Many new mothers experience postpartum depression. To cope with it, they need to spot the signs and get help. Family support is crucial too.
“After childbirth, it’s common for mothers to experience baby blues. This occurs because of the sudden hormone changes. Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is a very serious issue. The phase is long lasting and can have severe mood swings, inability to connect with the baby, insomnia and out of control anxiety, you might find yourself withdrawing from your partner, and a feeling of worthlessness. Sometimes it gets as severe as suicidal thoughts and tendencies,” says Rushika Mehta, a psychology graduate, who’s now in her second year of masters.
Although your loved ones will always be there to help you, but as the saying goes, “self-help is best help”. So if you see yourself suffering from this symptoms, here are a few steps that you can take to make yourself feel better.
1) Have time for yourself: Yes, it might look difficult with all the responsibilities, but it’s just as important. Taking time out for yourself will help you unwind. The constant worry and the work will take a toll on your health, so it’s important that you unwind and do something relaxing alone, forgetting all about your responsibilities for a while.
2) Exercise: The hormonal changes and stress build-up that happens after the birth needs to find some kind of an escape, and exercising helps you with just that. Working out releases endorphins — the happy hormone which will make your mood better, and losing some weight and fitting back in that old jeans is just an added advantage.
3) Talk it out: No, you’re not a bad mother if you need some time away from the baby, talk to your family or friends about that feeling and get it out of your system. There is nothing to feel guilty about, in fact it’s healthy and it will help you bond with the baby more.
4) Keep a healthy diet: Eating food that’s good for health is just as necessary after pregnancy. Your baby’s health depends on your food intake. Other than that, healthy food will keep your body healthy and active and a healthy body keeps the mind healthy.
5) Avoid the temptation of being alone: Because of the depression and mood swings, you might feel like being isolated all the time, but avoid that feeling. Taking time out is necessary but being isolated all the time is just going to have a reverse effect. So be around people and maintain a social life.
It might be easier said than done, but you need to push yourself, don’t shy away from getting a professional help if you feel like the emotions are getting out of control. Keep reminding yourself that it is just a phase and it will pass.