How to Deal with Postpartum Depression

Having a baby incites a lot of emotions. And while utter happiness and excitement are the two most apparent ones that rule over this certain milestone in a mother’s life, it can also be enveloped by anxiety and fear. These negative emotions can develop into serious and even life-threatening conditions if left unchecked. So, how do people deal with this long-lasting, serious mood condition? Below are seven tips on how you can protect you and your baby against the signs and symptoms of PPD.

Identify the Signs and Symptoms 

Treatment of signs and symptoms cannot start without proper diagnosis of the underlying condition. Depression after pregnancy can develop suddenly, typically within the first 14 days post delivery. In some cases, symptoms can appear within two days. Common symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, severe anxiety and agitation, suicidal thoughts, bizarre behavior, and thoughts of harming the newborn.

Make a Secure Connection With Your Newborn 

The stage wherein a mother and child are bonding on a deep emotional level, also known as emotional attachment, is the most critical stage of infancy. Success in this particular stage allows a child to feel safe enough to grow to the fullest extent. It impacts how he/she will interact and form deep connections throughout his/her life. To create a secure attachment with your newborn, use nonverbal cues including smiling, maintaining eye contact, and creating contact between your’s and your baby’s skin.

Get Some Rest 

One of the most common advice that people who have just had a baby get is “sleep when the baby sleeps”. This might sound overused after awhile, but it’s sound advice that could help you deal with postpartum depression. In a 2009 study, women who had the least amount of rest post pregnancy were also the ones who experienced the worst bouts of depression. This applied to mothers who clocked less than four hours of rest between midnight and 6 AM. If you find yourself staying up late because you need to breast-feed, consider pumping and filling a bottle so that your spouse can handle the overnight feeding.

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

Althought a well-balanced diet won’t immediately or solely cure postpartum depression, adopting a well-balanced diet can help you feel better and more energetic. It helps you avoid one of the most common symptoms of depression, which is severe mood swings. Plan out the week’s meals over the weekend and prepare healthy snacks in advance. You want to bulk up on food that is dense in nutrients including carrots, cheese, apples, peanut butter, and so forth.

Consider Psychotherapy 

Based on a 2013 study, psychotherapy was found to have a substantially lower rate of relapse versus medication. The report also suggested that people who were being treated via psychotherapy had lower risk of dropping out from the regiment as opposed to those who were taking medication. That being said, consult with your attending physician before resorting to psychotherapy treatment.

Avoid Isolation 

The weeks following delivery of your baby are the worst times to be alone. Isolation can increase your risk of developing symptoms of postpartum depression. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry reveals that talking about your emotions with your spouse, a family member, or close friend can help boost your mood. Reports also show that new mothers had lower risk for depression after regularly socializing with experienced moms who also suffered from postpartrum depression during their pregnancies.

Gradually Go Back to Your Exercise Routine 

Tons of studies support the claim that physical exercise can help with depression, particularly those experienced after pregnancy. Although it’s ill-advised to start exercising right away after you give birth, most mothers can safely begin low-impact exercises a few days after pregnancy, particularly if you had a healthy delivery without any vaginal complications. If unsure, speak with your physician for advice on when you should start exercising again. Start with walking for half an hour each day. Other common physical exercises for mothers include spinning, dance, Pilates, and yoga.

Final Thoughts 

One in seven women are affected by postpartum depression, according to a study published by JAMA Psychiatry. While it’s easy to discount it as a mood swing after pregnancy, it should be treated seriously before it worsens. Use the aforementioned tips to properly deal with postpartum depression. Not only does it help protect mothers, but also their precious newborn babies.

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