Pregnancy & Parenting

Baby Blues

How to help yourself when you've got post-natal blues.
Cut yourself some slack
Don't worry about the housework, the laundry, or writing thank-you notes for shower gifts. Those things can wait. Take each day as it comes and just do the best you can.

Ask for (and accept) help
When you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, reach out to the people you love for support. When friends offer to help, let them! After all, every minute that someone else vacuums the floor or does the dishes gives you an extra minute to be with your baby or get some much-needed rest.

Take care of yourself
Make your own needs a priority as much as possible. Eat well, rest as much as you can, and gradually resume your old physical activities, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood every afternoon. Try to carve out time that is just for you -- whether it's lunch with a friend or a long hot bath.

This may seem easier said than done, but sleep is crucial to your emotional and physical health. Don't worry about sleeping "normal" hours -- nap whenever your baby naps. The rest will do you both a world of good.

If the blues linger

Baby blues typically start soon after giving birth and generally last only a week or so (although it may feel longer!). If the blues linger for more than a week or two, it could mean the beginning of a more serious condition called postpartum depression (PPD). Although relatively rare, PPD can be devastating.

Treatment is available, so if you suspect you are suffering from this disorder it is important to see your doctor and find out your treatment options. Dads suffer from the baby blues, too -- often because they feel left out. The key is to get Dad involved right from the start so you both can delight in baby's ways.

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