This is a guest post
Postpartum depression is when you feel constant sadness, apathy, fatigue, irritability, or other symptoms of depression, and it occurs after childbirth. When you give birth, the hormones in your brain can go down, which can lead to depression. Top that off with the stresses of being a new mother, and this can make you even more depressed. Postpartum depression doesn’t last forever, but it can be damaging to you and your loved ones. Luckily, you can treat it with a few good habits, and these include:
One reason why we feel so depressed after giving birth is that we’re stressed. Stress is designed to make us want to accomplish our goals and eliminate the source of the stressor, but too much of it can have the opposite effect. One thing you can do is to focus on one problem at a time. Let your spouse or a loved one handle the other problems, and instead take care of your child primarily. You can also practice meditation techniques to reduce the amount of stress you have going.
Exercising can help you not only with your energy levels but with your depression as well. When you work out, it releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that treat pain. However, we understand that telling a depressed person to work out is not so easy. Try to do something simple. If you’re in your home, do a few jumping jacks. Try walking outside. Just a little bit goes a long way, and it’s a good way to improve your overall health. Maybe have your spouse join you for some extra encouragement. Exercise is not just a way for you to lose the baby weight; it can overall improve your physical and mental functions.
One reason for postpartum depression is because mothers aren’t getting enough sleep. You can’t just adjust to less sleep; your body needs it. Less sleep makes you irritable, more depressed, and decreases your overall mental functions. Of course, getting more sleep when you’re a mother is a challenge. Look at your baby’s sleep schedule, and sleep when they sleep. Take as many naps as possible. A little nap here and there will go the wrong way. Don’t give into the sleepless mother stereotype, because it’s just not good for you.
One side effect of postpartum depression is that you may eat more, or eat too little. Make sure you are getting a balanced diet. Meet your calorie needs, and get adequate nutrition. For example, fish oils are filled with omega-3s, which can improve your brain functions. Either eat nutrient-rich foods or take some supplements. Talk to a nutritionist or a doctor to see what you need. They can also test you and see if you’re lacking in any essential vitamins. Plus, if you’re breastfeeding, a healthy diet means better milk for your child.
Postpartum depression can last a few months, but it can last longer. If your situation gets too bad, there is no shame in talking to a doctor or a therapist. A doctor may be able to prescribe antidepressants. They are safe for breastfeeding, they help improve your mood, and your doctor can assist you in getting off them once your depression improves. A counsellor, meanwhile, can help you learn techniques and strategies to make motherhood much easier to handle. They won’t cure your postpartum depression, but they can lessen your symptoms and decrease the amount of time needed to recover from it.
Postpartum depression is difficult, but by treating it, you can make a full recovery.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.