Winter Babies: How to Cope

By Doula Jen

winter postpartum depressionMany find a hard time staying cheerful during the dark, cold winter months. Add wonky hormones and isolation at home with a new baby? It would make anyone a little blue—joyful about the birth of the baby, of course—but a little blue.

In truth, postpartum depression is more common during the winter months…especially here in Minnesota. With ice and snow and sub-zero temps, you can’t easily pop baby in the Maya Wrap and get out for some much needed fresh air and perspective. The four walls of the nursery seem a little bit confining and the wakeful night seems endless. Dark, dark, dark.

If you are expecting a winter baby and are already prone to depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), be prepared for a bit of a bumpy ride post-birth, but don’t feel defeated. Plan ahead and take every measure necessary to keep your mood balanced. Here are some proven tricks and tips:

-Eat foods rich in DHA.

-Plan for extra help…and companionship!

-Walk the mall with baby if you can’t walk the neighborhood.

-Limit caffeine and sugar.

-Limit alcohol.

-Talk to a therapist.

-Invest in a light therapy box.

-Meditate.

-Embrace the season and see the beauty.

A winter baby and a history of depression might mean that you should be on guard, but it is not an automatic diagnosis of postpartum depression. Be proactive, take care of yourself, ask for help when you need it, and find yourself feeling positive about your sweet little blizzard babe. And take heart…there is at least one BIG blessing in a winter birth. It’s the perfect time to hunker down and take your deserved 40 day lying in period. ‘Tis the season—be prepared, be enchanted, be the great mama that you were meant to be!