Hi all you new mothers.
How are you doing?
It’s alright. Don’t worry.
Baby blues are normal.
But being normal doesn't mean you take yourself for granted.
Take care of yourself, help your body heal.
Make it a priority that you do a little something for yourself everyday. Self-care is always important for anyone, and especially for new mothers.
We all know how invested you are in your babies, but don’t forget yourself.
How do you know it's postpartum depression and not baby blues?
Feeling sad or empty within a few days of child birth is normal.
It appears that about 50 to 85% of women experience postpartum blues during the first few weeks after delivery.
But what is also true is these baby blues go away in 3 to 5 days.
Now, what you have to do yourself is, keep a check of your emotions, see if you feel sad, hopeless or empty, if your baby blues have lingered for longer than a week.
If this is your case, you might have postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a serious mental illness that involves the brain and affects your behavior and physical health.
If you have depression, then sad, flat, or empty feelings don’t go away and can interfere with your day-to-day life. You might feel unconnected to your baby, as if you are not the baby’s mother, or you might not love or care for the baby. These feelings can be mild to severe.
You might feel:
- a low or sad mood
- anxiety and irritability
- fatigue and lethargy
- feeling guilty, worthless, hopeless, or helpless
- pain, such as a headache or stomach ache
- a lack of appetite
- difficulty thinking or focusing
- low motivation and a lack of interest in activities
- difficulty bonding with the baby
- feeling unable to care for the baby
- frequent or long bouts of crying
- feeling unable to make decisions
- withdrawing from friends and family
- having no interest in the baby or feeling as if they are another person’s responsibility
Why does this happen?
There are many reasons behind postpartum depression:
Childbirth is difficult. It could be because you are completely exhausted after giving birth, and it can take weeks to regain normal strength. If you have had a cesarean section, it takes even longer.
- Changes in hormone levels:
Our hormones- Estrogen and Progesterone decrease sharply in the hours after childbirth. These changes may trigger depression in the same way that smaller changes trigger mood swings and tension before menstrual periods.
- History of Depression:
If you have a history of depression, before, during or after pregnancy or are currently being treated for depression have an increased risk of developing postpartum depression.
- Lifestyle Factors:
If you feel lack of support from your family or any stressful life event has happened, it can increase the risk of postpartum depression
Tips to cope with postpartum depression
- Bond with the baby:
For mothers going through postpartum depression, it can be a hindrance in developing the emotional bond between mother and her little one.
For the child to feel this attachment, the mother has to respond warmly and consistently which becomes a little challenging.
But mommies, you need to fight this challenge, you have to learn to bond with your baby.
Doing this will not only be good for the baby, but this will release “happy hormones” or endorphins in your body which will make you feel happy and more confident as a mom.
- Seek help and support
This is not a lonely path for you, it's difficult and you should have your loved ones by your side. Interact with people, talk about positive stuff.
Positive social contact relieves stress faster and more efficiently than any other means of stress reduction.
Don’t keep your feelings to yourself, talk about them.
- Take care of yourself, dear mommy
Self-care is the single most important thing for mothers. Don’t let the process of having a child consume you.
This is one of the best things you can do to relieve or avoid postpartum depression.
The more you care for your mental and physical well-being, the better you’ll feel.
Give yourself a break, relax.
Sit back and meditate.
Do light exercise or yoga.
Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way towards helping you feel like yourself again.
Don’t forget your partner
Most new mothers tend to be so invested in their child, that often the partner takes a back seat. But, this can increase your postpartum depression.
“More than half of all divorces take place after the birth of a child.”
Your relationship with your partner is the main source of emotional expression and social connection, don’t lose that.
New babies can be demanding, but maybe you both can take care of the baby and be together at the same time.