Breastfeeding a baby is hard work for mothers. Studies show that producing milk and the act of breastfeeding can force your body to burn at least 200 to 500 calories. Despite the effort, many breastfeeding mothers always feel a tinge of guilt when they decide to stop breastfeeding their babies. Often, they think they are doing their baby a disservice by transitioning them to bottle feeding, and they may feel depressed for doing so. If you know someone who may be suffering from post-breastfeeding depression, this post will help them cope:
1. Acknowledge the Emotion
If you are feeling guilty about weaning your baby off, it’s important to understand that you are not alone in this journey. The moment you acknowledge the emotion, the easier it is for you to find ways to cope with it. Communicate your emotions to your doctor or your partner, and in return, they will be able to support you in your decision.
2. Eat Healthy
People with overwhelming feelings of sadness may find it hard to eat anything. Often, when you need to replenish yourself to gain some energy, you may find yourself binging on junk food. Instead, try to choose unprocessed and nutrient-heavy food items. If you’re snacking, it’s best to have avocados and berries. Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be necessary to regulate your hormonal signals. Eating healthily will also be great for dieting now that you can no longer burn calories from breastfeeding.
Most of the time, post-weaning mothers would feel depressed because the body is recalibrating for the upcoming hormonal adjustment that it will undergo. When your body exercises, it releases endorphins that can give you a “release” and help you regulate your emotions to go back to normal. Eventually, you’ll eliminate the stress that plagues you when you’re no longer breastfeeding. Getting into an exercise routine will also help you get in shape once you stop nursing your baby.
4. Reward Yourself
Whenever you’re feeling down, don’t take it against you if you want to unwind and take care of yourself. Go out to a salon, such as Lux Hair Lounge and get your hair coloured or treated. It may be something that you’ve been postponing since you started breastfeeding. Doing something for yourself is a great practice to make you feel good about yourself, which will help you to take better care of your baby.
5. Find New Ways to Bond
If you’re feeling sad because you see breastfeeding as a bonding moment between you and your baby, a workaround for this is to discover new ways on how you can bond with your child. Now that your baby is getting older and is exploring new things, there are numerous activities that you can do together. One thing you can do together is visit the park or do some sensory activities. This way, you will still feel that you’re playing an active role in your baby’s growth.
Post-weaning depression is real, and there are many ways to address these understandable emotions. Follow our tips, and you’ll soon find a way to cope and triumph through it all. The key to focus is staying healthy and ready for your baby.