By taking care of yourself, you set a good example for your child(ren). In addition, by taking care of yourself, you can meet the needs of your baby or children much better. Though instead of trying to fit baby into the existing pre-baby scedule and "me" time, come up with creative ways to design new routines that include baby.
It is proven that exercise improves mood and helps avoid slumps of depression, especially in the winter. Tuck your little one under your coat in a sling or carrier and get yourself out on a walk in the colder months when the sun is at it's best in the earlier morning or mid afternoon for some vitamin D and reduction of sadness/blues. Putting your baby into a sling has a calming effect on both baby and mommy.
Call upon a few of your mommy friends and make it a ritual on a weekly or daily basis to surround yourself with laughter and a positive social circle of moms who have the same goals and mothering philosophy as you.
Is ours not a strange culture that focuses so much on childbirth -- virtually all of it is based on anxiety and fear -- and so little on the crucial time after birth, when patterns are established that will affect the individual and family for decades ~ Susan Arms
2 randomized trials comparing exercise to sertraline for adults with major deprssion. Both found that exercise was as effective. (Babyak et al. Psychosom Med 2000, 62; 663-638; Blumenthal et al. Psychasom Med 2007, 69; 587-596)
Exercise lowers inflammation, increases wound healing, overall fitness lowers infalmmatory response to stress (emery et al. J Geronto A Biol MED Sci 2005; 60 1432-1436; Kolut et al, Brain Behav Immun 2006;20;201-209. Starkweather, Buiol Nurs Res 2007; 8, 1-9)
For mild to moderate depression; 2-3 times a week, moderate intensity, 20-30 minutes. For major depression; 3-5 times a week, 60% to 85% maximal capacity, 45 - 60 minutes.
Randomized trial comparing luoxetine to bright lifht for seasonal depression (SAD) 67% response rate for both groups, response within one week for light group (LAM et al. AM J Psychiatry 2006; 163, 567-573)
Timing of light exposure; 53% remission with morning light, 32% and 38% for afternoon or evening (Teman & Teman, CNS Spectrums 2005; 10, 647-663)
American Psychiatric Assn indicated that bright light therapy was effective for both seasonal and non-seasonal deprssion. Equivalent to antidepressants and faster response (Golden et al. AM J Psychiatry 2005; 162, 656-662)
Denise Martin is owner of 4 The Love of The Family http://www.4theloveofthefamily.com/
She is a birth and postnatal doula, educator, breastfeeding councillor and La Leche League Canada Leader