You have had a baby recently. Your little bundle of joy promises to bring lots of fun, love, and happy moments in your life. But having a baby and raising him in the early days after delivery can be extremely stressful, given the number of new responsibilities on your shoulders, sleep-deprived days and nights, and lack of “me time.” Baby blues are normal for many first-time moms, but symptoms do not go away easily. For some, they tend to get worse and translate into postpartum depression. How to cope with postpartum depression is the prime concern for you at the moment. Let’s see how you can overcome this stressful period post delivery so that you can enjoy every moment of your motherhood journey.
Understanding Postpartum Depression
The arrival of a new baby brings along expectations and excitement. But for some new moms, it is followed by stints of anxiety when they were expected to be celebrating to announce the arrival of their little one. Do you feel like crying? Are there clouds of anxiety hovering over your mind? Do you feel exhausted and cry too often? Do you often experience mood swings and feel more tearful and overwhelmed? Are you feeling emotionally fragile?
These are some of the symptoms of postpartum depression.
The prime cause of baby blues within the first few days after delivery is the sudden change in hormones. Fatigue and sleep deprivation play a role too. The symptoms peak around one week and may go away by the end of the second week. However, postpartum symptoms do not go away easily and are rather more serious than the symptoms associated with baby blues.
A woman may start to experience suicidal thoughts for her inability to look after the baby. She may be unable to bond well with the baby.
Some other symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Agitation or irritability
- Loss of concentration
- Changes in appetite
- Lack of energy
- Lack of interest in most activities
- Sleeping problems/insomnia
- Thoughts of death or suicide
When it comes to coping with postpartum depression, here are a few tips that may come in handy:
Cope With Postpartum Depression: Look for support
Perhaps this is the most difficult time of your life when you are experiencing postpartum depression symptoms. But there is a safe way out. Like you, many new moms find themselves alone or isolated. So, what a better way to overcome isolation than establishing contacts with such moms? After all, each one of you is undergoing the same symptoms. Who could help and support you better than someone who understands what you are passing through? Join support groups in your community or social media and help each other overcome the symptoms that make you feel miserable.
Isolating yourself from family and friends will not help. Rather, you should stay connected with loved ones. Let them know what you are experiencing and what you expect of others.
Cope With Postpartum Depression: Establish Bond With Baby
Many moms suffering from PPD interact less with their little ones. They are less likely to play with or breastfeed their baby. A secure attachment is formed when you are consistent in your warm responses to your baby’s physical and emotional needs. Soothe your baby when he cries. Breastfeed him when he is hungry. Smile with him. Play with him and enjoy his company. Mom and baby respond to each other’s emotional signals.
Remember, your baby needs a secure attachment to you. You are no exception either, especially when you have brought them into the world. Establishing strong attachment with your baby will help you cope with postpartum depression symptoms. This helps release feel-good hormones that will make you feel better about yourself.
Cope With Postpartum Depression: Spare Some “We Time” With Your Partner
Often the demands and needs of a new baby may result in the mother getting too busy with the little one that she has no time for her partner. Tackling parenting challenges as a team is important. Both parents have a role to play in the upbringing of the baby. Instead of turning your frustrations on your partner, keep the communication lines open.
What do you expect of him? Do you want him to take care of a few household chores? Are you looking for a helping hand? Whatever be your expectations, share with your partner and spend some “we time” together. No, you do not need to go out for a date. But if you could spare a few minutes every day for each other, you would not feel isolated. Additionally, this will help strengthen your bond. Coping with postpartum depression symptoms becomes easy when you share a strong bond with your partner.
Cope With Postpartum Depression: Get a Massage
Perhaps you feel drained out of energy after 9 months of carrying the baby in your womb and then experiencing intense pain during delivery. Finally, the burden of baby care bogs you down. A regular massage session is the best way to pamper yourself post delivery and feel rejuvenated. This is one of the best ways to cope with postpartum depression symptoms, such as fatigue and anxiety. Additionally, you may learn a few baby massage techniques that can help soothe your baby when he is in pain.
Cope With Postpartum Depression: Eat Healthy
Now that you are no longer pregnant, it does not mean your focus should shift from healthy heating. Eating a balanced diet is still important to keep your body healthy and energized. You should go for a colorful platter with vegetables and fruits to derive energy and remain healthy. Additionally, if you eat good food, your milk ducts can produce more milk for breastfeeding. So you can keep your baby happy and healthy too. When both are happy as well as healthy, there should be no space for postpartum symptoms.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com