Managing Post-Partum Depression
Mon, April 19, 2021

Managing Post-Partum Depression

Becoming a mother is a challenging yet fulfilling experience that many women anticipate in their lifetime / Photo by: paulaphoto via Shutterstock

 

Becoming a mother is a challenging yet fulfilling experience that many women anticipate in their lifetime. Some women dream about having a parenting experience similar to what they see on television and the movies where the mother is blooming and full of love. However, this is not always the case for most women. In reality, motherhood is a stressful thing and it requires a lot of patience to deal with. 

In an article published by Help Guide, a nonprofit mental health and wellness website, it was shared that no matter how much one looked forward to it, and no matter how much a woman loves her baby, there are unpleasant things that come with motherhood, especially for the first-time mom. For instance, there will be a lot of sleep-deprived nights and also tons of responsibilities that will prevent a woman from doing many of the things she has liked doing before. 

These can be overwhelming that can make new moms feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster, which has an unknown duration. Baby blues or the negative feelings that come after having a baby are so common in new mothers and even those women who have already born a child before. It should be clarified that baby blues and postpartum depression are different from one another. Baby blues are perfectly normal, but if the symptoms don’t go away after a few weeks, it might be a sign that a woman is already suffering from postpartum depression. 

 

Identifying the Symptoms

Whether you believe you are suffering from it or you have someone close to you whom you want to keep an eye on, it is better to identify the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression before jumping into any conclusion. Being a mother changes everything. It is a blessing to be one, but it also means that you are entering a new responsibility that you can never run away from. 

According to WebMD, an American corporation known primarily as an online publisher of news and information pertaining to human health and well-being, one of the signs of postpartum depression includes isolating oneself from family and friends. This condition is also obvious when the woman starts to neglect taking care of herself or the baby. She can also have a hard time having a bonding time with her child as she fears that she is not being a good mother to the baby. 

Her severe mood swings and anxiety can also be ignited because of improper sleep schedules. She might also experience a lack of interest in the things that used to excite her and even in those activities that she has to do. What’s worse is that when she reaches the point where she experiences having thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide. 

Being a mother changes everything. It is a blessing to be one, but it also means that you are entering a new responsibility that you can never run away from / Photo by: Africa Studio via Shutterstock

 

Combatting Post-Partum Depression

An article published by Health Line, a website that provides articles about health and wellness, said that exercise might have an antidepressant effect for women who suffer from postpartum depression. It is stated that a simple walk with the baby in a stroller can be an easy way to get some steps and breathe fresh air. 

It is also found that walking could significantly ease depression. Help Guide also added that exercise might be an effective medication when treating depression, which is why the sooner you get back up and moving, the better. It doesn’t have to be a vigorous and hard exercise; it could be a 30-minute walk each day or stretching exercises. 

There are several studies that have shown that mindfulness is also effective in making one feel calmer and more energized. According to a study published by Harvard Health Publishing titled “Positive Psychology: Harnessing the Power of Happiness, Personal Strength, and Mindfulness,” there are mindfulness techniques that are found to help improve the physical health of a person, including women who have just given birth again or for the first time in their life.

It is said that mindfulness can relieve stress, treat heart disease, and lower blood pressure. It is also advisable for those mothers who are having trouble getting enough sleep as it improves the ability to rest and also alleviates gastrointestinal difficulties. 

Healthy eating is not enough to cure PDD, but it is a great step toward having a healthier lifestyle while adapting to motherhood. The habit of eating nutritious foods can make you feel better and it will give the body the nutrients that it needs. Prepare healthy snacks ahead of time and try planning the week’s meal on the weekends and choose foods that provide benefits for you and your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding them. 

It is also advisable to take a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA. Based on an article in the Journal of Affective Disorders, women who have low levels of DHA have higher risks of postpartum depression. Eating more seafood is an excellent dietary source of DHA.

With the right mindset and proper support from husband and family, a woman need not go through post-partum depression.

It is stated that a simple walk with the baby in a stroller can be an easy way to get some steps and breathe fresh air / Photo by: Kojin via Shutterstock