How to Improve Your Mood When You’re Feeling Low After Birth

Anyone else feel like there are two camps for your post-natal feelings to sit in?

Either you’re a-OK and acing life as a new mum. Or you’re not coping and suffering from post-natal depression.

But what if you feel a bit low, anxious, or you’re traumatised from a pretty savage labour? Where do you go?

We spoke to Ross J Barr, a leading acupuncturist (and the man who treated Meghan Markle when she lived in London), to find out why we feel low after birth.

Is it normal to feel low after birth?

“Yes!”, says Ross, “When I see people that feel post-natally down, it is often linked to blood deficiency and exhaustion, which most mums have. Interestingly if you look up the symptoms for anaemia, they are pretty much the same as depression. One of the biggest causes of post-natal depression is that women are generally anaemic”. He adds, “Quite often in the period after birth, you don’t feel like you’re residing in yourself, you just go on autopilot, and a part of this comes from a primal instinct, and for the rest of it, you’re just bumbling along and making it up as you go along”.

Can tiredness make me feel more emotional?

“Absolutely”, says Ross, “Tiredness causes the body to run on adrenaline. You’re overtly risk accessing, and you’re running on reserve power. Of course, it will affect your emotions. It can also cause you to catastrophise and create ‘what ifs?’, that’s what adrenaline does for us”.

Can my baby feel my emotions?

“If your internal state is not at peace, sooner or later, your children’s internal state can be affected by it. They can pick up on your emotions, and even if you think you’re creating a great veil over it, your kids can pick up on it”, says Ross.

Do all women feel low after birth?

Ross says, “I would say there’s definitely a trend with the women I see, and it’s a combination of depletion, blood loss and shock. When you get depleted, you feel like a weaker version of yourself, and you’re more vulnerable. It’s important to nourish the mum and to fortify her. I see mums that have been bleeding for 6 weeks, and they wonder why they’re exhausted. But of course, you would be”.

9 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mood…

  1. Support Yourself Pre and Postnatally.
    Make sure you’re well supplemented during pregnancy, so your body is stronger and more able to cope with both labour and the feelings you will experience post-natally. Dr Ross J Barr Female Pregnancy Formula, £32
  2. Book in for a Mind and Body MOT
    There are many things that you can do after birth to support your recovery. And you might have heard of a Postnatal MOT that is done by a women’s health proffessional. But you can also have psycological MOTs too. Your mind is just as (if not more) important than your body, so it’s important to look after that too.
    Even just one appointment will help support your body’s recovery process. You’re the most important person in your child’s life right now. This is not a luxury. It is essential maintenance.
  3. Nourish Yourself.
    Follow the basics of healthy living, and don’t skip a meal. Take as many calories as you need.
  4. Build a Wall of Care
    Let other people do things for you, allow yourself to let go of responsibility and don’t feel bad about taking time for you.
  5. View Doing Nothing Differently
    When you’re adrenalised, it makes it difficult for you to sit down and relax. Doing nothing is not a defeat. Do this for as long as you feel you have a greater capacity to fit other stuff in.
  6. Accept the Change.
    People try to maintain the same life that they had pre-kids, and I think once you accept life is different, you will find peace more easily.
  7. Take 15-20 mins in the Day
    Shutting down for a 15-20 min nap or being still during the day will help put all of the cortisol and adrenaline back in its box. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sleep later. It just recharges you.
  8. Nap at the beginning of your baby’s sleep.
    A) You’re less likely to be woken up, but b) you’ll also find it easier to drift off. Ever run around the house cleaning and then tried to sleep? It’s almost impossible, as, by the time you’ve calmed down your system, your baby is awake. Sleep breeds sleep. Do it at the start, and then you’re in a better place to take things on.
  9. Choose Tea over Coffee.
    Drinking coffee is like putting all of your issues into nuclear waste. You get into a cycle thinking you need a cup to have energy, and it becomes an addiction. There’s an ingredient in the coffee bean that causes the cells in our kidneys to expand quite aggressively. It triggers an adrenaline release, which means we run on our reserves, and it is not good for the body especially when we’re overtired. Can’t give it up? Ross adds, “You prematurely age when you run on adrenaline. Usually, If I tell my clients that, it stops them in their tracks. There’s nothing wrong with a good old cup of tea, so I’d opt for a few of those instead”.
What is a post-natal psychological MOT?

“A post-natal psychological MOT can help the body to rebalance and reset itself, as well as relieving stress and anxiety post-birth. Using acupuncture, we treat the shock, and often blood loss, of labour, by pinpointing areas that would benefit from stimulation or need calming”, says Ross. He adds, “There are particular points in acupuncture that are aimed to treat shock and trauma. It is not a luxury that’s reserved for celebrities. This is an essential treatment that anyone can access”.

What can you expect from a post-natal psychological MOT?

Approx. 45 minutes of necessary YOU time, where you lie down on a comfy bed, and the acupuncturist treats your mental and physical state. • “First, we check your pulse points, which lasts for around 5-10 minutes. This is a key factor for achieving a good diagnosis, as it enables you to see what’s going on internally”, says Ross. • Next, the acupuncturist selects points based on any symptoms that the client reports combined with the analysis of your pulses. • The painless needles are placed in for roughly 10-20mins. Some will be in for longer than others. Ross says, “Often a mum will come in, and if we do it right, then her tired, ashy complexion will change from start to finish. Usually, you will leave feeling brighter but looking it too!”

When should I have it?

“I usually encourage mums to come in two weeks after they’ve given birth”, says Ross. “By then the newborn bubble has gone, hormones have levelled, and adrenaline falls away, and we can generally start to see how deficient someone is and the areas that need focussing on”.

Why would I need one?

The aftercare UK mums receive post-birth is next to nothing. “There’s a lovely saying in Chinese medicine that the best way to stop a crying baby is to treat the mother, and that is the basis for a lot of what we try and do. We initiate the mother to focus on herself more, this is for the benefit of her baby. It’s not a selfish act, it’s a necessary one”, says Ross.

How many treatments do I need?

“The first treatment can be the most life-changing”, says Ross. “But you could allow for 2-5 treatments. The more experienced the practitioner is, the more likely they will be able to get their diagnosis right the first time, but that being said, most acupuncturists are so well trained they should be able to diagnose what needs to be treated in your first or second appointment”.

TMC Recipe of the Week: Immune Boosting Ginger Shots

Ginger shots are great to boost your immune system, gives a great energy kick, it has anti-inflammatory benefits, relieves nausea and is a digetsive aid.


100g of Ginger
Juice of 4 Lemons
1.5 tbsp of Local Honey
250ml Filtered Water


1. Wash & leave the skin un if you’re using organic, but remove skin if not(this is easily done with a teaspoon).

2. Blend everything together.

3. Squeeze through a muslin cloth or nut milk bag.

4. Use a funnel and pour into little bottles or a big bottle works well too(you can pour yourself a shot each morning).

5. Store in the fridge for up to a week!

Watch How to Make it

TMC Recipe of the Week: Skin-Boosting Grape Smoothie

A drink that gives us glowing skin and uses up all the grapes we keep buying? Where do we sign?

Skin Benefits of Grapes

Grapes have been recognised since ancient times as a fruit that promotes beautiful, youthful skin. Loaded with vitamins K, C and B6, potassium, copper, electrolytes and minerals, grapes are also abundant in the phytonutrients carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – all of which are powerful antioxidants that help our skin. [source].

Not only that grapes are an excellent source of nutrients to protect your skin’s overall, long-term health, containing good quantities of fibre and protein!

Read on to find out how to include them in a delicious skin-boosting smoothie…


1 cup almond milk unsweetened
Handful of frozen grapes
Handful of spinach
1⁄2 banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter

How to Make it…

1. Add almond milk, frozen grapes, spinach, and banana slices into the blender.

2. Scoop the peanut butter or almond butter into the mixture.

3. Blend until whipped and smooth.

Recipe from: Homemade Beauty Recipes | Hello Glow

Are Retinol Alternatives Really Worth It?


Anyone else’s kids completely aged them and looking for some skincare to repair the damage?

Caudalie’s Resveratrol-Lift Firming Cashmere Cream has been clinically proven to make skin 98% firmer in less than 3 weeks*.

So could it be an alternative to Retinol?

Read on to find out…

*Clinical study: % of satisfaction, 44 volunteers, 18 days.

What Exactly is Retinol?

Retinol (aka Vitamin A) is an antioxidant within your body and an incredible ingredient that can benefit your skin. Because Retinol can cause irritation and redness, one of the biggest misconceptions is that it exfoliates the skin. Instead, it helps to support the skin, and because of its uniquely small molecular structure, it can penetrate the deepest levels of our skin and help boost the production of collagen and elastin. *Which keeps us looking young.

What Can I Use Instead of Retinol?

While you can’t match the exact power of Retinol (Vitamin A), you can mimic the effects with some incredible gentler alternatives.
Highly effective skincare like Caudalie’s Resveratrol-Lift range, contains an exclusive anti-ageing patent, which uses Vine Resveratrol, Hyaluronic Acids and Vegan Collagen Booster, to stimulate all 3 types of collagen, which can visibly help the signs of ageing.

  • 98% Firmer skin in less than 3 weeks*
  • X5 more natural collagen production**
  • X2 more natural hyaluronic acid production**

*Clinical study: % of satisfaction, 44 volunteers, 18 days. **Test in vitro on ingredients.

Are Retinol Alternatives Any Good?

Yes absolutely! They can work wonders to enhance your complexion, and many are safe to use throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. They’re also gentler to use on sensitive complexions that might be more prone to hormonal flare-ups.

What We Thought When We Used Them…

“I have been a long-term fan of Retinol, so when I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure where to start with an alternative. I was pleasantly surprised by how well other ingredients stood up. During my first (very sickly!) trimester, I felt like my skin became very dull. After introducing a collagen-based cream to my morning routine, I started to see the pregnancy-like glow that I expected to receive naturally!”
TMC Contributor, Matilda Stanley

Where to Find Retinol Alternatives…

Caudalie’s Resveratrol-Lift range encompasses a set of facial products that work to plump and smooth your complexion and contains a mix of unique and hard-working ingredients.

The Powerful Ingredients in Caudalie’s Resveratrol-Lift Range…

  1. Hyaluronic Acid
    Plumps and hydrates the skin.
  2. Resveratrol
    Similar to Retinol, it is an antioxidant that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, even skin tone and helps with firmness.
  3. Vegan Collagen 1:
    A patented plant-based ingredient that mimics the same collagen found in our skin. It also boosts collagen production and reinforces skin firmness.
  4. Collagen Booster
    Makes your face look less tired and more youthful.

The Products…

Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Retinol Alternative Serum
Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Retinol Alternative Serum

A wonderfully light serum that glides on – making your face feel firmer and reducing fine lines.

Shop now
Resveratrol-Lift Firming Cashmere Cream
Resveratrol-Lift Firming Cashmere Cream

An absolute joy to apply. This smooth moisturiser improves the overall texture and tone of your skin. *It also has an environmentally friendly refill option, giving you even more reason to re-purchase.

Shop Now
Resveratrol-Lift Firming Eye Gel Cream
Resveratrol-Lift Firming Eye Gel Cream

A saviour when you’re lacking in sleep. This contains skin-lifting peptides and a smoothing formula that helps reduce the appearance of tired eyes.

Shop Now
Resveratrol-Lift Firming Night Cream
Resveratrol-Lift Firming Night Cream

This is full of repairing ingredients that help to fix the effects of a broken night’s sleep. Rebuilding your skin overnight, it makes you feel more human come morning. *Refill also available.

Shop Now