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“Being a mom is natural, and it’s going to be easy,” think many moms at some point, whether it be their first birth or their fifth, so they are not thinking about those baby blues. “Women have been doing this for centuries, and I got this.” That’s how we get it all done. We also all know it’s not always easy, so it’s extra important for a mom to make sure she gets the right diet and hormone support to prevent and alleviate baby blues.

What Are the “Baby Blues”?

Baby blues are the mildest form of postpartum depression. It can include feelings of anxiety, weepiness, frustration, and mood swings shortly after birth that lasts for a few hours or days. Postpartum depression lasts longer and is more severe. Feelings of hopelessness and difficulty bonding with the baby may also lead to thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby. It’s important for mom to support herself.

Baby Blues

How is a mom going to make sure she supports herself? Is it even possible with dirty diapers, making sure the baby latches, and caring for the rest of her family, too? It is. But it’s important to plan ahead. Just follow the easy tips below and ask for help. Ask family and friends for support- no mom should be in this alone. Having support will keep your diet and hormones optimal so you can care for your family.

11 Tips for Bustin’ the Baby Blues

Baby blues and postpartum depression are not uncommon. Moms, you’re not alone if you have feelings of irritability, fatigue, worry, or unhappiness. Up to 80% of moms experience baby blues, and 15% of births result in moms with postpartum depression. [1] It’s not your fault if you’re having those feelings, but you can take steps to support yourself through this time. You cannot do it alone. Take the steps listed below.

1 – Eat Chocolate

This is a great number one. The day before my period, I am always craving chocolate and boneless wings. I cannot explain the boneless wings, but I can explain the chocolate. Chocolate is the biggest serotonin-based food on the planet. It has serotonin in it, and it helps your gut make more of it. Serotonin is your feel-good hormone, your happy hormone. That’s why your body craves it.

Your body knows what it needs. So, when you eat chocolate before your period, it boosts serotonin. It will boost the hormones post-pregnancy, too.

Make sure you are getting the good chocolate. Find some good organic cacao. You don’t want the cheap “chocolate.” Heat and processing take all the good stuff from most of that impulse-buy store chocolate.

2 – Get a Cacao Butter Massage

Grab the cacao butter for a relaxing massage and release that serotonin. Massage yourself or ask someone for help.  A nice cacao butter massage is sure to boost that feel-good hormone. Cacao is one of those amazing superfoods that is good for a woman’s hormones both inside and out.

Another benefit to a cacao butter massage is that cacao butter is loaded with polyphenols that will help your skin fight aging. So, rub it all over. Remember that your bum will be more slippery when you sit on that toilet, though. There is nothing sexy about a mama almost falling off the toilet. Not that I would know!

3- Choose Iron-Rich Foods

After giving birth, women lose a lot of blood, which leads to low iron levels, along with feelings of fatigue. That’s when you feel like you can never catch up — especially, if you have other little ones at home. You feel like you can’t be enough for all the people in your life. When I had my second baby, the oldest was the hardest to care for. I wanted to be there for him, but I also had to be there for the new baby.  So, make sure to choose iron-rich foods to ward off that fatigue and those feelings of not being enough.

There are lots of iron-rich foods. Choose ones you know you would like to munch on. Maybe you have some beans, leafy greens (like spinach), almonds, broccoli, or raisins. [2] Spirulina is an iron-rich superfood you can throw in a smoothie.

4 – Munch on Maca Root

Hormones shoot sky high during pregnancy, and when they drop, it triggers the onset of labor. Once you have the baby, all those hormones are taken from you instantly. This is good because that means you have the baby. However, it can still be tough. — No matter how happy you are. Eat some maca root to help.

Maca root is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body respond to stresses and support proper physiological function. Maca root helps the woman adapt to those changes in hormones, so it’s not as severe.

Maca root has been described as mildly nutty (like me) with an earthy, malty, or butterscotch flavor. You’re going to love it when you add it to your smoothies or your breakfast foods!

5 – Eat Good Non-Inflammatory Foods

Understand that anything you eat or that comes into your body means your body has a decision to make. Is it something it can take and use for good, or is it going to trigger an inflammatory response?

Inflammation starts in your gut. That’s also where all your neurotransmitters and happy hormones like serotonin are made. You want your gut functioning optimally for health so make sure you’re avoiding inflammatory foods like dairy, soy, gluten and sugar. Also, avoid any of your own allergies, which I hope you’ve been tested for.

There is no such thing as moderation. That’s just an emotional justification to eat something bad. Avoid those processed foods and find good, organic foods that are going to treat your gut right. Here is a great, easy recipe for a crockpot whole organic chicken.

6 – Prepare by Freezing Meals in Advance

Time has no meaning after a baby is born. — Meaning you don’t have a lot of time. Freezing meals ahead of time either in full-size meals for the whole family or individual sizes for a quick heat up can make it a lot easier to eat healthy. Check out these great recipes for easy meals to freeze before baby comes so you have more time for yourself and baby.

Before baby comes, when you’re cooking those foods you love, make a double batch and freeze the extras. We like to put ours in glass Mason jars or glass casserole dishes. Also, chop veggies and freeze ingredients to throw in the crock pot for easy meals.

7 – Stock the Cupboards with Easy, Small Meals and Snacks

You will be doing lots of one-handed meals and snacking. You want something you can eat while also holding a baby and when you are breastfeeding you are going to be SUPER hungry. Make sure your cupboards and refrigerator are stocked with small meals you can eat on the fly.

There are lots of great snack ideas. That’s also when those iron-rich almonds and healthy snacks are a good thing to have on hand. Here’s a great glazed nut recipe you can make in advance. Apples and organic peanut butter or almond butter are a good choice, too. Make some hardboiled eggs for a dozen filling snacks. Here’s a great guacamole recipe you can add maca root to.

Also, make sure you have a great grocery list of foods you can throw in the blender for an easy smoothie. Include some bone broth and hemp hearts as extra protein for your healing body.

Choosing good snacks post-pregnancy will set you up to be a good role model as your little one grows. They will be watching you to see what you eat.

8 – Drink Lots of Water

We all need 8-10 glasses of water a day. This is especially important when mom is breast feeding. Think about it: how can you make milk when the well is dry?

9 – Eat Lots of Vitamin D Rich Foods

Studies have shown a link between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. They have also shown that taking a supplement can prevent depression. [3] Your body makes Vitamin D when you’re exposed to sunlight. There are also lots of great Vitamin D rich foods like tuna, salmon, eggs and mackerel. Stock up on those wild caught fish, eat lots of eggs, and find a Vitamin D supplement to keep on hand.

10 – Get Outside and Get Exercise

Stress plays a huge role in the balance of hormones along with inflammation, viruses and underlying things can trigger a hormonal cascade. Getting fresh air, exercise and self-care are vital to keeping you healthy. Take that walk with baby in the stroller and get some great vitamin D. Try to find time for yourself in moments throughout the day but also time away just for you.

11 – Remember You are Not Alone

Girl, you are not alone. No pregnancy, birth or child are the same but many of us have been there and we know what you are going through. Remember, 80% of moms get the baby blues so if you are feeling a little overwhelmed don’t think it is a failure on your part. Reach out to your spouse, close family member, or friend for a little help. We got you.

And watch out for other moms, too! We are so quick to judge each other but we don’t know what everyone is going through. So, hold that baby for a mom that needs a break, or catch her when she needs to be reminded of the awesome job she is doing.

Take Care of You!

Don’t just worry about hormones for pregnancy, think of them throughout life. If a woman doesn’t support herself through the pregnancy process, the baby comes and it’s overwhelming. If a woman doesn’t have support or her guts are not in good place throughout pregnancy, it’s going to be a lot harder to get those hormones back to where they should be.

Hormones are always secondary- never a primary issue. If they are off, something is triggering them to be off. Can it be diet? Yes! Can it be stress? Yes! Can it be lack of sleep? Yes! So, finding the balance to best support our bodies so they are functioning along with having that support system at home can make a huge difference. You and your growing family deserve the best version of you. You got this, mama! If you’re healthy, you’ll better take care of you and baby.

Written by Nicole Saleske, Hormone and Fertility Expert
Originally published November 17, 2017. Updated April 8, 2024.

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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