Postpartum depression and the “baby blues” affect many women after the birth of a new child. While the experience of having a newborn baby may typically be described as the “happiest time of your life,” the changes in hormones, environment, emotions, sleep patterns, and taking on the new role of a parent contribute to negative feelings. The “baby blues” are described as feelings of worry, unhappiness, and fatigue that a large percentage of women experience for a few weeks after childbirth.
Postpartum depression is accompanied with more severe symptoms, including anxiety, and the inability to care for oneself and family. The symptoms can appear anywhere between a week and a month after the birth of a baby and persist for many weeks. Postpartum depression typically requires professional help. It is important to seek help for feelings of depression after the birth of a child for both the health of the mother and the new baby.
Self-care is very important to practice while caring for a new baby. The checklist below can be used as a resource for new mothers to reference daily. This checklist can be customized in order to fit the needs and interests of a new mother. For example, one might want to add spending time outside taking in fresh air and sunshine a couple times a week. This may be refreshing for a new mother and baby depending on their needs and interests.
The Well Mom Checklist
- Have I eaten enough nutritious food today?
- Have I slept at least 5 hours, or taken a nap?
- Have I bathed or showered today?
- Have I exercised at least 10 minutes today?
- Have I had at least 10 minutes of quiet time for reflection and renewal today?
- Have I let myself laugh today?
- Have I let others help me today?
- Have I kissed my baby and told him/her that “I love you” today?
- Have I talked to at least one adult today about how I am doing today (not just about the baby)?
- Have I forgiven myself for mistakes today?
Copyright Sherry J. Duson 2001
The Hope and Healing Center & Institute is supporting new mothers with a new postpartum support group. The Mom’s Support Circle beginning January 17, 2018, will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Babies are welcome to accompany their mother as well. The support circle is open to all those struggling in the season of motherhood and seeking a safe place to share experiences and connect with other new mothers. For more information, please call (713) 871-1004 or www.hopeandhealingcenter.org.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. Postpartum Depression Facts. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml