Having a baby is often simultaneously described as one of life’s biggest challenges, and one of its greatest rewards. During pregnancy and delivery, our bodies experience new and significant changes. While the physical process of having a baby is widely understood and accepted, the mental impact it has often flies under the radar.
The baby blues are extremely common, affecting around 4 in 5 postpartum moms. Rearing their head at around the second or third day after giving birth, the baby blues are a formidable combination of hormonal changes and lack of sleep. Lasting up to two weeks, new moms may experience bouts of sadness, anxiety, stress, and mood swings. It's normal for postpartum moms to:
Feel sad and cry a lot
Feel moody or cranky
Have trouble sleeping, eating or making decisions
Feel overwhelmed, and anxious about your baby's health and safety
Feel unattached or unbonded to your baby
Experience restless or experiencing insomnia, even though you’re exhausted
While the baby blues are very common and do not normally require medical attention, new moms should seek medical advice if these symptoms last longer than two weeks. This could be a sign of postpartum depression (PPD). According to research, 10-20% of new mothers globally experience PPD, and around 10% of new dads. This type of depression can have a long term negative impact on parent and baby, and if you feel this way we advise talking with your doctor.
The baby blues may sound a bit scary and overwhelming, but the good news is there are ways to combat it. Skin-to-skin is one of the most effective ways new parents can begin to bond more deeply with baby, helping them to navigate the first days and weeks of parenthood on a less daunting note.
Here are some of the ways the Joeyband™ can help you beat the baby blues and reap the special benefits skin-to-skin has for both you and your baby.
The Joeyband™ Helps New Parents Practice Safe Skin-to-Skin Snuggles
One of the major driving forces behind the baby blues is the insecurity new moms and dads can feel when it comes to caring for their baby. It's normal for new parents to experience anxiety about their baby's safety, especially when holding them.
The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are widely reported on - including in our blog! - but holding a baby (even your own!) can feel scary when you're not used to it. Many new parents are tired, anxious or have limited strength in the first few days after welcoming their baby to the world, and may feel more confident with some added support when holding baby. Made from Nylon Spandex (imagine your favourite yoga pants), the Joeyband™ is designed to ease the transition from womb to world, helping parents practice skin-to-skin contact, improve breastfeeding success, enhance bonding and lower stress levels for both baby and parent - all in a safe, secure way.
Wrapping around mom or dad's torso, baby against them, the Joeyband™ has large Velcro panels to secure it at the front, back or side. Its sizing is also adjustable, meaning no matter your shape, or how your postpartum body may change, your Joeyband™ will continue to fit. Each of the three sizes has 21 inches of adjustability, providing a more universal fit for different caregivers and changing bodies.
On a bonus note, babies are 12 times less likely to cry when experiencing skin-to-skin - which is a winning result for tired, stressed-out new parents!
The Baby-Parent Bond Is Strengthened Through Skin-to-Skin
Extensive research and studies on skin-to-skin contact demonstrate the important bonding role skin-to-skin contact plays in the early stages of your baby’s life. New parents should try to get as much skin-to-skin time in as possible - particularly when the baby blues can cause you to feel distant or unattached from your new baby.
Skin-to-skin contact right after delivery causes the brain to release a hormone called beta-endorphin. This works like a mild painkiller, helping mom feel calmer and more relaxed. Oxytocin is also released, the brain’s “feel-good” hormone that promotes both bonding and breastfeeding in the first hours after birth, right through the Fourth Trimester and beyond.
Dad will also experience a release of Oxytocin through practicing skin-to-skin with baby. With increased Oxytocin levels, Dad’s testosterone levels decrease, creating a much more relaxed feeling for both baby and Dad. It also helps Dad to respond to new baby with nurturing and affectionate behaviours, allowing them to create a deeper, more emotional bond. Dads have also been shown to be more interactive with their infants and report a stronger bond long term if they’ve held baby skin-to-skin.
The baby blues can feel overwhelming, especially as a new parent, but skin-to-skin is a no-brainer when it comes to feeling closer and more bonded with your new baby.
As parents become more sensitive and aware of baby’s needs, they feel more tuned-in to baby, create a deeper bond, and therefore develop more confidence in their overall parenting skills.