It is not possible to predict how you are going to feel after you give birth and the period that follows, even a subsequent pregnancy will be different. There are no failsafe ways to prevent baby blues or postpartum depression! You may find these tips helpful for preparing yourself mentally (and physically) to handle the curveballs life with a new baby throws your way:
- Nutritional status prior to and during pregnancy can impact how you feel after delivery - Have your healthcare provider rule out and correct iron deficiency or anemia prior to pregnancy when possible and continue to monitor it during pregnancy and postpartum.
- Have an exercise routine in place before and during pregnancy to make it easier to continue exercising after delivery - This can include going for brisk walks daily. Exercise increases strength and stamina for labour preparation not to mention increases endorphins and mood enhancing neurotransmitters. See this Q&A for how long you should wait before exercising after delivery.
- Organize support before your baby is born - Asking for help is a good thing, don’t be afraid to ask for it! Most people are willing to help out (especially friends and family) but they need to know what you need help with. Consider asking for help planning and making healthy meals (freezer or fresh), doing laundry, looking after older children (organizing play dates) or assisting with any number of items important to you. Let your friends and family know ahead of time that you are not sure what you will require help with after your baby is born but having reliable people on standby can make daily chores more manageable.
Check out this post for tips to help avoid exhaustion and low mood postpartum.
Read this Q&A to find our more about why you may not mentally feel like your normal, pre-pregnant self postpartum.
This Q&A discusses the difference between low mood or "baby blues", postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.