Melt away your Postpartum Blues
Regardless of the fact that you wanted
this child and are thrilled beyond measure with your wonderful new life
together, you will also have the inevitable moments of exasperation, crankiness,
doubts about your intelligence and patience, wondering why you ever decided
to get into this in the first place. What follows is the RELAX! approach:
some quick, down-to-earth tips to help keep you in relatively good psychological
health. It is especially important to remember these tips in the fourth
trimester - the three months immediately following childbirth.
R Rest Whenever Possible
In this first week home, take to
bed and ask for a meal to be served you there. Let a helper watch the baby
while you nap (not while you search for the perfect cribsheet or do errands).
The baby - and those errands - will be yours forever; the offers of assistance
E Expect to Feel on an Emotional Roller Coaster
You may feel elated one moment, weepy
the next. Exhaustion heightens this dis-equilibrium, which may hit you
over the head or creep up on you. All new parents experience this at some
point post-childbirth. Remember: you are neither going crazy nor are you
a bad parent.
L Let the Feelings Out
Find a friend to talk with about
the experience you're having. Another mother, even one with whom you aren't
especially close, is a good bet: motherhood bonds. If that doesn't ease
the tension, think about short-term counseling with someone who has no
stake in your "acting nice."
A Alone Time Each Day Is a Must
Schedule15 minutes each day to remind
yourself you are a "you" - take a bath, read, daydream, whatever you enjoy.
It is too easy to let yourself slip away in the pleasures and pressures
of your new family life, and then resent that.
X Exit for a Date with Your Spouse
It's tempting to get caught up in
the joy of your new family and forget the romance of just you two. Don't.
Working, caring for baby, helping each other out are wearing as well as
fulfilling; you need to spend time alone nurturing your marriage. Have
an intimate dinner, play a game, take a long stroll - just schedule some
"couple time" each week so it won't get lost amidst the other demands on