5 Foods to Fight Postpartum Depression

Becoming a mother is undeniably a wonderful, one-of-a-kind experience. But what if depression gets the better of you in what's supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life?

Many women think that once the baby has been delivered, they will go right back to how they were pre-pregnancy - physically, mentally and emotionally. But what most moms quickly find is that it takes weeks and even months to feel like their old selves again - and even then, they may realize they aren’t truly their old self. They are someone new, someone they may or may not recognize. They are mothers.

Everyone adjusts to motherhood differently, but the American Pregnancy Association reports that 70 to 80 percent of all new moms experience the “Baby Blues” and can feel sad, anxious and weepy for up to two weeks after delivery. This is completely normal as your hormones begin to balance back out, but if the feelings linger or escalate in severity, you may be experiencing postpartum depression, which effects 10 to 20 percent of new moms in the first year. Reach out to your doctor right away to seek professional treatment if you think this might be the case.

While there is much to be learned about postpartum depression and there isn’t just one cause, diet has been identified as one of the risk factors, along with exercise, stress, lack of support and history of depression. Here are 5 foods that contain essential nutrients to help mitigate your risk and improve your mood.

1. Wild Salmon. You hear a lot about the importance of consuming Omega-3/DHA during pregnancy, but the benefits continue for you once you’ve delivered the baby. Fueling up on things like wild salmon, sardines, walnuts and flaxseeds helps with brain function and, as recent studies show, may help keep depression at bay.

2. Organic Eggs – bonus if they are enriched with DHA! Eggs are such a great staple for new moms – not only do they make for a quick meal or snack, but they are packed with protein, vitamin D and B-vitamins. Deficiency in these nutrients has been linked to depression in the general population due to the role they play in mood regulation.

3. Greek Yogurt. Full-fat Greek yogurt and other dairy products such as milk and cheese are great sources of protein and vitamin D. If you can consume dairy without any issues, incorporating these in your diet will supply you with a nutrient boost throughout the day and keep you feeling satisfied.

4. Lentils and Beans. The fiber, protein and iron found in lentils and beans are what makes this dietary staple such a great choice for new moms. They make a great protein source for vegetarian and vegan diets and can be added to almost any meal to pack a bigger, nutrient dense punch. Fiber ensures your digestive system stays on track and helps to regulate blood sugar.

5. Whole Grains. Whether you choose oats, brown rice or whole wheat pasta, whole grain foods give your body an energy boost and have been linked to increased levels of serotonin, a natural mood stabilizer that's also known as "the happy chemical." They also are chock full of fiber, iron and other key nutrients that will help keep your blood sugar, energy and mood stable.

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

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