11 Ways to Cope Up With Postpartum Depression

Every 1 out of 8 new mothers experience intense feelings of sadness, fatigue, and anxiety after giving birth. If these symptoms continue to exist after 2-3 weeks and interfere with regular life, it may be a sign of postpartum depression.

Here are some steps to cope with PPD. For best results, use these steps in combination with your doctor’s advice and guidance.

1. Get back to your Workout

A recent study has found that women who exercised lightly or moderately are 54% less likely to have depressive symptoms. That means if you are going through baby blues or has been diagnosed with postpartum depression, it is best to start some sort of exercise, be it aerobics, yoga, or Pilates.

If you are not yet ready for any major activity, just take the baby for a stroll in the park. Eventually, transform these easy-breezy walks into a 10 minutes exercise session. In no time, you will be feeling much better and enthusiastic.

It may look impossible to find some time for yourself. However, the only way to win back your life is by providing your body with much-needed action. The video mentioned below can be your guide to the best exercise routine.

2. Develop a Secure Bond with the Baby

A secure bond between the mother and child is formed when the mother responds warmly to the child’s necessities. Unfortunately, postpartum depression interferes with this bonding process, leaving both the mother and child deprived of love and care.

20% of new parents find it difficult to form an emotional bond with kids in the first few weeks. The only way to develop a healthy bond with the baby is to interact more and more.

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When you play or laugh with the baby, it releases endorphins that will lighten your mood. On the other hand, prolonged skin contact releases oxytocin (the love or cuddle hormone) that makes you feel more caring towards others. Both these hormones can help subside the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Young mothers are often worried that they would hurt the kid while massaging or bathing. Do not let this feeling prevent you from taking care of the child.

3. Try to Get Enough Sleep

Mother of infants who wakes up frequently during the night is more at risk of sleep deprivation. While many factors lead to postpartum depression, lack of sleep plays a major role. Sleep deprivation is not just linked to depression, but also early biological aging and suicidal thoughts.

Eight hours of sleep seems impossible when you are taking care of a newborn, but it is essential during your recovery period. Most doctors recommended taking a nap whenever the baby is asleep, and it might work for some. But in postpartum depression, it is the quality of sleep that weighs above the quantity.

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There are stages to a good sleep like the slow-wave and Rapid-eye movement, which happens only when you are deep asleep. Any interference with sleep will make it difficult to complete the sleep cycle. 

To effectively lay down a healthier sleep habit, you first have to improve the sleep schedule of the baby. Make sure you feed and change before going to the bed. You can also store breast milk and ask your partner to feed, while you take your much-needed rest.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Although healthy eating is not directly associated with the cure of postpartum depression, a habit should always be encouraged. A woman’s body requires specific nutrients after giving birth. These nutrients play a crucial part in controlling gut health, hormonal regulations, neuroendocrine functioning, and immunity.

New mothers need to focus on nutrients like Zinc, Iron, Selenium, Vitamin D, B-vitamins, and other essential fatty acids. Depletion of any of these nutrients may lead to poor functioning of several body systems, including the brain.

Try to incorporate dairy items, seafood, quinoa, whole-wheat grains, seeds, nuts, eggs, coconut, green leafy vegetables, and avocado in your meal. Breastfeeding mothers must put together a healthy bowl of meal or snacks every four hours.

Recent studies have also linked probiotics to gut and mental health. So, include fermented food items like Kimchi, Kombucha, and yogurt, and buttermilk in your diet and you may soon feel better.

5. Ditch the Chores

A newborn wakes up after every 3 hours and needs to be soothed, fed, and changed. All these chores need tons of energy and that is why the first few months after giving birth should be all about you and your baby.

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It is all right if the house looks messy and you are not up to the job. Always remember that you are recovering from postpartum symptoms like stitches, soreness, and intense fatigue. Allow your body to heal completely and direct whatever energy you have in taking care of yourself and your baby’s basic needs. Set your priorities right and you will soon feel better.

6. Keep away from Mom’s Guilt

Mom’s guilt is that persuasive feeling that makes you believe that you are not doing enough for the kid. Guilt plays a major part in causing postpartum depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety in new moms.

The origin of mom’s guilt can be personal insecurity as well outside pressure. Identifying the trigger is the first thing you need to do and the process of journaling can help you do it. Once you have identified the trigger try to keep away from its sources.

One of the main culprits behind inflating the mom’s guilt is social media, where everything is so flashy and perfect. Always remember those are the best moments of someone’s life and the worst ones are hidden somewhere behind the reels.

Many celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Hayden Panettiere are coming forward to share their journey of low self-confidence and anxiety. In one of the recent events, Adele opened up about postpartum depression. Her talks have inspired many and shown us that it can happen to anyone. All you need is the right care at the right time to recover from Postpartum Depression.

7. Ask for Help

Most parents try to do everything on their own, and that is how things get chaotic. Partners do tend to split the job and take turns in comforting the baby. However, in the first week of postpartum, even that is too much and can cause low self-confidence and anxiety in both parents.

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You should let someone else take care of responsibilities like house chores, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of other kids. Do not hesitate in asking for help from family members. Baby’s grandparents and aunts can stay for the first few days to take care of the house, while you take your rest. If relatives are not an option, opt for a paid home care provider for a few days.

Whomever you are asking for help, make sure you communicate your message very well. You are already in a fragile state and would not want any misunderstanding or hurt at this point. Have the helper take care of the laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc., while you focus on the baby and your health.

8. Incorporate Fish Oil into your Diet

Studies suggest that mothers release docosahexaenoic acid or DHA to the baby’s body during pregnancy. The process continues while breastfeeding, so if you are a breastfeeding mom, there is a chance you are running low on Omega-3 fatty acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

Deficiency of DHA concentrations often leads and anxiety and eventually to postpartum depression. Supplementing the mother with regular doses of Omega -3 might not cure the problem of the root, but it is known to minimize the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Omega-3 acid not just helps in recovering from postpartum depression but also helps the baby in neurological development. Some of the very strong sources of Omega-3 acid are fish, fish oil, Chia seeds. Make sure you consult your doctor first and take the dose in a limited amount, as an excessive amount of fish consumption can cause mercury contamination.

9. Take Out Some Time for Yourself

With a newborn baby to take care of, we almost forget about our personal needs, and that is where our health starts degrading. It is crucial to look out for yourself after delivery, and taking care of the baby does not have to be your sole responsibility.

Lean on your partner and family for babysitting while you go back to your previous normal for a few hours. Even if you just have the gap between the feeding sessions, go for it. Take a walk in the park, go shopping, watch a movie, or book a spa. Getting out of the house will give you the much-needed break you deserve.

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A newborn child is an open invitation to your extended family and relatives, but do not assume that you have to entertain your guests like in the non-pregnancy days. Feel free to take a break for a quick nap or feeding the baby.

10. Appreciate yourself

New mothers are often found obsessing about the weight gained during pregnancy, and that may cause appearance anxiety, low self-confidence, and eventually postpartum depression.

There is also a certain amount of social and familial pressure to maintain a certain body. Do not give in to the social pressure, as it can be discouraging and lead to lower self-esteem.

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Always remember that different women have different postpartum symptoms. For instance, for some the sore nipples, backaches, and perineal pain eases up in the first two weeks, but for some, it continues for a long while. Consider the first six weeks of the Postpartum as the recovery period.

This is the time where you need to eat well, sleep, and take care of yourself and the baby. So, do not worry about the weight as of now, and if you want to work on your weight start with small walks. There will be plenty of time and opportunity to lose those extra pounds.

11. Talk about your Issues

Humans are social by nature and crave continual emotional support and positive interactions. Having a baby in the house feels like, there is no room for anything or anyone else. Eventually, young mothers get so busy with the baby that they forget to socialize. Refraining from getting the optimal amount of emotional support often leads to loneliness.

Loneliness is the last thing you want during the postpartum period. Not being able to express yourself may lead to higher blood pressure, reduced immunity, and several sleep issues. All these symptoms are associated with postpartum depression and may elevate your problems further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What you need at this time is someone who listens to you and supports you in all possible ways. Experts advise young mothers to start meeting with their friends and family for social interactions. Lean on those who can boost your sense of independence and make your feel better.

If you are not able to find that someone within the family, book a professional counseling session. It often helps to talk with psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals. Therapies can also help you understand your problems, set genuine goals, and react to circumstances positively. Eventually, you will have improved self-confidence, and you will feel much better. Do not end the counseling session abruptly as it might worsen the situation.

Bottom Line

For best results, club these fail-proof ways to manage postpartum depression with medical therapies. Stay in touch with your doctor throughout the postpartum period and talk about any signs of anxiety and low self-confidence. This way you can receive the required help on time.

We hope this guide help you manage your postpartum blues effectively. Do not forget to share your experience with pregnancy and the postpartum period in the comment section.