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Turning the Baby Blues Green with OutGrown

OutGrown supports families with babies and young children by promoting the healing benefits of nature through their Turn the Blues Green program.

A typical day in the life of a newborn parent: feed baby, soothe baby, diaper baby, bathe baby, get baby to sleep, repeat—and somewhere in there, try to do the same for themselves. While the cozy snuggles, sweet baby smells and wide-eyed wonderings can be pure joy, sometimes this new routine and situation can feel overwhelming and isolating.

Shining light on the “Baby Blues” and perinatal depression

The “Baby Blues” refers to the feelings of overwhelm, worry, exhaustion and inadequacy that up to 85% of new parents experience. This is different from perinatal depression(Opens in a new window) (formerly referred to as postpartum depression), which often requires medical treatment and intervention. Symptoms(Opens in a new window) of perinatal depression and anxiety can occur during pregnancy and/or after birth:

Feeling sad or hopeless most of the time

Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy

Less interest in caring for yourself (dressing, fixing hair)

Trouble concentrating

Trouble coping with daily tasks

Constant worry about your baby

Sleeping or eating too much or too little

Feeling anxious or nervous

Unexplained irritability or anger

Unwanted or intrusive thoughts

Feeling that you’re not a good mother

Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

It’s important to note that new fathers, co-parents, gestational carriers and surrogates can all experience symptoms of perinatal depression. For new mothers, an estimated one in seven women experience perinatal depression.

Maternal mental health is often neglected due to lack of resources, fear of stigma or general lack of understanding. Many times, new mothers suffer in silence—which can have negative impacts on both mom and baby’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. It’s important to connect with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.

Two ways experts agree that can help overcome the symptoms of the “Baby Blues” or perinatal depression in addition to medical intervention are to spend meaningful time outdoors and find a supportive group to socialize with.

Benefits of the outdoors for new parents and babies

“As a new mom, getting outside is a must. Being inside the home is depressing. Postpartum depression is very common, therefore it's important to have ways to cope, and sometimes getting outside is your best option. Newborns will sleep better, and mom gets some time to herself walking,” says Alejandrina Felipe, a Turn the Blues Green facilitator, and Obstetric Nurse in Portland, OR.

Sunshine, fresh air and friendships can have an incredibly positive impact on mental health in general—especially for new parents and babies.

Spending time outside exposes our bodies to much-needed elements we require for regulating hormones, easing tension and improving our sleep/wake cycles. Meaningful time spent in nature on a regular basis can result in benefits such as:

Increased serotonin

Reduced cortisol

Improved cognition

Decreased risk of heart disease

Eased depression

Boosted immune function

Improved sleep

But sometimes the act of getting outside with a newborn can feel out of reach or intimidating. That’s where finding a supportive group and community comes in.

Connecting new parents and babies with nature as a community

OutGrown(Opens in a new window) is a national nonprofit that supports families with babies and children to connect and spend time in nature together. One of their three core programs, Turn the Blues Green(Opens in a new window), addresses the unique barriers many families face due to cultural, socio-economic, and experiential differences. The program provides resources for new parents to get outside and make friends in an effort to overcome the symptoms of the “Baby Blues” and perinatal depression.

Osprey is proud to uplift OutGrown's work and mission as a matching donor for the 2024 Turn the Blues Green campaign. This initiative aims to enhance support for families as they look to increase their time outdoors. We are committed to help increase equitable access for all communities in outdoor spaces for future generations.

Want to help OutGrown in its mission to support new parents? Donate here(Opens in a new window).

Pregnant and new mothers can find more information on perinatal depression through the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). This is a free, confidential hotline for pregnant and new moms in English and Spanish, 24/7.

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