3 Easy Mindfulness Strategies for Postpartum Moms

Postpartum baby blues can hit hard, and in those moments when they do, it’s useful to have some helpful strategies at the ready.

Personally it was the fatigue that got to me. Before baby I had a handful of everyday tools to help me deal with mild anxiety and depression – like yoga, cooking a meal beginning to end, chats with loved ones, and journalling. All lovely, effective self-care activities but throw in caring for a new baby, mastering breastfeeding, waking up all hours of the night…the thought of going to a $25 yoga class and then making Julia Child’s beef bourguignon was laughable!

During this time I decided to double-down on easy, quick mindfulness techniques that I could do at home on an everyday basis.

A good friend with two littles of her own had given me a tub of Trader Joe’s lavender salt scrub (oh so scrumptious smelling, btw) at my baby shower, along with some sage advice:

“When you don’t have time or money for hour long massages anymore, this in the shower is the next best thing.”

I am happy to say that she was totally right, and it was metaphorically accurate for the rest of “relaxing while mothering”!

Mindfulness, for me and many others, is a practical way of recharging your battery as a postpartum mama. The struggle during this time can be extra frustrating because there has never been a time where you needed self-care more, and never been a time where you had less time and energy for self-care!

Practicing mindfulness frequently can really help a tired, slightly anxious or depressed postpartum mama.

For instance…

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Maternal Mental Health Matters!

In honor of Maternal Mental Health Week, I thought I’d write down some of my musings (rants?) on the subject. I’m an RN in the postpartum unit of a major local hospital, so interact with moms of all types in that fast and furious first 1-3 days (and sometimes longer) from birth. I wrote my Master’s thesis on postpartum depression and the efficacy/importance of prenatal identification for at-risk mamas. I myself am a mom (would be a pretty weird blog name if not, huh?) that has gone through her own pits and valleys with mental health issues, and also spent a few years volunteering on a really excellent phone line for people in crisis related to sexual trauma. What I’m trying to say is that…I feel like I’m qualified to say my little piece on moms and mental health here in Internetland.

I like to qualify myself a little because I run into so, SO much media and culture that has this funny little undercurrent that seems to whisper: “You are not enough”. As a woman, as a new mother, as an experienced one, a young one, an old one…

I don’t like it.

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In Defense of the Postpartum Mom

I love new moms. There I said it.

Moms who breastfeed their babies, moms who exclusively formula feed…moms who are on baby number four and moms who have actually just taken on the role.The creation of a family, however that looks, is beautifully profound. Moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, community members, cousins…and there, at the center of it, is a beautiful new mom and baby-child.

That dynamic duo…they’ve just been through a lot! Even the smoothest of deliveries (and even adoptions) come with a certain amount of stress.

For instance:

That long, slow-moving pregnancy, full of anticipation and maybe a little fear; the burst of energy right before delivery that many women experience; the delivery (dear God, the delivery).

In the immediate weeks postpartum, women and their babies (and to an extent their partners) need a particular brand of support that few seem to actually receive – but is very, very simple… Continue reading “In Defense of the Postpartum Mom”