This is a guest post
Postpartum depression can affect as many as 20 percent of new mothers. It’s when you feel depressed shortly after childbirth. The sudden decrease in hormones, along with the sleepless nights of being new parents, can cause depression, and this can make you withdrawn from your friends, make you feel less of a bond with your child, and can lead to emotional issues, which can affect your relationship or your job.
Luckily, postpartum depression won’t last forever, and by treating it, you can lessen and shorten its lifespan. Two of the best ways to treat it include antidepressants and seeking help through a counsellor, who can teach you how to change your thinking.
In addition, there are coping mechanisms you can take to improve your postpartum depression, and these include:
Exercise not only gives you more energy, which is important when it comes to being a mother, but it can also release hormones in your brain that can make you feel good.
When you’re depressed, we understand it’s not so easy to go out and exercise. Especially if you’re a mother. Baby steps. Try going for a short walk outside, or doing some crunches at home. Even for a few minutes, you’ll see the benefits.
Taking Fish Oils
One way to improve your postpartum depression is to take omega-3s, which can improve your mental health. You can get these in the form of fish, or fish oil supplements. Flaxseed oil works well too. While it won’t magically cure your depression, doing this along with a healthy diet and exercise can reduce the effects.
One big reason for postpartum depression is that new mothers don’t get enough sleep. This can lead to a loss in energy and poor mental health. Of course, it’s difficult to sleep with a newborn. Try sleeping at the same time as your baby does. Take naps with your baby. Get as much sleep as you can, and you may find that your postpartum depression feels a lot better.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
When you’re a new mother, you definitely will find yourself more isolated, but having too much isolation can be dangerous, making your depression worse than before. Try fixing this by talking with your friends or family members. You can even join online forums where you can communicate with others that are experiencing the same things as you are. A depression chat room might be a great way to connect with others without having to leave the comfort of your own home. If you decide you’d like to spend some time outside of the house, hire a sitter, or have your spouse take care of the child for a bit. By sitting around too much, it can intensify your depression.
Take Some Time to Yourself
Another way to improve your mental health is to have some “me” time. If you’re working and taking care of your child, it can be difficult, but try devoting an hour to your favourite hobby. Everyone needs time to unwind, and not being able to do so can make you feel a whole lot worse.
See a Doctor if Symptoms Worsen
Postpartum depression does not need an immediate trip to the doctor, but if the symptoms are not improving, it may be valuable to go to the doctor. They can figure out if it’s just postpartum depression, or if there’s something else behind it all. They can also prescribe medication to help improve the symptoms. Check in with your doctor regularly and see if your depression improves.
Visit a Counsellor
A counsellor can help you practice coping techniques and help you with any problems you may face as a mother. Along with medication, you can see a huge improvement in how you function. There are different forms of therapy for treating postpartum depression, with cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy having the best results. So try both methods and see what works for you.
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.