By Andrea Stein
So you've had your beautiful baby! Now its time for some nurturing and emotional support all your own! You may have new found muscle aches from the strain of labor and childbirth such as neck, shoulders, low back, hips and uterine cramping as it begins to return to original size. And lets not forget fluid retention and blossoming breast which also cause discomfort. Along with the aches comes lack of sleep and fluctuating hormones.
How do you handle all of this and take care of your new little bundle of joy? Joy...shouldn't it be the wonderful time you imagined it would be! And yet, why all the uncontrollable crying? Why the desire to hide from it all in bed? And the guilt?! Guilt because you want to care for your baby but, just don't feel the seemingly natural desire to do so. All of the dreaming, anticipation and planning for this special addition did not prepare you for what some term "Baby Blues" or Post Partum Depression.
Actually "Baby Blues"last a short time after baby arrives, due to continued changes emotionally, mentally and especially physically. Post partum depression however, lingers for some time, making it difficult to function in everyday life. This may be due to low hormone levels of Serotonin and Dopamine.
Rick Morgan in his article: Massage Helps Post Partum Depression, gives these suggestions on steps that can be taken:
See your doctor. Don’t wait and hope it gets better on its own. Your doctor can do some tests to make sure your hormone levels are OK and guide you to some treatment options.
Join a new moms group. Support and acknowledgment of your situation is helpful in both preventing depression as well as treating it.
Force yourself to get up and spend some time doing something physical. Even a few minutes a day can help. Exercise and sunlight both naturally elevate your feel good hormones in the brain.
Reduce stress where you can. We often take on too much by ourselves. Ask other to help you through this time. Simplify your life as much as possible so you don’t get overwhelmed. Depression often makes one feel overwhelmed, but often we simply are. If you are trying to juggle a new baby, do all the housework, take the other kids to their extracurricular activities and be a great wife and mom all by yourself, then you are overwhelmed.
Get a massage! Research has shown that massage stimulates dopamine production and reduces the “stress hormones” running through your body. It’s amazing how much better you are able to deal with the challenges in life after you have had a massage. Massage also helps the psyche. As a new mom, you are doing so much for your family and new baby. All the focus is on your baby and your friends and family will often focus so much on the new baby, they forget about you. Taking the time to have someone focus on making you feel good goes a long
way toward feeling better about yourself.
Andrea Stein is the Owner of Andrea's Skin Care & Body Therapy, a Certified Aesthetician, Prenatal & Perinatal Massage Therapist and member of the American Pregnancy Massage Association. Her desire is to help women feel good, look beautiful and be healthy from conception through delivery and beyond! She can be reached at 209-765-4967
Indulge...In Your Health!
Andrea Stein has been in the Beauty, Health and Wellness industry for over 38 years. She is the owner of Andrea's Skin Care & Body Therapy, a practicing Certified Aesthetician and Massage Therapist. Her goal is to provide memorable spa experiences that are relaxing and rejuvenating while achieving results that you will both see and feel.