Having a child is a life-changing experience. There is the anticipation and excitement of becoming a parent and watching your baby grow, but the sleepless nights and hours of crying also come with it. So it can feel exhausting and overwhelming at times. New parents often doubt their ability or choices regarding the baby, especially those with their first child. While this is relatively common, it has some risks leading to postpartum depression in new mothers. Therefore, if you have drastic mood swings, or feel lonely or sad to an extreme degree, set up an appointment with your doctor.
What is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?
Basically, it is depression after childbirth. However, this can affect not only the person who gives birth but people who adopt the child and surrogates. Having a baby can trigger physical, emotional, hormonal, social, and financial changes. The inability to cope with these changes and the overwhelming emotions caused by them can lead to postpartum depression.
It can happen to anyone, and it is in no way your fault. Know that there are programs and doctors with specialized training to help you through this process. Just remember, you are certainly not alone in this. Numerous mental health sanatoriums like the Vista Pines Health Group offer support and treatment plans for women struggling with PPD.
Postpartum depression symptoms and signs
You shouldn’t ignore postpartum depression because it is much more severe than baby blues.
At first, postpartum depression may seem like baby blues. Mood swings, sadness, insomnia, crying jags, and irritability are all common symptoms of postpartum depression and baby blues. However, symptoms of postpartum depression are generally more severe than baby blues (such as thoughts of suicide or difficulty taking care of your newborn).
- You may distance yourself from your partner or have trouble bonding with your child.
- In addition to preventing you from sleeping or eating properly, your anxiety might be out of control.
- Perhaps you develop feelings of guilt or worthlessness or become preoccupied with death or even wish you were dead.
All of these are signs of postpartum depression. And once you start noticing them, you should seek help.
Ways to Cope with Postpartum Depression
New moms have a lot to consider, but one thing that may not be on the list is guidance on dealing with postpartum depression (PPD), a condition that affects thousands of women annually. So, to help you with that, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can overcome PPD:
Emotional Attachment with Your Baby
The bond between you and your child, along with physical gestures, is an essential part of the baby’s mental and emotional development and the long-term effect on the child’s future interactions and relationships. A strong bond between a baby and their mother boosts health on both ends. With the mother, it keeps PPD at bay; as for the baby, they grow up feeling safe and secure.
The attachment forms slowly over time. The parent’s response to their baby’s emotional and physical demands is the key. Warm, consistent responses will keep your baby happy; for example, soothing them when they cry while not getting irritated. So, you must learn to keep your own emotions at bay.
When your baby smiles or giggles, you respond in a similar manner. Enhance the positive emotions and smooth out the negative ones. Soon you will be in sync, and you will be able to recognize your baby’s signals for various emotions.
PPD can stunt this bonding. The key is to remain positive. The bonding process releases hormones within your body, including endorphins, which give you the feeling of joy and delight. So, chemically speaking, this process helps a great deal with PPD!
Have Support from Family and Friends
One of the consistent signs of PPD is loneliness. Regardless of how introverted you may be, humans naturally crave social contact, especially during strenuous situations. History shows that mothers all around the world received emotional as well as physical support from their families. As a result, they were able to breathe and learn from their elders.
In today’s modern world, mothers or any other parents often find themselves alone with all their problems. Because of this, their minds tend to wander toward darker thoughts.
Here are some pointers you should apply to yourself:
- Prioritize your relationships, especially those with your family members. They are often the best support system you can ever ask for. Stay connected, whether it’s via phone or a visit. Isolating yourself will only amplify the feeling of loneliness.
- Talk to other people. A good release is sometimes all you need. Bottling up all those bitter feelings won’t do anyone any good. The best solution is to have the conversation in person, as social contact is always good.
- Have other friends with kids join you. It makes it easier to know others are going through the same thing. It gives you a sense of companionship, whether it’s a fellow parent, a community club, or perhaps a support group for new parents.
Take Care of Yourself
The best way to cope with Postpartum Depression is to take care of yourself – emotionally and physically. Don’t stress about things like housework or work. Make your baby the priority. Exercise daily. It is an excellent medicine for depression. It keeps your body active and your mind alert. Take a walk in the park, breathe fresh air, and interact with other people. Show that cute bundle of yours the world beyond your house.
Another tactic is to meditate. It helps center you and enhances the feeling of calmness. It helps organize your thoughts and get your priorities straight. Speaking of centering yourself, while good sleep is nearly impossible when you have a baby, you should take a nap whenever you get the chance.
Before We Part!
It is possible to experience postpartum depression during the already stressful time following childbirth. As soon as you manage your depression, you will be able to enjoy your baby and motherhood more fully. Now that you’ve read these tips, make sure to follow them! If they do not help, call your doctor so they can prescribe you medication if they feel the situation is extreme. Remember that even though PPD is normal but it’s a severe medical condition that shouldn’t be ignored. So, as soon as you start noticing the symptoms, see your doctor.