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Dealing With Negative Feelings After Giving Birth

It is not uncommon for women to feel unhappy, anxious and irritable after giving birth. Following one of the most amazing moments of your life, it can be very unsettling to experience negative thoughts. But you should not feel guilty about these feelings nor should you ignore them. Here are some ways that might help new mothers cope with negative feelings.

1. Ask for help

Motherhood is hard work. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the work involved, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your partner, your family, friends, neighbors and the community. No one expects you to be able to cope all the time, so don’t expect it of yourself. With a helping hand here and there, it might help you worry less and allow you to concentrate on the joy of having a baby.

2. Speak to someone

Find someone you trust to talk to about your negative feelings. This could be your partner, a friend or another mother. If your problems are having a significant effect on your enjoyment of life with your new baby, you may wish to seek help from a counselor who is experienced in these issues.

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photo from Jim Champion

3. Get out and about

It’s amazing what a long walk in the fresh air can do to improve your mood. If you do this on a regular basis, then you will keep those happy chemicals in your brain topped up. Getting some fresh air and sunshine is also beneficial for your baby. It allows them to explore the world and helps them to sleep.

4. Address body hang-ups

Some women feel very negative about their post-birth body. The last thing you want on top of all the hard work you are doing is to feel self-conscious. There are lots of ways to deal with new Mommy body hang-ups, for example using pregnancy stretch mark cream, taking light exercise for weight loss and improving your diet. You should ask you doctor for guidance on dealing with such issues.

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photo from Walt Stoneburner

5. Make a thought journal

For some mothers, it helps to get their feelings out of their head and onto paper. It allows them to view their thoughts from afar, as if from another person’s perspective. In some cases, writing a thought diary can help you to realize that you are too hard on yourself.

6. Socialize

Being around others having a more “normal” experience can also help to lift your spirits. Ask your family and friends to tell you what is going on in their lives. This will give your mind a break from all the things that are making you stressed at home.

7. Have some “you” time

Make sure you get some regular time for yourself. When your baby is asleep do something that makes you happy like reading a great book or soaking in a bubble bath. If these opportunities are hard to come by, this is another time that you should call on your loved ones for help.

Negative feelings are common following birth. Instead of bottling them up, do your best to deal with them with self-help techniques or with professional help.

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