Be prepared for what might happen
Worrying and fretting over your baby’s safety is a normal and a common issue for all pregnant women. It’s instinctual for us to see danger heightened around us in order to protect our precious bundle but if those feelings consume you it may be that you are suffering from pre or postnatal anxiety. If you are aware and knowledgeable about how the mind can get affected post-birth you can better lookout for the signs and signals that you may need more support.
The importance of sleep
The one tip that I tell my pregnant friends before birth is sleep as much as you can in the lead-up. Taking naps once the baby is here and sleeping when they do is an essential way of coping with the long routine of babycare. Sleeping will act as a medicine for your mind so take it whenever you can get it.
Nutrition – look after your body
A lack of proper nutrition and dehydration can lead to issues for your mind in that postnatal time. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day, taking vitamins and eating even small amounts of good food throughout the day can give you all-important energy to look after baby and help with breastfeeding. Having friends or family cook for you or preparing and freezing meals ahead of birth is a great way to have the right kind of foods readily available to you.
Fresh Air – getting out and about with your baby
It’s hard to get out when you’re a new mother even the idea of it is exhausting but taking in some fresh air and connecting with the outside world is hugely important when you have those long days and even longer nights. Going to mum groups, soft plays, health centres and NCT class get-togethers will help you connect with mums in your area and bring you a new support network. It always helps to have people to talk to in the same position as you and talking about a worry or concern releases that from your mind. It also helps you realise you are not the only one and these feeling whatever they might be are not alien to new mums.
Support – help from friends and family
‘It takes a village to raise a child!’ once you become a mother this statement makes so much sense. You can’t do everything yourself and you aren’t expected to, so take any help that’s offered from friends and family. Give the baby over so you can have a nice long shower, watch your favourite show or just simply have some all-important rest.
It’s common to feel alone and isolated when your postpartum but you are not, so even reaching out to your Health Visitor team or GP should you need someone to talk to about any worries you may have will help you feel supported and encouraged. Sometimes talking to a stranger feels less like you’re being judged so whomever it may be that you feel comfortable enough to open up to do.
Pressure – be kind to yourself
Don’t put pressure on yourself or your baby to do anything too soon or too perfectly because the truth is it’s all not real. Take your time, mistakes happen you and baby will go stronger together each day in time.
It’s so hard to not put huge pressure on yourself when you become a new mother but it’s an unhealthy cycle. There will never be a day you get absolutely everything right and rarely a day you don’t get something even important wrong. It’s okay… we all do it and once you realise that the pressure and that unreachable standard you’ve set yourself is never going to be met you can start to relax and enjoy this precious time.
Movement and good mental health
Your body goes through so much change over the nine months of pregnancy not just emotionally but posturally too somehow you’re then expected to recover in a matter of hours. You can come back to health quicker by finding a good pre and postnatal Osteopath. This can make a huge difference in how your body carries your baby before and after birth. Residual pain can play a big part in mental health issues so finding someone you can trust to help your body mechanically recover from the pregnancy and birth can be life-changing. I saw Kam Panesar of https://londonosteopathiccare.com.
I never thought I would be the kind of mum to brave enough to do this but the results were incredible. Ingesting your placenta in tablets, a smoothie form if you’re brave enough can be THE best way to put those all-important lost nutrients back into your body.
The balance that is can restore in those first few weeks in absolutely necessary and I felt totally different in my post c section recovery. There are lots of companies that offer this service so don’t be afraid to give your body one of the oldest and most natural ways to heal from birth. (Placenta Practice is the one I used) https://www.placentapractice.co.uk/.
Signs of postnatal depression and anxiety
Educating your partner, family member or friends on how to spot the early signs of postnatal depression and anxiety is crucial as you yourself with most likely be unable to be aware of them. Early signals are a total lack of energy, not looking at or bonding with baby, not wanting to hold or care for your child. Loss of sense of humour, appetite and the want to socialise or go out, is again, all symptoms.
Avoiding eye contact, becoming withdrawn, constant irritability, angry outbursts, and inconsolable crying are sure signs that it’s time to get some support. A trip to the GP is the first point of contact. If you are in the first six weeks telling your healthcare visitor or midwife is ideal, but any professional medical expert will know exactly how to help.
It’s amazing how much the power of music can affect your mood. I made a ‘Happy’ playlist after my firstborn and would put it on whenever I felt low or out of sorts. It always brought me back to myself reminding me of that perfect holiday moment or fun memory with my friends.
Neev Spencer, TV and Radio broadcaster
Join Neev on February 29th at Live Talks, The Baby Show for her panel, ‘A Powerful Baby Brain’ with Ali Bastian, Olivia Siegl and Dr Sarah Vohra. For discounted tickets, quote MYBABA at the checkout and save over 30% off entry.
For competitions and offers from our favourite brands, click here.