Having a baby is an emotional roller coaster, especially if you had complications leading up to the birth of your baby. Whether you had your baby naturally, or you received IVF treatments, life after a baby can be difficult. That is why some new moms experience postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression, or PPD for short, affects about 1 in 7 women though 1 in 5 women never talk about their symptoms and go untreated. PPD is a treatable psychological disorder. It may give you severe mood swings, make it difficult for you to bond with your baby and it may make it difficult for you to think or make decisions.
If your symptoms start to interfere with your daily life, you may need to see a doctor who can evaluate your symptoms and determine the best treatment whether it be psychotherapy, a prescription for antidepressants or a little bit of both. These symptoms typically start within a few weeks of delivery, but they can also show up six months after giving birth.
If you realize you may have postpartum depression and you are looking for a way to cope,you are not alone. Here are some tips to overcoming it so you can enjoy your new baby without the intense feelings of doom.
Get Some Exercise
Healthline reported a study that said walking is found to be a statistically significant way to ease depression, so give it a try! You do not need to have a long session, just start with a few minutes a day. If you want, walk with your baby in a stroller.
When you are feeling sad, it can be tempting to eat comfort food but eating nutritious food can have a positive impact on not only how you feel but also how you look. Try eating whole foods like leafy greens, cucumbers, carrots and apples.
Make Time For Yourself
This is by far one of the most important things to keep in mind to help combat feelings of depression, sadness and fear. Being a new mom is tough, but do not forget to make time for yourself. You need time to sleep, to eat, to bathe and to relax. Take a few hours a week or every few days to exercise, take a nap, watch your favorite TV show or talk with one of your friends.
Fish Oils Can Help
An increase in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your chances of having postpartum depression. Take fish oil tablets, or eat some seafood. Studies have shown that women with low levels of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, have higher rates of postpartum depression.
Do Not Isolate Yourself
When you are feeling bad, it can be tempting to isolate yourself from your family and friends and the people who care about you. Do not do this. This can make postpartum depression worse. Reach out to your support system whether that be a group of friends who are moms or your family.