Posted on: 6 November 2017Share
Having a baby is suppose to be a joyous occasion, but as a new mom, you may find yourself feeling every emotion but joy. Hormonal swings, sleep deprivation, anxiety and trying to figure out how to juggle all of your new responsibilities may lead to you having a case of postpartum depression. You are not alone. It is estimated that 11 - 25% of women who experience pregnancy suffer from this condition. This means that there could be more than 1 million women each year going through this struggle. Fortunately, there are ways to combat it Here are a few.
Admit You Need Help
You are not crazy, a bad mother, or imaging how you feel. Postpartum depression is a very real condition. It usually comes on during the first couple weeks after giving birth, but can come on months later. It is often characterized by:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Inability or difficulty bonding with your child
- Feeling of guilt
- Intense Irritability or anger
- Extreme sadness/depression
- Inability to concentrate, think, or make decisions
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Lack of joy in pleasurable activities
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Thoughts of self-harm or harming your baby
- Sleep issues and more
In rare but extreme cases, you may be experiencing postpartum psychosis. In addition to the symptoms above, you may also be experiencing:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Suicidal thoughts
- Attempts in your baby, or your other children
If you begin experiencing the symptoms listed above, you do not have to be ashamed or feel that something is wrong with you as a mother. No one is going to take your baby away because you need help. Failing to ask for help will result in you being in this condition longer, and your symptoms may become more severe.
Call your gynecologist or OBGYN and discuss with them what is going on. They will work with you to ensure that you receive the type of treatment that corresponds to your needs. It is very important that if you begin to experience any extreme symptoms, seek help immediately by dialing 911 (or the emergency number in your area), or visit your nearest emergency room.
Find Some "Me" Time
There is an old adage that you can't take care of others if you do not take care of yourself. This adage is very true. When you have a baby, there is usually a long list of people who are willing to lend a helping hand. This is a time that you will want to let them.
If you have friends and family that want to help clean your house, cook a meal, run errands, or take care of your other children, let them. Allow someone to watch the baby even if it is only long enough for you to take a nice long bath or get a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep. Get out of the house, take a walk or a drive, get your hair done, or pick up your favorite meal.
Get Some Exercise
Did you know that you may feel better by simply putting the baby in the stroller and taking a walk down the street. Studies have shown that physical activity can help improve your psychological well being and avoid depressive episodes.
If it is too cold to walk outside, consider walking in the mall or some other indoor area. You may also want to consider yoga, Pilates, or other types of stretching and breathing programs.
Join A New Mother's Group
When you are home with a new baby, it becomes easy to isolate yourself in the house which in itself can lead to depression. By joining a new mother's group, you will not only be able to talk about what you are feeling with others who will understand what you are talking about, but you will also be able to gather valuable parenting tips. If there is not one in your area, look for an active one online.
Postpartum depression will not last forever, but the sooner that you address it, the sooner the symptoms will begin to fade away. Speak to your gynecologist, they may be aware of other tools and resources that are available in your local community that you may benefit from.