The bundle of joy has arrived, and it brought out a lot of emotions in you: excitement, happiness, anxiety, fear, exhaustion, the list could go on and on. Indeed, the birth of a baby can trigger a variety of feelings, including a tremor that you might not expect: depression.
Postpartum Depression (PPD) is often confused for baby blues initially, due to their similar indicators. However, the symptoms of PPD are more severe. The mood swings, being overwhelmed and weak are more commonly from baby blues, while the unexplained sadness, feeling worthless, guilt, disconnection, and thoughts of harming yourself and the baby could be signs that you are experiencing PPD. Also, unlike baby blues, PPD rarely disappears on its own; hence, if neglected, this can be long-lasting and worse, can affect your care for the baby and the whole family.
The good news is PPD can be managed with the absolute support and intervention. It is essential to acknowledge the early signs and symptoms and create decisions that can manage PPD effectively and make you feel better. Today, we came up with a list of things that you can kickoff to cope with postpartum depression. Keep reading as we give you some practical self-help tips!
Being a new mom can be overwhelming, exhausting, and lonely, and these feelings can lead to withdrawing yourself from your peers and isolation. We know it is hard to open up when you are experiencing PPD. But, having a positive social connection can reduce stress faster than any other stress relievers. Stay in contact with family and friends, especially when you are feeling depressed. Good or bad, share with them what you are going through, as they are the much-needed emotional outlet and support. Also, consider joining support groups and be with women who are also shifting to motherhood. Telling them your worries and insecurities will do you good as they can listen without judgment and offer reassurance. The bottom line is, isolating yourself will only make your situation worse, so be open to support and prioritize relationships. Here are some ideas to embark connection with others:
You might be asking yourself the big question right now – ‘How?’. We get it. It is hard, especially when you are going through PPD, plus looking after the baby 24/7. But it would not hurt to try and make that small step to start a healthy routine. Getting into the habit of eating a balanced diet and an active lifestyle can help in making you feel better and, of course, give you the nutrients that your body needs. Sneak at least half an hour daily to do a home workout while the baby is sleeping or do a quick walk outside with the baby. After this, proceed to your kitchen and start cooking again. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy home-cooked meal will help you get a good sleep. Doing all these things will not only boost your mood, but it will bring you back in shape! Here are some of our hints to instate a healthy lifestyle:
The pregnancy, hours of labor, and now, the non-stop feeding – you might be feeling disillusioned by motherhood. Moreover, you might be feeling stuck and obligated to do household chores or take care of other members of your family. But let us tell you this – you need to take a break! Rather than stressing out, accept the offer of your family to babysit or ask your husband to do some chores. Giving yourself a chance to have a quiet and fruitful ‘me-time’ will benefit your recovery. Do not let go of the activities you enjoy just because you entered motherhood. We know you feel demotivated sometimes, but you need to stop isolating yourself and go out. Life choices like these can improve your health and mood and get you back on track with yourself again. With all the things you have been through, you deserve to reward yourself, mommy! Listed below are some points you can do to have a mommy ‘me-time’:
The most accessible social contact that you will get is from the one who is beside you! Communicate with your husband so he can get a picture of the situation. He needs to know what you are going through to help you surpass it. Remember, you will have an apace recovery if you have a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and hands to lighten your workload. Who is better to do that than your husband, right? Do not be afraid to share with him what you feel, no matter how ugly it is. After all, both of you took a vow – for better or for worse and, in sickness and in health. All of this will be great for your husband and the wellness of your family. Keep scrolling for some tips to engage with your significant other:
We know this life transition is overpowering and dismal. Strive to focus on not what was lost but instead, welcome what you have gained! Now, you have an adorable little blessing in your life, with a powerful sense of purpose. Embrace motherhood and grab the chance given to you to raise a child. Creating a connection with your baby benefits you and your family. Start with responding to emotional cues or needs of your little one, such as carrying or giving them a lift when they cry. It will make your child depend on you for a source of comfort. By merely doing this, you can create a secure bond with your baby and unleash the love you both deserve to have! Below are the pointers to strengthen your bond:
Remember, postpartum depression is not your fault. It is a condition that requires treatment with either medication or therapy treatment. Thus if you have tried self-help, established lifestyle changes, and solicited support but have felt no improvement, it is best to call your doctor for consultation.
- Ashley Marcin, 7 Ways To Cope with Postpartum Depression, February 2020
- Better Health Channel, Pregnancy and your Mental Health, July 2018
- Hannah Nichols, Life Hacks: Dealing with Postpartum Depression, November 2017
- NHS UK, Postnatal Depression: Overview, Symptoms and Treatment, December 2018