Many mothers experience postpartum depression following the birth of their child. It is not a disorder that affects one ethnicity, nor one particular age group. Unfortunately, postpartum depression can happen to a new mother or a mom who has already had multiple children.
Defining Postpartum Depression
Women who experience postpartum depression often feel very sad, anxious, and tired. These feelings can make their life difficult to handle. Postpartum depression can also cause women to feel disconnected from their newborn baby.
Why Do Some Women Get Postpartum Depression?
While there is no single defining cause of postpartum depression, there are factors that can increase your risk. A sudden change in hormones for someone already suffering from a form of depression can trigger it. So can sleep deprivation, which often occurs with new mothers. Additionally, if you already have a dependency on prescription drugs or are abusing drugs, you may also get postpartum depression. If you are addicted to a prescribed drug, there are prescription drug rehab options available in your area.
How to Recognize Postpartum Depression
There is no handbook for a new mother and, unfortunately, some women become overwhelmed with the amount of care around the clock required for a newborn. If you experience extreme mood swings such as crying for no apparent reason or feeling anger you may have postpartum depression. Or, if you can’t seem to focus on anything, perform daily tasks or have no interest in activities you once enjoyed, you may have it. Only your doctor can determine whether you have the disorder, so if you experience any of these symptoms often, make an appointment to find out for sure.
How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last?
Postpartum depression can last just a couple of weeks or it can last for up to a year. However, in most cases, women have it for approximately 3 months.
Ways to Deal with Postpartum Depression
If you visited your doctor and received a confirmation of the disorder, life is not over. The good news is that there are many ways to alleviate the symptoms and make your life more bearable. Doing things like caring for yourself so you feel good, like going out to get your nails done or enjoying a fun evening out with your spouse, are just a few examples that can help to return to normal.
When you exercise you feel better due to the endorphins released while working out. Exercising even for 20 minutes each day will also help you get back the body you had before pregnancy and fit back into your clothing. Additionally, working out will restore energy and a positive outlook, giving you the strength to handle the changes going on in your life.
Ask for Help
As stated earlier, there is no handbook for your new life as a mother and all of what you experience is new to you. Caring for an infant requires hands-on and often around the clock care, especially if your little bundle of joy wakes often during the night. Seek the help and guidance of your mother or sibling, who has prior experience with infants and can offer advice on what worked for them.
Spent Quality Bonding Time
Often new mothers with postpartum have trouble connecting to their infant. A great way to increase your bond is to snuggle, cuddle and hold your little one more often. It will help your love grow and make your infant feel secure and content.
Return to Normal Activities
Returning to your normal life is important to the healing process and for lessening the effects of postpartum. Going out for a walk with your little one in a carriage or running errands with baby in tow will allow you to feel more like yourself. Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to be housebound. In fact, you might want to return to work shortly, so now’s a good time to start getting back out and into the world.
Postpartum depression is a disorder that affects millions of women yearly. Thankfully, if you have it, these are a few things you can do to help make it manageable.