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Looking after me

Staying fit and healthy is a good idea at any age. It is easy to put yourself at the bottom of your priority list when you are a parent- try and look after yourselves in order to avoid becoming run down and exhausted.
Mum and baby

As much as you are able, plan a small amount of time to do the things you enjoy, to relax with each other or with friends. We are all different, think about the things that make you feel better, as well as the things that make you feel worse and try to make some small changes. 

As a woman, having a baby changes your body; changes that you may embrace or changes that you might not like.  Advice on keeping fit and healthy with a baby.

It is not unusual for women to feel anxious after having a baby or even to experience episodes of low mood which can be made worse by a lack of sleep, stress and balancing your new parenting demands with your own and other people’s expectations.

Feeling sad more than you are feeling happy? Watch this Talk to someone short film.

Sometimes these low moods can take over completely and become depression. Symptoms can include: feeling tired but not being able to sleep; poor appetite or overeating; no interest in yourself; tearfulness; no interest in your baby or over-anxiety about your baby; the smallest chores seem almost impossible to manage and you might often feel anxious and unable to cope.

More information can be found on  NHS Choices- Feeling depressed after childbirth.

If you are concerned that you may have a low mood, anxiety, depression or are struggling after a traumatic birth, please contact your Health Visitor for support and advice. 

How to cope with baby's crying:

Most parents find their baby’s crying the most distressing part of parenting. It really isn’t personal.

If we stop for a moment and try and imagine what it feels like to be a baby or a toddler it can help. "Watch, wait and wonder" about how your baby might be feeling right now. They haven't got as many ways to let you know what they feel or need as older children have; they are trying to make sense of a world they don’t really understand and are learning new things all the time.

Crying is the most powerful way that a baby can communicate. It's also the only way of letting you know that something's making them unhappy. Sometimes your baby will cry because they are unwell -  advice on baby crying.

You are human too and a crying baby can be very stressful and can also bring lots of other emotions to the surface, including anger and resentment.

No matter how stressed you feel, it's important that you have a few ways that you can try to calm the situation down. These may involve soothing your baby or toddler, or helping yourself to feel more relaxed. Read the NSPCC top tips on why babies cry and support for parents.