How to Handle Postpartum Depression in 5 Effective Steps

Guest post contributed by Peter Minkoff

When you are pregnant, your hormones are raging and you feel and act differently. Even after the birth of your child, you are likely to continue experiencing the effects of the pregnancy. Emotional changes are to be expected during this time, but sometimes these changes can lead to a serious problem. Feelings of irritability, mood swings, and emotional sensitivity are something most new moms experience after birth and it is called the “baby blues”. Postpartum depression occurs when these symptoms persist for a period longer than two weeks. This is not an uncommon problem and with the right help, it can be resolved successfully.

Get treatment

Postpartum depression is a psychological issue and as such it must be dealt with with the help of professionals. Our society can be harsh when it comes to psychological issues. People are expected to be able to deal with their problems on their own. If you had a broken leg, nobody would think you should avoid the doctor and let it heal on its own, and the same goes for psychological issues. If you have a problem, you should never be ashamed of getting help to deal with it. If you recognize the symptoms of post-pregnancy depression, make an appointment with a professional as soon as you can. You can achieve great results with psychodynamic therapy for depression, as it is considered one of the most effective ways to deal with depression.

Be open about what you are going through

According to statistical data, as many as 20% of women go through post-pregnancy depression after giving birth, but only 15% get help for it. That is most likely because of the shame associated with post-pregnancy depression. The world around us is constantly reminding us how special it is to have a baby, how mothers should be grateful and feel nothing but joy. So, it’s easy to think you are the only one struggling and you can become reluctant to open up about your feelings. It is important to remember that you are really not alone in how you feel and that the best way to deal with the problem is to face it. Finding a therapist is the first step, but don’t hesitate to talk to your family and friends. Their support and understanding will help you heal faster.

Share the work with your partner

Having a baby is a lot of work. Sleepless nights will make the effects of post-pregnancy depression even more intense, so it is very important to try to get rest when you can. A full night of sleep is not something you can expect, but you can get more rest if you share the work with your partner. Agree on taking shifts in taking care of the baby during the night. It might feel like you should be the one getting up, especially if the baby is still breastfeeding, but having a helping hand is important. Your partner might not be able to breastfeed, but he can help with everything else. That help is going to make it all easier and help you get rest when you need it.

Look after yourself

Taking care of yourself during this period will go a long way. You need to make new priorities and your health should be at the top of the list. Forget about household activities. Find time for things that will make you feel better. Take care of your diet, eat fresh fruit and vegetables and don’t think about your weight just yet. You need the strength to get better. Try exercising when you find the time, even a short walk will make you feel better. Rest whenever you have the chance to, when the baby is sleeping you should be sleeping as well.

Find time for your friends

All the responsibilities of having a new baby can become overwhelming and it can lead you to focus solely on the baby and isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Your family is undoubtedly very important to you, but spending time with your friends can be a great way to relax and recharge. Schedule a date with your friends if only for an hour, it will make you feel better and help you deal with your current issues.

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