Postpartum depression has been suppressed for the longest time, but slowly more people are accepting that it does exist and is a mental problem that needs to be tackled. People differ in the way that they deal with depression and so one person’s way of dealing with it is not the next person’s.
While some people will seek a professional’s help especially when levels of depression are severe, these small actions could turn things around in the case of mild PPD.
New mothers are overwhelmed by motherhood and especially when you barely get to catch a wink. Take time off because you deserve it. Asking for help at this stage is not a show of weakness. If your mother (in-law) or sibling offers to babysit for a few hours, take the time to get some rest or do your nails, or even go for a walk. Simple things that seemed mundane before the baby now become the perfect form of self-care. If it is hard to get anyone to sit on notice, and your spouse is not available to help, you could form a network of mothers in your neighborhood going through the same thing and hire a few sitters together to reduce your cost.
Rest becomes a thing of the past when you become a mother, but you can try aligning your schedule with that of the baby – sleeping when they do. Night nurses are not a bad idea but they come at corporate lawyer’s cost – or close – and so they are not affordable to everyone. A 2009 report showed women who get less than four hours of sleep to be more prone to depression than their counterparts who get more than that. Napping whenever the baby does is also a great way to sneak in some more hours of rest.
Exercise, in whichever form, is great for the brain and so hitting the gym could keep depression at bay. Sticking with one workout regime is not exactly easy when your schedule is determined by a totally dependent little human being, but the good news is that walking works wonders. Depending on the weather, you could take your little bunny with you. If indoor workouts are your only option, you will be spoilt for choice when you check on YouTube.
We have a tendency to focus on the negative as opposed to the positive. If someone doesn’t show up for you, it does not automatically mean that they don’t care. They could have lots of other things going on in their lives that may prevent them from being there. Instead of focusing on the things that don’t work positively, spend your energy on your family.
Let your food be your medicine, they say. A healthy meal that is high in protein and low on processed carbohydrates with lots of veggies and fruits is not only good for milk production but it is also great for weight loss. Losing that baby weight will naturally make you feel better about yourself and so you will be killing two birds with one stone.
Motherhood has great rewards and is worth every amount of stress.