New Parents' Guide: Tips To Manage Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression can be a slippery slope. Here are some tips to manage it.
Going through a rollercoaster of emotions after giving birth and welcoming you baby in the world is quite normal.
According to the US NIH, fatigue, and worry for up to 2 weeks is quite normal due to hormonal changes, and physical and mental exhertion.
A new mother needs time to adjust with the baby and her healing body. But if these feelings of sadness are persistent and affect your daily routine, you might be suffering from postpartum depression.
There are various treatments and therapies to get over this phase but here are a few tips you can follow to take care of yourself in this delicate postpartum period.
Find Time For Yourself
In this period, you might find yourself swept up in the whirlwind of changes and new responsibilities that's come your way—frombreastfeeding the baby, to an altered erratic sleep schedule to tending to the baby's every need on top of your other work and responsibilities can be overwhelming.
Amid all of it, make sure, you set some time in the day for yourself, to be by your self and unwind so as not to burn out. Listen to music, journal, read a book or just meditate.
Move Your Body
According to the Mental Health and Physical Activity, walking can be beneficial for mental health and help ease symptoms of depression. According to the US NIH, including physical activity in the routine can help a woman fight postpartum depression.
You don't need to set aside an hour or two for a full fledged workout, even a 15 minute walk can help refresh yourself and reboot yourself mentally. You can just go for a walk with the baby in the fresh air.
According to US NIH, eating healthy and nutrient-dense foods can help prevent and manage depressive disorders. One should eat foods rich in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and avoid sugary drinks and processed foods.
Food has an impact on mental health and brain development. Certain foods rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, minerals and long chain fatty acids promote neuroplasticity and prevent inflammation linked to depression.
Do Not Isolate Yourself
There's a difference between taking some time out for yourself and falling into the trap of isolation. You might not even realise it's getting bad until the symptoms become more evident and start to affect your routine.
The best way prevent the slippery slope is to talk to peer mothers and others who have tackes PPD in the past.
According to the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, talking to peer mothers lowered the levels of depression in the new mothers.
You can talk to anyone you will feel comfortable with. It could be your family, friends or husband. If you can't meet in person, make an effort to stay in touch with your family via virtual get together and conference calls.
Breastfeed Your Child
Now you might think, what does breastfeeding have to do with depression? But there is a link.
According to the US NIH, breastfeeding can lower symptoms of PPD and it can be effective up to 4 months.
So, if you are someone who can breastfeed your child and can feel a difference. go for it. You can always talk to your doctor about these tips and frequency of nursing to be sure.
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