Health & well-being for mum

Emotional health

Emotional health is a state of well-being. Being a new parent is an amazing time in your life but at times you can feel stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed and confused; being emotionally healthy will enable you to deal with these feelings a lot better.

All new parents should strive to be emotionally healthy as this positive energy will not only improve relationships but also be felt by your baby and you will have a very happy little bundle. Overall you will have a happy household. Remember, being emotionally unwell is the same as being physically unwell; get support and you will feel better.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether you are just feeling a little down or stressed, or whether you may have symptoms of a mental health problem. For symptoms of postnatal depression read our feature on postnatal depression.

If you feel constantly stressed or concerned, there are plenty of things you can do to give your mind a break and work on your emotional well-being. New mums can get so wrapped up in their baby, they forget that there is a whole world outside. Simply allocating time to go for a walk has great benefits for your emotional well-being. The fresh and quiet air will soothe your mind and distract baby. Babies are always happy to be in the outdoors. It will also add to a routine. It can be hard to get into a routine with a new baby but by six months getting into a routine with baby will make life a whole lot easier; make this a priority. Therefore, if baby is cranky, you will know it’s only a couple more hours before sleep time and you will have some well-earned peace and quiet.

Joining a mother and baby group can work wonders for a mum’s emotional wellbeing. When you’re isolated with a new baby, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one going through these strains and struggles; all mums feel guilty for feeling certain ways. Five minutes in a mother and baby group and you quickly realise you are not the only one. It’s a great way to de-stress by talking to people who are in the exact same position as you or have been. You will realise these feelings are completely normal. You’ll also have a good giggle about all those stressful ordeals like getting hit with projectile vomit! It happens to us all.

Reconnect with friends and work colleagues. Find out the gossip in work, see what you’re friends are up to, what’s the latest book they’re all reading and when is their next big night out. It’s nice to be have friends who don’t have babies too. When you have a baby you’re subjected to mum talk for years. Suddenly you’re invisible and its, ‘how’s…, what age is he/she now…’. Having friends with no children usually puts a stop to this (for a little while) and you find yourself talking about the things you would have discussed before you had your baby. There is no harm in escaping baby land for a little while, your baby will still always be your number one priority.

Getting back to your pre-baby body can be another source of strain on new mums. Relax, it will come back. Like the old saying goes, they grow up way too fast and it’s true, your baby will never be that small again. Enjoy these precious moments and gradually get your figure by doing it the right way, through healthy eating and exercise. Eating the right food is another way to benefit your emotional well-being, while exercise does not have to be daily work-outs. A daily walk and weekly swims with baby is enough. If you’re feeling really determined, invest in a home work-out DVD.

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