Giving birth is often a stressful experience, even though most new mothers anticipate this milestone with joy.
Taking into account the overwhelming responsibilities, sleep deprivation and lack of sufficient “me-time’ involved, it is not shocking that many new mothers get depressed.
In fact, there is a term assigned to this phenomenon- baby blues.
Baby blues aren’t abnormal, but if the symptoms persist or worsen, you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
What is the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression?
All new mothers look forward to parenting with plenty of unfeigned bliss and fascination.
Yet, quite a large number of them rapidly sink into pregnancy anxiety, weariness, and even frequent bouts of weeping.
Mild depression and anxiety are rampant among new mothers and as earlier noted, are identified as baby blues.
Many ladies tend to experience these symptoms right after giving birth.
Baby blues are usually triggered by hormonal upheavals, stress, isolation, exhaustion, and insomnia. Still, these symptoms normally dissipate after the second week after childbirth.
On the other hand, postpartum depression is a much more serious issue that you cannot afford to ignore.
At the start, its symptoms are similar to those of baby blues. This includes mood swings, bouts of weeping, insomnia, despondency and irritability.
The only thing that differentiates baby blues and postpartum depression are that the latter’s symptoms are severe and prolonged.
New mothers often find themselves withdrawing from their spouses and experience difficulties in effectively bonding with their babies.
They also experience intense anxiety which impairs their sleep patterns.
Some can experience guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and usually begin to contemplate suicide.
These are all classic symptoms of postpartum depression.
How can you deal with postpartum depression?
Endeavor to securely attach yourself to your child.
Mothers require a secure emotional bond with their children as much as the child does.
Non-verbal bonding ensures your baby’s mind can be cohesive. It will also assist you by releasing “feel good” endorphin hormones, which will make you happy and content.
Mothers suffering from postpartum depression interact less with their babies.
Some can also be inconsistent in the manner they take care of their babies. Inconsistency greatly impairs the bonding process between the mother and the child.
A secure emotional attachment can be created when mothers respond suitably and consistently and cater to the babies’ emotional needs. This allows babies to recognize their mothers and respond well to the emotional signals they receive.
Reach out to others for help and support
We are all social beings.
Access to good social contact can alleviate stress much better than any other remedy.
In the distant past, new mothers obtained assistance from those around them in caring for themselves and their children.
However, in our contemporary world, new mothers often find themselves very isolated and craving for contact with supportive adults.
If you find yourself in such a scenario, here are some tips that can prove to be handy:
First, when you feel depressed, it is vital to remain connected with your loved ones, even if you prefer isolation. Isolating yourself will only worsen your postpartum depression.
Secondly, don’t keep your feelings inside. In addition to caring for you and your baby, your loved ones can lend a caring ear to your concerns. Always be open about your feelings, both good and bad to someone who cares and will listen to you without being judgmental.
Finally, you can reach out to other ladies experiencing the same issues.
It can be extremely reassuring to listen to other new mothers talk about their concerns and insecurities.
Try to reach out to support groups for new mothers that operate in your area.
Find sufficient time to take good care of yourself
To efficiently manage postpartum depression, make a point to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
You can adopt the following simplistic lifestyle changes that can help:
To begin, go easy on the household chores and focus on your needs and those of your child.
Research shows exercise can be an excellent cure for depression. Still, don’t overdo. Leisurely walks around the neighborhood or even stretching, yoga or pilates workouts can be ideal.
You can engage in mindfulness meditation, which will calm and revitalize you.
Poor sleep worsens depression. Ensure you get adequate sleep, even if it means enlisting the assistance of your loved ones to cover for you while you rest.
Set aside quality “‘me-time” in your routine for relaxation purposes. Indulge in little luxuries like bubble baths or massages every now and then.
Finally, it is important to note that what you eat influences your mood and even the quality of your breast milk. So, ensure you eat healthily.
As you can see, there are many feasible ways of conquering postpartum depression.
By paying heed to these tips, you will be able to rise above it.
Susy Richards is a lovely mother of 3 girls (3 years, 4 years and 5) and a simple woman who is ready to share her priceless experience with other mommies around the world. She is an Advanced Practice Provider who passed birth doula and postpartum doula courses at Childbirth International in 2013. Susy is passionate about providing holistic care and is involved in pregnancy research currently publishing her articles concerning pregnancy on site rocketparents.com