As a new mum, you are pretty likely to experience a whirlwind of various emotions, from extreme joy to unexplained sadness, as a result of all those pesky hormones. 

 

According to Beyond Blue, this emotional distress is particularly common in the days right after giving birth, known as the "baby blues", and it affects up to "80 percent of women".

 

It important for all new mums to be aware of baby blues, as in severe cases it can actually lead to postnatal depression (PND). 

 

New research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this year, studied whether or not certain nutrients you ingest after giving birth can help reduce the possibility of getting baby blues and PND. 

 

The study followed 21 women, giving them a special nutritional diet kit, while 20 women just ate as normal. Each of the nutritional kits contained three supplements: tyrosine, tryptophan and blueberry extract.

 

 

The results were impressive, with the women who didn't take the supplements having significant increases in depression scores, while those who took them didn't report any depressed mood.

 

"We believe this is the first study to show such a strong, beneficial effect of an intervention in reducing the baby blues at a time when postpartum sadness peaks," said Dr. Jeffrey Meyer, who was the lead author on the study.

 

The science talk is all well and good, but we started wondering how we can use the information to prevent those baby blues. 

 

Lyndi Cohen, a dietician who specialises in wellbeing, spoke to Essential Baby about how mums can factor this new information into their diets, saying that "it's easy to invest all your energy into ensuring your baby is well fed, but don't forget about your nutrition too."

 

 

Lyndi made recommendations on what women should be eating after giving birth, citing turkey, eggs, chicken and soy products as ways to increase your levels of tryptophan, tyrosine and antioxidants after birth. 

 

For a boost of antioxidants, Lyndi recommended buying fruits that "excite you", which should encourage you to eat them - blueberries are naturally the best choice (proper super food) but strawberries, watermelon and kiwis will also give you the boost you need.

 

The moral of the story here is: while of course your new bub is the most important thing in the world, you have to look after yourself, also - so eat right, sleep well, and get some fresh air when you can. 

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