More than the “baby blues”
You may have heard of the term “baby blues” before, especially if you happen to be awaiting your own bundle of joy, but how many people know what the baby blues is?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, 70-80% of all new mothers experience some form of negative emotions or mood swings following the birth of their child.
The baby blues can look and feel different to everyone. Some common symptoms reported by those experiencing the “baby blues” include:
-Weepiness or crying without a reason
-Mood changes, and
A person can experience 1 or more of these symptoms and often struggle making sense of why they are feeling this way due to what society often says is supposed to be the most joyous season.
It is important for people to understand how normal it is to experience the “baby blues” and despite not knowing the exact cause of the baby blues, the hormonal changes that occur during and after pregnancy may be to blame. Other possible causes can be the adjustment to parenthood, lack of sleep, as well as lack of adequate support.
For some, the “baby blues” may only last a few weeks, for others, it may be the first sign of postpartum depression or anxiety, in which the symptoms may be lingering and/or feel more intense. If you or someone you know has been experiencing any of the above symptoms following the birth of a child (or the loss of one), it may be a good idea to seek out professional support.
Treatment is available to gain support and guidance while navigating parenthood. Talk therapy, whether individual or group, combined with support groups for new parents can be an effective way to feel less alone during this new chapter.
Please remember it does truly take a village to raise a child, and sometimes that village can include a therapist who can walk alongside you and your family ❤️
Food and Mood- By Shanley Schoenhofer, RD
A trending topic in nutrition as of late has been food and mood, as in, how what we eat can alter more than our physical health, but our mental health as well. In short, what we choose to put into our body can do amazing things, such as decrease inflammation, stabilize blood sugars, keep our hormones regulated and our gut microbiome (the trillions of bacteria living in our bodies) healthy and thriving. Research is suggesting that each and every one of those things I just listed may play a crucial role in our mood, potentially lightening and/or preventing depressive symptoms. Curious about what the research is saying we should include in our weekly and daily dietary intake?
- Fruits and Veggies, with primary focus being consuming a variety of color. So what does that mean? If you notice you are eating green apples and celery all the time, get crazy and add a banana, a red bell pepper and some mushrooms as well. Each different color of fruit and vegetable provides our body with different essential nutrients
- Omega-3 fatty acid, preferably from marine sources (fish, seaweed). You can achieve this from adding salmon to your dinners a couple nights a week, or you could purchase a fish oil supplement (with recommendation being you take 2 grams or 2,000 mg)
- Vitamin D, which has been given a lot of praise for reducing depressive symptoms, and in turn, if you are low in vitamin D the risk of depression may increase. Ways to achieve vitamin D is through sunlight, egg yolks, oily fish (salmon and sardines), milk, fortified orange juice or a vitamin D supplement.
- Folate. Folate is found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds and fortified foods, such as whole grain cereals
- Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals in the body, connected with brain biochemistry. Consuming nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) can help prevent a magnesium deficiency.
- Dairy, such as yogurt. This provides your body with probiotics, protein and calcium. Moderate amounts of dairy may help with low moods.
Here’s a sample meal plan to show you just how easy (and delicious) adding these nutrients into your daily life can be!
Breakfast – whole wheat toast (folate, magnesium) with avocado (omega-3) and scrambled eggs (vitamin D) and a glass of orange juice (vitamin D and fun fact: orange juice can also count as a “dairy” in the sense that it is fortified with an adequate amount of calcium)
Lunch – Canned Tuna (omega-3, vitamin D) on mixed greens with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and carrots (fruits, veggies, folate, magnesium) and balsamic vinaigrette. And a serving of multigrain crackers (folate)
Snack – Greek yogurt (dairy, vitamin D) and berries (fruit, magnesium)
Dinner – Burritos made with bean (magnesium), chicken and cheese (vitamin D, dairy) tortilla (folate) with veggie or side salad (veggies, magnesium, folate). Top your burrito with salsa (fruit/veg) and guacamole (fruit/veg and omega-3)
Snack – Dark chocolate almonds (magnesium, folate) and strawberries (fruit)