Tips on How to Reduce Postpartum Stress

If you’re a new mom, you are likely experiencing a range of emotions, including elation, joy, anxiety, exhaustion and stress. Postpartum stress is a common emotion experienced by new moms who have just given birth. While it is a common occurrence, stress can have a long-term, negative impact on your health, which can in turn affect your ability to take care of your baby.

Our guide on tips to minimizing postpartum stress will help you to reduce postpartum stress in order to take care of your health, as well as that of your newborn baby. The stress on new moms can be psychological, emotional, physical and hormonal, and the effects of stress have a major impact on new moms’ mental health.

Stress Relief Techniques: Tips On Reducing Postpartum Stress

There are a variety of tips that can help to minimize postpartum stress and assist with stress management. There are some simple steps that you can take in order to minimize postpartum anxiety and bring you stress relief. Here is a list of such stress management tips for new moms:

  • make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Ensuring that you get enough sleep is crucial to your overall wellbeing, as well as your ability to take care of your baby. Try to rest while your baby is napping. Even if you cannot fall asleep, close your eyes and breathe in deep, relaxing breaths in order to regain some of your physical and mental strength. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is crucial to recuperating and recharging and will give you the energy you need in order to stay healthy, particularly in the first few months of your baby’s life, when your baby needs you most.
  • make sure that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Nutrition is key to maintaining proper health. Avoid junk food, which will cause your blood sugar levels to spike and increase feelings of anxiety and eventually lead to a crash. Alcohol should also be avoided, as it is a depressant linked to sleep disturbances, while caffeine is a stimulant that interrupts sleep by increasing anxiety, therefore contributing to postpartum anxiety.
  • ensure that you make time for mommy time. While you may think that taking some time to yourself is selfish, taking some time each day to yourself is crucial to your physical and emotional health as a new mom. Take a hot bath in the evening, rent a film, or get a massage. Make a list of things that make you happy and make you feel more relaxed and do one to two of these things on days when you’re feeling particularly stressed in order to help manage the symptoms of stress that you are experiencing.
  • make some couple time. While naturally you and your partner’s priorities will shift to focus on baby, it is imperative to your relationship that you spend quality time together each day after your baby is born. This is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship, which is the crux of your baby’s life, as well as your own. Spend as much time as possible together; get a babysitter or grandma to take care of baby, and go for a long stroll or out for a romantic dinner, which can help bring you stress relief for your postpartum stress symptoms.
  • prepare yourself for the unpredictable. Be aware that there will be stressful days when you will only have time for baby. Don’t let these days get you down. Know that you will get to your to-do list another day and that it is okay if not everything goes as planned
  • enlist the help of your friends, family and even hired help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out to those you love in order to give you some stress relief. Postpartum care can be a very physically, mentally and emotionally draining experience and having others help you can help to relieve feelings of postpartum anxiety. You may even want to consider hiring a doula; these professional labor coaches can also help provide postpartum care during the first days and weeks following labor. Ask for a referral from your doctor, nurse, midwife or friend. And remember that asking for help doesn’t make you a bad mom, it means that you’re human, just like every other mom.

Postpartum Stress versus Postpartum Depression

While postpartum stress is characterized by mild to moderate feelings of stress and anxiety, postpartum depression is a serious disorder characterized by severe feelings of anxiety, fatigue, guilt, sadness and is also commonly characterized by suicidal thoughts. Learn more about postpartum depression here.

Click here to learn about postpartum anxiety disorder.