Postpartum depression is a common type of mood disorder that occurs after childbirth. While it happens to both men and women, it is more frequently found in women. Symptoms include; sadness, irritability, change in sleep, anxiety, change in eating patterns, low energy, feeling to hurt oneself, feeling of worthlessness and frequent crying. This may lead to resentment towards spouse and child.
“While there is no exact cause of postpartum depression (PPD), some factors have been believed to aggravate or lead to it. They include; complications during childbirth, lack of sleep during pregnancy, drug use, family history of depression, bipolar disorder and so on”.
No one wants to experience PPD but it is a challenge that one must face when it presents itself. It is advised to sensitize ones partner before or during pregnancy of the dangers of PPD as well as the symptoms. When you are going through it, it might be difficult to identify the problem yourself, but a spouse, friend or relative sensitized to the issue can notice the symptoms early. If one or more of the symptoms are noticed, seek professional help immediately. STEPS TO DEAL WITH PPD
- Seek Help: Whether going through a new baby on your own or with a partner, never hesitate to seek help once you notice symptoms. Women usually feel inadequate when they notice they go through PPD they relate it to feeling incompetent as a mother. You should understand that it is no way your fault and does not determine your ability as a mother. All you need is a little boost. Do not hesitate to seek help.
- Exercise: Sometimes a woman’s appearance may increase the feeling of inadequacy. Exercising helps get you back in a form you are comfortable with, helps work out pent up stress, get you blood flowing, receive fresh air and keeps you occupied. Always exercise when you can, whether long walks or short exercises.
- Meditate:Meditating has always been a form of relaxation and self acceptance. It eases the PPD process.
- Make Time For Yourself: You have had to deal with carrying a baby for nine months and then delivering that baby. Carving time out for you is not a crime. You need it. Do things that made you feel relaxed before the baby or find something new to do.
- Avoid Isolation: You might feel resentment to others when faced with PPD but resentment towards yourself is usually stronger which is why going out and mingling with family and friends distracts and eventually curbs PPD.
- Maintain A Balanced Diet: While you might lose appetite, maintaining a balanced diet is one of the known methods to deal with PPD. Draw up a schedule and have someone assist you to follow it through. Starving yourself never solved anything.
- Sleep: Taking care of a baby is a full time work, but do not deprive yourself of sleep. Studies have shown that women who maintain regular sleep, experience lower levels of PPD than ones who do not. Babies usually stay up through the night, so take naps during the day to gain those missing hours. Also do not hesitate to reduce the task of taking are of the baby by getting someone to help out.
- Join A Support Group: Sometimes even those close to you might not be of much help because they have not experienced what you are going through. Join a support group of women who have gone and are going through the same thing. They would be in a better position to help and understand you.
- Get A Therapist: Sometimes PPD persists for a long time. Seek more structured help. Go to a therapist they would help guide your healing process and evaluate your progress. They also have the professionalism to understand the nitty-gritty of what you are going through and advice you accordingly.
- Medication: Lastly be open to medication. Never go out finding drugs on your own, but seek professional help on drugs to take if symptoms persist. A doctor specialized in this area. Can prescribe the right kind of medication needed to curb your own PPD and guide you on how to handle taking medication while taking care of a child and breastfeeding.
Always remember postpartum depression is never you fault and there are people who have gone through it too and those capable of helping you through it. no matter how long it lasts, it would never last forever. We are also here to help. Send us a mail if you need to speak with an expert : firstname.lastname@example.org