Overcoming PostPartum Depression
The hours, days, and weeks after having a child are filled with a litany of emotions, from joy and excitement, anxiety and fear, and exhaustion and sadness. Unfortunately, despite all of the positives that can come from such a monumental moment in life, approximately 1 in 7 women will struggle with some form of Postpartum Depression, with most (1 in 5) keeping their symptoms to themselves and suffering in silence.
Before talking about some of the ways that you can work to overcome it is important to specific a few things. If you (or somebody you love) is struggling with Postpartum Depression, please remember that it is not your fault. You have not done something wrong that has led to this period of depression and feeling this way does not mean that you are a bad parent or that you do not love and care for your new child.
With this in mind, what are some ways that you can try to get through this difficult time?
Firstly, remember that you are not alone. Whether you are surrounded by a large supportive family, or if you are a single parent, there are many resources available that can help you as you navigate the difficult emotions that may come with this new phase of life. Building a relationship with a trained counselor can help to give you a space to talk through these feelings, and process everything that comes with this postpartum period. Caring for a newborn is a fulltime job, which means that taking advantage of the services of an online provider can give you the chance to engage in the therapeutic process from the comfort of your home.
In addition, organizations such as Postpartum Support International offer support groups, conferences, and even specialized hotlines in multiple languages for new parents experiencing Postpartum Depression. Follow this link for more information about PSI >> https://www.postpartum.net/
In addition to seeking out professional support, there are individual ways that new parents can fight Postpartum Depression at home. As with any kind of personal distress, maintaining good diet and exercise habits can help to reduce the severity of symptoms. This is easier said than done of course, with the needs of a newborn child taking up so much of your time. However even taking a 10-minute walk with a stroller can make a difference.
Furthermore, it is important to do what you can to make some time for yourself. If you have family nearby that can take over baby-duties for a shift, spend some time engaging with a hobby, going out with your partner for a meal, or taking a much-needed nap.
For those without familial support there are still ways to carve out some needed “me time.” Being intentional about how you build your days is a big part of this. When your new bundle of joy is finally settled for a nap, take a moment to do something that you enjoy. This can be anything from activities such as journaling or meditation- to playing a new mobile app game or catching up on a favorite TV show. Even if you can carve out just 5 minutes for yourself, it can make a big impact on your mental health!
If you have the means, hire a babysitter from time to time. You don’t even need to leave the house. Instead of going out for a night, try “going in.” Have your babysitter take care of the
parental duties for a few hours while you take address whatever needs taking care of around the house, including taking care of yourself!
One feeling that often comes with Postpartum Depression is loneliness. Despite constantly being around your new child, you may be stuck feeling very isolated given the significant time and energy that goes into caring for them. This, in combination with depressed mood and tiredness, may leave you with the days blending together. In these moments, it may be tempting to avoid connecting with others. When possible, try talking to friends or family—especially if it you can catch up on some non-baby related topics, even if it’s on the phone.
Postpartum Depression is hard, and it can make the already challenging period following childbirth even more overwhelming. Getting help as soon as you can with managing your depression is important, and the sooner you are able to do so, the more quickly you will be able to enjoy your time with your newborn.
For additional resources, please visit our website at: https://wibehavioralhealth.com/