Pregnancy can be hard for some and enjoyable for others, but there’s no doubt that postpartum depression is something that most new moms find difficult, tough, and unpleasant. Unfortunately, some people surrounding the new moms don’t know anything about postpartum depression so they fail to deal with the new situation properly. Even though it’s temporary, postpartum depression is serious and plenty of new moms know exactly how difficult this phase is. If you’re a new mom and feel like everything is blue and you don’t enjoy motherhood as you thought you would, you might be dealing with postpartum depression. Read this article to know more about it and how to deal with it in the best way possible.
First of all, you should know more about what postpartum depression is.
What is postpartum depression?
Did you know that postpartum depression affects 1 in 9 women? This may be higher than you expected, right? Although postpartum depression can start at any moment during the first year of a baby's life, it affects new moms most frequently in the first three weeks following delivery. In contrast to the "baby blues," which normally only last a week or two, postpartum depression, with symptoms that include sadness, helplessness, and guilt tends to last longer.
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What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
If you experience five or more symptoms for more than two weeks, you might have PPD. you may notice changes in your feelings such as:
- Feeling sad most of the day, every day
- Feeling guilt or shame or feeling like a failure
- Feeling scared or panicked most of the time
- Having abrupt mood changes
How to deal with postpartum depression?
Establish a strong bond with your infant
When you pay attention to your child's demands or emotional signs and react appropriately—such as picking them up, comforting them, and soothing them when they cry—a safe connection develops. Being that dependable comforter teaches your child to control their own emotions and behaviors, which in turn supports the growth of their cognitive abilities. Postpartum depression can greatly affect early bonding, which can also make daily life stressful and affect your capacity to care for both you and your baby.
You and your baby will benefit from developing a close relationship. The "love" or "cuddle hormone," oxytocin, is released when you are in close proximity to your newborn. Increased levels of oxytocin make you feel happier, more compassionate, and more sensitive to other people's feelings. It also makes it easier for you to pick up on your baby's nonverbal messages.
Take time to care for yourself
One of the most effective ways to treat or avoid postpartum depression is to take care of yourself. Simple changes in habits can boost your health and happiness and make you feel a bit of yourself once more. To take care of yourself, you should start by taking naps whenever possible. We know that you’re so done with everyone around you saying, “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” and so are we. However, we urge you to find help and support from everyone around you. Your partner can take care of the baby for an hour or two while you nap a little and rest your body. You also need to eat omega-3-rich foods and take your vitamins because you need your strength to be able to care for your little one. Moreover, you should go outside in the sunshine every day for 10-15 minutes since the sun is beneficial to your skin and hair. It will also boost your mood and make you feel better. Take your baby for a walk in the stroller so you can both benefit from the beautiful sunshine.
Slowly get back to exercising
The period following delivery is a good time to exercise in order to improve psychological health and reduce postpartum depression symptoms.
If your pregnancy and delivery were both healthy, you can start light activity a few days after giving birth. A smart way to start is by walking, which has the advantage of allowing you to push your baby at the exact same time. Aim to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each day. Your body will benefit from even a 10-minute workout.
Try therapy or support groups
Gaining emotional and social help from others can improve your ability to handle challenges on your own by enhancing your sense of independence and self-worth. However, if you’ve tried self-help, lifestyle modifications, and support but haven't seen any progress, your doctor could advise trying medication, psychotherapy, or both.
Finally, being a mom is a precious gift and one of the most beautiful things in life. However, this may come at a price. You may find yourself doing a lot of sacrifices for your kid and still be happy about them because your child means the world to you. It is mandatory though that you take good care of yourself and watch your health so that you can do all the responsibilities and be happy at the same time.
Main image credit: @iremorby