Postpartum depression (PPD) is a medical condition suffered by one in eight moms after giving birth and this could arise from hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood and tiredness or a combination of all.
Having a baby and going into motherhood is a thing of joy. One minute you’re happy, and the next minute you’re crying. It’s very normal to feel anxious and worried; hence, it’s called ‘’baby blues.’’ Women who are depressed during pregnancy or have history of anxiety are more at risk.
At any point in time you think you have postpartum depression, it’s advised to visit a professional for accurate diagnosis and can suggest therapy. Below are some tips to follow to get through it.
- Enough sleep is required: Sleeping for a very long time with a new baby is impossible but it’s very vital. But you can get any of your trusted friends or family member to check on you at least every 2 days to enable you get enough sleep. If you can’t do it, then try to sleep when your baby is sleeping.
- Consume healthy foods: Eat a balanced diet that will give you energy. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Exercise is required: It’s difficult to move especially when you’re feeling blue. Research shows that the endorphin gotten from a workout eases depression. It’s best to head to the gym or have a walk with your baby.
- Confide in your partner: Tell your spouse about how you’re feeling. A great source of support could be what you need which can improve your relationship.
- Find ‘positive’ friends: You can join mom’s groups for support or call a friend to chat with when you’re feeling down. Make sure to surround yourself with people who care and love you.
- Cry like a baby: It’s good to cry, because this is one natural way the body uses to get your hormones out. During third trimester, the hormones are always ready and in full force and after childbirth, the body will work to get them back to normal. Tears are one of the ways the body secretes hormones. There is nothing wrong with letting it out. You're human. We all cry. You will get through this.
- Trust your instinct: Whenever the feeling of something is not right, then it might not. Make your feelings important and tell someone how you feel immediately, it could be your spouse, trusted friend or family member.
- Dress Up: This might be the last thing that you want to do, but trust me it's worth it. Right after each birth of my baby, I dropped the hospital gown at got into my own clothing. Not just pajamas and a robe but my own cute leggings and cute T-shirt. I wanted to be comfortable but not worn out from labor or like I was going to bed. I made sure my nails were done and my hair was fixed. This made me feel better and I felt better about taking care of my baby. All the nurses would be shocked to see how quickly I bounced back to myself again. It doesn't have to be full on glam, but little things like cute clothes, a manicure and a few curls will make you feel great and help take away any negative feelings you may have about yourself. When you look good you feel good!
Do you have any ways to cope with or prevent postpartum depression? Help another mom and share them in the comments below.