Have you recently had a child and have felt depressed? You’re not alone. When you are pregnant and have a child, there are many physical changes that happen to your body, as well as mental changes. One such mental change is postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is feeling depressed shortly after childbirth. It usually lasts a few months and it makes you want to do anything but bounce on trampolines such as this one.
The causes of postpartum depression can be many. When you give birth, your hormones change and can impact your mood. In addition, parenting situations can contribute to it. You may get less sleep, you may feel anxious, you may be stressed… having a new kid is hard. Postpartum depression is natural, and there is no shame in it. However, if left untreated, it can become chronic, and possibly end up doing damage to you and your family.
Postpartum depression is more than feeling sad. There are many symptoms that can come with it, including:
- Mood swings. You may feel happy for your child one second and then upset the next.
- You can’t bond with your baby.
- You can’t sleep, or you sleep more than you should.
- You have a hard time socializing with friends and family. Often, you may feel like you’re at odds with them.
- You worry you’re not a good parent.
- You have anxiety as well.
- You may feel guilty or worthless.
- In extreme circumstances, you may self-harm or be suicidal.
How to Combat Postpartum Depression
Luckily, there are ways you can reduce your symptoms of depression. Here’s how.
Parenting can be seen as a sleepless job. However, sleep is important. If you’re lacking sleep, it can intensify your depression. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Maybe have the father or another relative help while you catch up on sleep. Practice good sleep rituals. Take some melatonin or wind down with hot tea. If you still can’t sleep, talk to a doctor.
Diet and Exercise
As a new mother, you may want to get back into shape. Not only is it good for the body, but it can be good for the mind as well. Eat right, and try getting in some exercise in every day. Even if it’s just a walk outside, it can improve your mood quite a bit. Or you can lift some weights in your house.
Have Some Time To Yourself
Being a new mother is great, but you need some time alone as well, or some time out with friends. Have a day where you can enjoy yourself and perhaps have your parents look after the child or another relative. This can allow you to unwind.
Figure Out What’s Causing It
If your depression is due to a situation or a stressor, figure that out and see if you can fix it. If you’re worried that you won’t be a good enough mother, realize that no parent is perfect. If you’re worried about finances, try to budget a little bit.
Talk to a Counselor
Sometimes, you don’t know how to deal with your depression. Maybe you don’t know the cause, or none of these situations work for you. Speaking to a counselor or a therapist may be able to help you. They can try to get to the bottom of why you’re feeling this way, and come up with fruitful solutions that can make you feel a lot better.
In addition, a therapist can prescribe medicine for you. Sometimes, there is no shame in taking an antidepressant to help with the symptoms while you try to figure out how to manage your depression manually.
Realize It’s All Temporary
In most cases, postpartum depression lasts a year at most. You will feel better, and you will enjoy your motherhood more than ever. By always feeling like you’ll be depressed, this will just make the depression worse. However, if you look to the future in a hopeful manner, you will feel better.
Postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about your depression and seek treatment for it. By fighting it early, you can move on to happier times as a mother.