Baby Blues are terrible. When we should rejoice at the birth of our little ones, we are suddenly hit by this overwhelming downward feelings. I had my fair share of baby blues and here are 10 MUST READ TIPS to conquer baby blues!
1. BE MENTALLY PREPARED
BE MENTALLY PREPARED that baby blues can hit anyone anytime anywhere (yes, even the father too). Try to stay as objective and rational as you can if it hits you. You will know it when it hits you. Remember, it is not abnormal, in fact, it is common and you can recover from it. For the symptoms, click here.
2. TALK TO SOMEONE
TALK TO SOMEONE about your feelings even if it’s irrational. Don’t be afraid that they’ll laugh at you or belittle you. You will be surprised how normal they’ll view it. Your recovery will be faster when there’s somebody with you in this battle. They may be your hubby, your close friends, sisters, parents, or even a counsellor. In moment of urgency, when you need somebody to talk to, you may call KKH Mental Wellness at 6394-3739 for enquiries regarding Perinatal Depression Support Group.
3. WORK OUT A RECOVERY PLAN
WORK OUT A RECOVERY PLAN with your close one. It may be a shared responsibility feeding schedule, getting help from others to reduce your household load, dog therapy, 1 hr outdoor breather per day, taking naps during day time, watching your favorite Korean drama, etc etc. Try what you think is the best remedy for your current situation. Be confident, you and your close one will know what’s best for you.
4. IF YOU’VE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, TELL SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY!
IF YOU’VE THOUGHTS OF HARMING YOURSELF OR YOUR BABY, TELL SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY! If you’ve suicidal thoughts, you may call the 24hrs SOS hotline 1800-221-4444. If you need psychiatrist’s advice, you may call IMH crisis hotline 6389 2222 or visit IMH A&E for an assessment by psychiatrist on what’s the best option for you.
5. TAKE UP PARENTING ROLE AT YOUR PACE
DON’T JUMP INTO IT, TAKE UP THE PARENTING ROLE AT YOUR PACE. Like what I’ve experienced, by placing the cot in the bedroom straight away after discharge is very detrimental to the post delivery / caesarian recovery. Since baby blues are also caused by the physical changes after delivery, thus the faster you recover physically, the faster baby blues will fade off naturally. Try to rest as much as possible, eat as nutritious as you can, sleep whenever you have the time, and arrange some light recreational activities (walk by the river, etc) from time to time. Only when your body is ready, your mind will be ready for the parenting role.
6. LEAVE THE HOUSE, GO TO A SHORT RETREAT
IF YOU CAN’T TAKE IT, LEAVE THE HOUSE AND GO TO A SHORT RETREAT. If you feel that you can’t take it anymore and will break down anytime (e.g. panic attack, shout or cry uncontrollably, jittering behavior, etc), arrange for a short getaway at your friend’s house, your maternal parents’ house, a hotel, wellness centre, etc. Have enough rest and recuperate well before returning home to face the challenge with a rejuvenate soul.
7. IF YOU HAVE INSOMNIA, TAKE NAPS DURING DAY TIME
IF YOU HAVE INSOMNIA, IT’S NORMAL, TRY TO TAKE NAPS DURING DAY TIME. It’s a natural instinct that you’ll have difficulty sleeping as new born will require 2-3 feed per night (imagine x 3 for triplets!), thus it’s perfectly normal that you have hallucinations of baby crying and insomnia initially. Don’t worry, once you body get used to it (usually 1-2 week), your body will work out a balanced system so that you have enough rest at night and won’t miss your baby’s cry. To cope with lack of sleep, try to take naps during the day time. Remember, even if it’s 30 mins, even if it’s on the sofa, it’s still considered as part of your sleep. Add them up, you could have plenty of sleep already. Don’t start on courses of sleeping pills immediately, trust me, the insomnia will fade away naturally.
8. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET, YOU’RE A PARENT NOW
You may use to have a “happening” lifestyle; clubbing, drinking, or traveling frequently, and had complete control over when to eat, sleep, play etc. But once you become a parent, everything change…you tend to “lose control” over your life, even the most basic aspect of your life such as sleeping is greatly affected. And you got to accept it, BECAUSE YOU’RE A PARENT NOW. Grow up! Everyone of us have to reach this stage in life. If you have a choice, would you prefer to stay childless or bear with the hardship of parenting for the initial few yrs and enjoy the family life with children later on? Well, since you’re a parent now, you’ve the answer already.
9. DON’T WORRY EXCESSIVELY FOR YOUR BABIES
As what the Chinese said 儿孙自有儿孙福，莫为儿孙作远忧 which means “your children will have their own destiny and fortune, thus do not worry excessively for them”. You are not a supermom either. Thus even if your babies have jaundice or illness, it’s not your fault! Don’t blame yourself. In fact, it’s very common for babies to have jaundice, flu, cradle cap, vomiting, diarrhea etc, it’s part and puzzle of growing up.
10. LEAVE IT TO GOD, HAVE FAITH
Yes, having faith is very important, our heavenly Father is there for you. Reach out to Him for strength, guidance, and wisdom. You will be STILL when you know He’s there for you.