How to Minimize Postpartum Depression
It's obvious that a woman needs maximum care during the pregnancy. At the same time an equal amount and sometimes more care needs to be taken in her post pregnancy period.
The post child birth period which is referred to as postpartum period is very crucial for both the mother and her child. It's a phase where the mother goes through a lot of physical and emotional changes.
The hormonal changes in the women post child birth can lead to many unwanted or unsighted situations like sore breasts, pain due to episiotomy (a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during the child birth), loss of appetite, backache, joint pain, headache, constipation, weight gain, etc.
All these conditions affect the woman's overall emotional state. Hence she can experience various mood swings in a day which can lead to unhappiness, restlessness, loss of appetite, loss of libido, anxiety, feeling of worthlessness, neglected or angry.
She is in a state of mind where even the smallest thing can trigger and leave her in tears which can last even for hours and sometimes start showing signs of depression. This period of emotional state can exist anywhere between 3 weeks to 8 weeks post-delivery.
But if it exceeds more than that then it's better to visit a consultant for consultation and any further treatment if required.
So how can one minimize the negative effects of postpartum also called postpartum blues or postpartum psychosis? These are some of my suggestions which may be of some help to all new moms out there:
Please note this is not medical advice and a mere suggestion from the author. Please seek medical advice if you noticing any signs of depression
- Rest Yes, the most important thing you need is rest. Do it whenever you get time especially when the baby sleeps.
As the long feeding sessions go on throughout the day and night it drains out your energy and you need to make sure that you feel slightly recharged when she demands your attention the next time. So take that valuable short rest whenever possible.
- Seek help when you need it: Do not hesitate to ask for help from family, relatives or even friends (if you live away from in-laws or parents) as it's not possible to do everything on your own especially in the first 40 days post-delivery.
- Go for a walk or do Yoga: Post consulting your doctor you can start going for short walks or do basic yoga postures so that it gives you a little break and time to focus on yourself. Doing yoga also brings mental and physical balance as you concentrate on slow body movements and positions which triggers some happy chemicals in the brain.
- Limit visitors. Talk to your family and choose the visitors you want to meet. If you are not comfortable around a particular person or group, feel free to excuse yourself and the baby
- Get yourself deep tissue body massages: Put on soothing music and get yourself a massage so that you can be at peace and feel relaxed.
- For the family: You have been caring and giving all the attention of the mother during her pregnancy. But once the baby arrives there is a chance that everyone might just focus only on the baby and the mother feels neglected.
This gives a feeling of worthlessness to the mother. Make sure you give attention and care to both. A mother needs to be appreciated for making through all the 9 months of fatigue to nurture a life inside her.
Serve her nutritious meals, talk to her, assist in baby care, and make sure that she is not burdened with too many household chores. Let baby be her first priority.
- For the husband: You are the most important person to her and now it's your turn to help her come out of postpartum psychosis or postpartum blues and give her all the attention she deserves. Be patient with her mood swings and avoid any conversations which will make her feel sad or irritated.
Spend time with her and share responsibilities so that she can get some much-needed rest. Give her assurance that you will be with her and everything will fall in place.
You will see that she will soon have a better routine and gradually the postpartum effect will vanish out.
An enthusiastic individual, focussed professional and someone who lives life with a strong positive outlook are just a few words to describe Swati Sandhane.
Having completed her Masters in Business Management, working as a HR professional with a IT firm and handling responsibilities in a happy marriage for 4 years Swati recently welcomed her first child 5 months back. As a new mother everything is the first time and Swati is now honing her mommy skills very well.
While she intends to get back to work she also wants to share her experience in baby care and all other factors which are related to baby and mother well being