What is postpartum depression? Is it that deep, uncontrollable feeling of anxiety paired with panic attacks? Or is it that overwhelming disconnection with your baby? Or is that time when you didn’t know how to make your child stop crying that you went completely mad, you couldn’t help but scream.
According to the American Psychological Association, one in every seven mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD).
And if you have agreed to at least one of the situations that were stated above, then there is a high possibility that you are experiencing postpartum depression. Pretending to be fine and lying to your loved ones about it do not, in any way, make the mood disorder disappear.
Accepting the fact that postpartum depression is something that you have no control of, can pave the way to better understanding your condition.
Coping with this defeating condition is possible. There are effective, inexpensive ways to alleviate postpartum depression at home.
Sleep abundantly. Pregnancy is exhausting – from the moment of conception to giving birth. Do not deny yourself the time to recuperate. If long hours of sleep cannot be achieved, at least an hour-long nap during the day, when the baby is sleeping, can do the trick. A study from the Archives of Women’s Mental Health states that fewer hours of sleep is correlated with depression.
Do not isolate yourself. Bottling it all up then refusing to talk to people about it is a major contributing factor for depressive moods. A study showed that communicating with your family or friends can significantly help in shifting your gloomy disposition. Conversing with other mothers for support will also provide further insight into your condition, making you feel that you are not the only one experiencing the disorder.
Allow yourself to breathe. Create your “me time”. You may think, “With my current condition, having two kids and a baby? Are you kidding?” No. And quite frankly, it is possible. All you have to do is manage your time and utilize the people around you. You can ask your friends or your immediate family member to take over and carry your responsibilities for a day or even just a couple of hours. Reaching out for help does not make you less of a mother or a woman. However, not reaching out can make you feel less of yourself.
Stay active. Exercise. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous one that would require an hour or two. Even the simplest exercise, like walking, can trigger the release of antidepressants in the body. Walk around your neighborhood for 30 minutes. If you don’t have anyone to take care of your baby, bring him/her with you in a stroller. Or, if walking is simply not feasible, you can do a 10-minute workout at home. There are tons of fitness blogs and videos scattered around the internet that will be suitable for you.
And if those techniques didn’t work, seek medical attention. Your doctor can recommend numerous treatment plans like safe doses of antidepressants or psychotherapy.