Mental Health is often overlooked, Brooke has a great blog post on postpartum depression that you definitely need to read.
The act of giving birth drains you physically, not to mention the whole process playing havoc with your emotions. Changes in hormones greatly impact your emotional state and your ability to deal with the new responsibilities in your life.
Although few women pass through the birth of a child without some form of emotional stress, certain signs point to a more serious condition called postpartum depression. Unlike the regular baby blues during the first two weeks after birth, postpartum depression lasts longer, and yields much more dangerous results.
Signs of Postpartum Depression
Women who experience persistent anxiety or guilt, accompanied by feelings of worthlessness and recurring thoughts of self-harm likely have postpartum depression, and require professional help. If you think you are feeling out of the ordinary sadness, anxiety, and stress talk to your doctor to see if you can get an official diagnosis.
Even you can tell when something may be wrong. If you think you may have postpartum depression, do all you can to get help. Countless women have struggled with this condition, and it’s no shame to admit you can’t deal with it on your own.
Once you obtain the help of a professional, they can make an accurate diagnosis, leading to the appropriate medication and or therapy. Find a counselor who has been qualified with a USC master of science in applied psychology or equivalent. In addition to these treatments, here are some ways to deal with and cope with postpartum depression:
Care for Yourself
Although many affected women feel guilty and overwhelmed, it’s important to practice self-care.
This includes getting enough sleep, which may sound impossible with a newborn. Recruit the help of a family member at least every two days to ensure you get enough sleep. Instead of trying to do household chores during the baby’s naps, take the time to nap as well.
Eat a balanced diet. To stay healthy and promote proper healing, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol and caffeine. When you put goodness in, you’ll get good out. Exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing, but the endorphins it produces will make it worth it.
The body normalizes its hormones in part through releasing tears. Crying provides a natural way for your body to secrete hormones that may be overly high now that you’ve had your baby.
Many sources of help lay in wait to give you the boost you need. Whether this comes in the form of a spouse, close friend, or sibling, accept help. Now is not the time to say you’re fine and don’t need any help.
If you let others lend their time, you’ll feel loved and more able to cope with what’s happening. Confide in your spouse to help them understand how you feel. Joining a local mothers’ group wouldn’t go amiss, as it helps you feel less alone in your struggles as well. The important thing is to get a good gage on how you’re feeling and find people you can trust to tell your fears and anxiety to. With time, you can begin healing and find more of the positives that come with having a baby.
~ Brooke Chaplan ~