Advice on How to Cope With Postpartum Rage

how to cope with postpartum rage
Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP

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How to Cope With Postpartum Rage: Advice from Moms Who Have Been There

We understand how overwhelming the journey of motherhood can be, especially when navigating unexpected emotions like postpartum rage. This intense feeling can often leave you questioning your strength and resilience. But remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and it’s okay to seek help. In this blog post, we dive deeper into practical strategies to help manage postpartum rage, focusing on real-life solutions and coping strategies that go beyond the clichéd self-care advice. As moms we know first hand that a bubble bath isn’t always feasible when you’re soothing a crying baby or catching up on laundry. Our goal is to provide you with tangible, actionable steps that fit into your busy life as a mom, offering support and guidance that respects your unique experiences. You’re doing an amazing job, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

15 Ways to Cope With Postpartum Rage As A New Mom

Identify Your Triggers: Understand what causes stress or anger to manage it effectively.
Now before you go replacing your husband let’s really identify what is causing you to feel intense emotions. These triggers can vary from the constant stimulation of noise and touch, to the subtle interruptions of daily tech notifications. consider muting the frequent dings and beeps that hail from your smartphone. Texts or social media alerts are inputs we can control. Placing the device on silent, even for a short period, can help center your thoughts. Additionally, reducing the volume of household technology or unplugging them when they’re not in use can create a quieter, more calming environment.

Set Boundaries: Learn to say no to additional responsibilities when you’re overwhelmed.

  • We’re often reminded to safeguard our emotional and physical well-being with loved ones, but setting boundaries extends beyond these personal interactions. Consider, what tasks or responsibilities could you temporarily eliminate or delegate to others? From household chores to work projects, freeing up this extra time allows for more rest and quicker recovery – two things your body and mind genuinely need after childbirth.
  • Say ‘no’ with grace. Learning to say no can be liberating, but it can also be challenging. Focus on clear, intentional communication. Whether it’s expressing your needs to a supportive partner, declining non-urgent work commitments, or politely declining offers of help that don’t align with what you truly need, ensure your “no” comes from a place of self-respect and preservation.

Quick Workouts: Engage in brief exercise sessions that easily fit into your busy schedule, consider convenient options you can do right from the comfort of your home. Begin with gentle walks and gradually increase the intensity as you progress. Our top pick is the Materra Method, featuring a variety of ‘Baby-Friendly’ classes that allow for an increased heart rate even as you carry your little one!

mom walking with stroller and baby

Healthy Eating: Prepare quick and nutritious meals that can boost your mood.  Focus on quick and nourishing meals and snacks that offer both convenience and nutrition.  Prioritize high-protein options like Chomps, hard boiled eggs, or protein bars.  I try to dedicate one hour every Sunday to ordering groceries (via Instacart) and bulk prepping.  I boil a dozen eggs for easy snacking, prepare one protein that can be used throughout the week in various meals (rotisserie chicken is a great option) and wash, chop and store fruits and veggies.  My go-to’s include 1-2 containers of berries, bell peppers, and a cucumber for easy snacking, tossing into a salad, or whipping up a speedy breakfast. And when all else fails, breakfast for dinner is a fail-proof, crowd-pleaser at my house.

Outsource: Outsourcing can be a game-changer for parents juggling the never-ending tasks and responsibilities that come with raising children. Yet, the decision to seek help can sometimes feel like an admission of failure. This is where we need to reframe our thinking, reminding ourselves that asking or paying for help is okay.   I vividly recall the uncertainty and overwhelming exhaustion that followed the arrival of my first child. I’d convinced myself that I had to do it all alone to prove something to myself and others. Looking back, I realize what a disservice that mindset was to both me and my baby.  There are so many different ways you can hire or trade for help.  Spend some time reflecting on your biggest time OR energy sucks and figure out a way to delegate or outsource those tasks.

  • Groceries > Instacart
  • Laundry > Hire a teenager in the neighborhood to help with the kids laundry and tidying for their hourly rate.  Delegating these type of chores allow you to spend more quality time with your child without the feelings of failure or resentfulness for ‘not accomplishing’ anything.
  • Cleaning > Employing someone else with a stable check every few weeks or monthly is really fulfilling and you’re getting precious time back with your family. That’s what we call a win win!
  • Childcare > We know childcare rates are sky high!  Try a kid swap.  Ask another mom friend or neighbor if you can watch her kids for a few hours so she can rest or run errands and you can trade off.  We do this often and our kids love it!
  • Household Chores > If you have older kiddos or nieces and nephews, ask them to help!  Not only are you teaching them to be a team player and showing them all the hard work you do, they are eager to help and feel a huge sense of pride for chipping in.  My kids will gladly take out the trash and help with dishes for 30 mins of extra TV time.  TV police come at me but its worth it in my opinion!

Sleep When You Can: Take advantage of the times when your baby naps to restore your energy. While the phrase ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ might seem overused and impractical, it’s true. Use this time to relax instead of doing housework. After childbirth, your body requires and is entitled to rest. Secure this nap time by avoiding filling your schedule or getting caught up in endless scrolling on your devices. Remember a lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings of rage and postpartum anger.

Stay Connected: Keep in touch with friends, family, or join a moms’ group for support.  Our digital motherhood community is a wonderful way to connect with other women walking similar paths as you.  Whether you’re a first time mom or mom of four we’re all learning along the way!

Practice Mindfulness: Even a few minutes of mindfulness can help reduce stress.  Brief sessions of mindfulness can be highly effective in managing stress. You don’t necessarily need to dedicate a long period to find calm – even 20-30 minutes might seem too much on some days. Why not consider a 10-minute meditative walk instead? Or perhaps you can spare 4 minutes for some focused breathing techniques? Our Matrescence Membership offers a variety of quick stress-relief strategies, all thoughtfully designed for busy mothers.

Express Yourself:

  • Write in a journal or talk about your feelings as a healthy outlet.
  • Speaking with a mental health professional can help you understand some of the changes you’re going through in your matrescence and help you cope.  If you’re more of the creative type maybe you can express yourself through art or photography.  The identify shift new moms feels is often overlooked.  It’s ok to grieve pieces of the old you.  Find ways to continue hobbies or expressions in this new season.

Unplug from Social Media: Take small breaks from social media to reduce information overload.  Too many opinions can leave new mothers feeling like they have no idea how to care for their new baby.  Drown out the noise and opinions of the internet by taking a step back.  Unfollow anyone who makes you feel less than and monitor your time on social media.

Walk Outdoors: Take a short walk outside when possible for fresh air and a change of scenery.
Nature is medicine!  Research shows 10 minutes of morning sun can help support your circadian rhythm.  In a season of limited sleep we need to do everything we can to protect restful sleep.  If it’s cold or you’re unable to get outside, draw the blinds and soak in the sun by a window.
If you have a fussy baby, strap them too you and take them for a walk.  Babies also need to support their circadian rhythm and sounds of nature can lull them to sleep.

Read a Book: Even a few pages a day can provide a much-needed escape and forces you to put down your phone.  Try to dedicate 5 minutes of reading time before bed to help you drift into a restful sleep.

Practice Gratitude: Jot down things you’re grateful for to shift focus from stress.  Look for glimmers throughout the day. Glimmers refer to small moments in our lives that spark joy, peace, or a sense of calm. They can cue our nervous system to feel safe, helping us regulate our emotions and handle stress better. These moments can be spontaneous, and they often make us feel present, joyful, or peaceful.

Try Essential Oils: Use lavender oil during a quick shower to help relax.
Self-touch communicates to our bodies that we are present and helps us feel grounded and secure.  Giving yourself a hug, placing your hand on your heart, or performing butterfly-taps is a great way to soothe the nervous system.  Our mindfulness library is full of videos guiding you on various ways to reduce stress.

Recognize Your Emotions: Acknowledge and accept your feelings without judgment.  If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, you are not alone!  Many new moms experience postpartum mental health struggles.  Recognizing your emotions is the first step in finding support.

self-touch

When to See a Doctor for Your Symptoms

If postpartum rage becomes frequent or interferes with your ability to care for yourself or your baby, it’s essential to seek professional help. Signs that you should talk to a healthcare provider include feeling out of control, thoughts of self-harm or harming others, and if the rage is accompanied by other symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety.

Postpartum rage is not a reflection of your love for your child or your abilities as a mother. It’s a signal that you need and deserve support. Remember, taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help—it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms of Postpartum Rage

Identifying triggers can be a powerful step in managing rage. Pay attention to when and why your anger flares up, and address those root problems whenever possible. It’s essential to remember that treating what causes postpartum rage goes beyond just managing the symptoms—it’s about identifying and addressing the underlying issues. These can include hormonal imbalances, a lack of sleep, or limited support. With patience and empathy it’s possible to deal with postpartum rage.

Prioritize Restful Sleep

We understand “get more sleep” might seem laughable when you’re a new mom, but improving sleep quality can be transformative.  Sleep deprivation is a risk factor for postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, it’s important to get enough sleep to avoid further mental health issues.  Here are a few ways to improve your sleep quality.

  • Invest in blackout curtains:
    Invest in high-quality blackout curtains to create a dark, soothing environment conducive to restful sleep.
  • Create a soothing playlist:
    Create a playlist of gentle, calming music or white noise to help you unwind and fall asleep more easily.
  • Purchase a Hatch Restore Alarm Clock:
    Consider the Hatch Restore, a smart sleep assistant that allows you to personalize a sleep-wake routine with light and sound.
mom sleeping with newborn

Focus on Nutrition

While it’s easy to reach for comfort food when stressed, a healthy diet can stabilize your mood and give you the energy to face the day.  This includes hydration.  Hydration impacts your mood more than you might think. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.  We love Needed’s Hydration Support with optimal levels of electrolytes and trace minerals.  Hydration is especially important for breastfeeding mothers.  As a proud partner, use code THEMATRESCENCE for 20% off your first order.

Self-Care Isn't Selfish, It's Essential

Finding a moment for yourself can feel impossible, but it’s essential to recharge.  These small acts of self-love throughout the day can prevent feelings of anger or irritability later in the day.

Mini Meditations:
Even just a minute or two of deep breathing or mindfulness can be a daily dose of calm.

Exercise:
A brisk walk with your baby in the stroller can work wonders for your emotional well-being.

Support Network

It takes a village—and there’s no shame in leaning on your community.

Connect with Fellow Moms: Join a local or online support group where you can share and learn from others’ experiences.
Family and Friends: Surround yourself with loved ones who understand and offer assistance, whether it’s watching the baby for an hour or simply lending an ear.
Childcare Help: If feasible, arranging occasional childcare gives you a breather to recharge.

Dear Mama, Your Experience With Postpartum Rage Does Not Define Your Abilities As A Mother

Dear mama, you’re doing an incredible job. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. Coping with postpartum rage is another chapter in your motherhood story, and with each step you take towards self-care and asking for help when needed, you’re setting an example of strength and self-compassion. Let’s normalize these conversations and support each other in not just surviving, but thriving in motherhood. If you’re looking for more resources or wish to connect with a community that gets it, download our free app to trial our membership. You’re not walking this path alone, and you might be surprised how these small changes can have a big impact on your mental health.

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Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren was a licensed and trained registered nurse in the NICU and has since made a career shift to focus on mental health. Lauren is now a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, focusing on women’s health and wellness. She is a mom of three precious little men who has turned her pain into passion.

mother with eyes closed pressing her face up against her infant to calm her anxious feelings

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