The Breastfeeding Corner

The December Breastfeeding Corner is dedicated to depression, for example: holiday anxieties and the "Baby Blues." The holidays are an exciting time of good cheer, warm family traditions, and spending time with friends. But it can also be very stressful and lead to anxiety and depression, especially in children and new moms.

They can become hyperaware of their surroundings, always on the lookout for possible threats or risks in new situations such as holiday parties or meeting new people. It's easy to reduce children's holiday anxiety if you:
  1. Plan ahead: Talk to your child about what makes her anxious during this time of year and come up with ways to minimize that anxiety. Teach her how to initiate a handshake if hugging is unwelcome. Practice ways to say thank you for unwanted gifts or deep-breathing techniques for when you child feels overwhelmed.
  2. Eliminate the unexpected: Tell your child who will be attending an event. If your family will have to travel, explain how you'll get there
  3. Create a secret signal: that you and your child can use to let you know he needs your help without alerting others in the room.
  4. Schedule special family time: Try to find time for your family to play a board game, watch a favorite holiday video, make cookies, or engage in other fun and relaxing activities at home.
  5. Take care of yourself: Your child will pick up on your stress. So try to make sure the entire family eats balanced meals, drinks enough water, exercises, and keeps stressful holiday shopping and other events to a minimum.

Mom's health is essential for everyone having a happy holiday. New moms are especially vulnerable. Approximately 70 - 80% of all new mothers experience some negative feelings or mood swings after the birth of their child, usually called the "Baby Blues." It will hit forcefully within four to five days after the birth of the baby. They are the least severe form of postpartum depression. The exact cause of the "Baby Blues" is unknown at this time. But it is thought to be related to the hormone changes that occur during pregnancy and again after a baby is born. These hormonal changes may produce chemical changes in the brain that result in depression.

compared to their non-breastfeeding counterparts. Abrupt weaning can cause a mother's hormone levels to change, which can also cause depression. Symptoms of "Baby Blues" are:
  • Weepiness or crying for no apparent reason
  • Impatience, irritability, restlessness and anxiety
  • Fatigue, insomnia, sadness, mood changes and poor concentration
If mom has more than a mild case of the blues she should contact her doctor. Postpartum depression is a serious mental illness and should be handled by a professional.