Dealing with Emotional Eating Postpartum: Coping Strategies and Alternatives

by True Mommy Instincts

For new mothers, the postpartum phase is marked by a variety of changes, such as hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and the responsibilities of taking care of a newborn. Some women may find that during these changes, they become emotionally hungry because they use food as a coping method for stress, anxiety, or boredom. Maintaining physical and mental health during this period of transformation requires identifying the warning signs of emotional eating and putting coping mechanisms in place. This article provides healthier substitutes for food as a comfort and examines doable tactics for overcoming emotional eating after giving birth.

Understanding Postpartum Emotional Eating: Emotional eating is a common reaction to stress, anxiety, or other emotional stimuli, and it can be especially common during the postpartum phase. Changes in hormones, lack of sleep, and the stresses of becoming a new mother can all lead to feelings of vulnerability and overwhelm, which is why some women seek solace in food. But using food as a coping strategy can have detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health.

Signs of Emotional Eating: The first step in treating emotional eating is identifying its symptoms. Common indicators include eating impulsively or mindlessly, eating past fullness, craving particular foods, eating in response to particular emotions, and feeling guilty or ashamed afterward.

Coping Mechanisms for Postpartum Emotional Eating:

A multidimensional strategy that addresses the underlying needs and emotional triggers behind the behavior is necessary to manage emotional eating. The following are some useful coping mechanisms for handling emotional eating after giving birth:

  • Engage in Mindful Eating: This type of eating entails focusing on the sensory aspects of the meal as well as recognizing signals of hunger and fullness. Take a moment to check in with yourself before reaching for a snack to see if you’re actually hungry or if there’s another emotion at play.
  • Determine Triggers: Maintain a journal to monitor your eating patterns and pinpoint typical emotional eating triggers. After you’ve determined what your triggers are, consider other coping mechanisms that will enable you to deal with repressed feelings or stressful situations without using drugs or alcohol.
  • Create a Support System: Seek out emotional support and motivation from friends, family, or support groups. Speaking with people who have gone through comparable struggles can offer empathy and validation.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Set aside time for activities that feed your body, mind, and spirit in order to prioritize self-care. This could involve physical activity, mindfulness exercises, artistic endeavors, or just pausing to center and breathe.
  • Seek Professional Assistance if Needed: If emotional eating is negatively affecting your life, you might want to think about getting help from a postpartum mental health specialist, such as a therapist or counselor. You can develop healthy coping mechanisms, examine underlying emotions, and strengthen your resilience with the support of therapy.

Healthy Substitutes for Emotional Eating: 

Choosing healthier substitutes for emotional eating is crucial, in addition to coping mechanisms. Here are a few options to think about:

  • Exercise: Exercise has the power to reduce stress, elevate mood, and enhance general wellbeing. When you’re feeling stressed, think about taking a walk, doing yoga, or doing some other kind of exercise instead of reaching for food.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques: You can lower stress and increase relaxation by using relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and deep breathing.
  • Connect with Others: If you need emotional support or a way to connect, reach out to friends, family, or support groups.
  • Take Part in Creative Expression: Self-expression and stress relief can be obtained through creative pursuits like writing, painting, music, or gardening.
  • Engage in Self-Compassion Practice: Be gentle with yourself and try practicing self-compassion as you delve into new challenges that come with motherhood.


Many new mothers struggle with emotional eating after giving birth, but it can be effectively managed with knowledge and assistance. Mothers can improve their emotional well-being and establish a more balanced relationship with food by using coping mechanisms, recognizing triggers, and looking for healthier comfort food substitutes. As you travel this path, keep in mind to be patient and kind to yourself. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask loved ones or experts for it. You can develop better habits and have a happier, more satisfying postpartum experience with patience and practice.

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