On our blog we have featured several posts about what mothers can do for the health of their babies such as sleep safety and breastfeeding. But today, as part of World Mental Health Day, we want to highlight what new and expecting moms can do for themselves and their well being.

About 10-15% of new moms experience postpartum depression (PPD). Symptoms of PPD can include feelings of guilt, sadness, and anxiety as well as changes in appetite and difficulty sleeping. Postpartum depression can lead mothers to feel that they are unable to provide the best care for their child. However, with careful attention to one’s health, the transition into motherhood can be an exciting time to form a lasting bond with your newborn.

Below are three ways to say goodbye to the baby blues and get back to a happier you!

Connect. Postpartum depression can make you feel disconnected from friends and family. Joining a local support group or connecting with other moms online who have also experienced PPD can make a world of difference, reminding you that you are not alone. The Postpartum Progress Blog is a great place to find other moms as well as answers to many questions about PPD.

Me time. As many moms can attest, “Me time” can quickly become a distant memory when caring for a newborn. Take the time to do things you enjoy. Reading, exercise, and baths are all things that can help you unwind. Meals may not be an obvious “me time” activity; however, you can assure that you are nourishing your body and carving some time in your day to relax.

Adventure. Yes, adventure! Shopping, going for walks, or trying out a new restaurant might feel overwhelming if you are coping with depression. Between caring for your newborn at home and trips to the doctor, a change in scenery can be an uplifting adventure.

Depression is a serious medical illness. A conversation with your doctor can get you on the right track for recovery and enjoying time with your new baby.

For more information on postpartum depression and anxiety, BabyCenter, EverydayHealth, and HelpGuide are excellent resources.