby, or thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, it is important to seek professional help. It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.