Overcoming Postpartum Depression

Blog

Overcoming Postpartum Depression

March 19, 2015

Written by: Lisa Coffey

“You’re not a bad mother, you’re not a bad person and you’re not alone”

I’ll begin by stating that whosoever derived the phrase ‘baby blues’ needs a big nose punch. This phrase has such a snobbish tone; it surely deserves an authentic explanation. And the worst thing is it lays the foundation for dismissing an even bigger and grave issue – Postpartum Depression.

Postpartum Depression

I experienced PPD the first time when my daughter was born but I was so scared to tell about it to anyone (not even my doctor) as I didn’t want anyone to get the impression that I wasn’t handling motherhood appropriately, so had to work quite hard to hide it.

Ever heard of PPD (Postpartum Depression)?

It’s among those catch-phrases which many new mums as well as gynecologists hurl around and because of people like Brooke Shields; many seem to generally recognize that PPD is related to a mum being super exhausted (both mentally and physically) post childbirth.

And thanks to Brooke who did a great service to womankind by making it an identifiable term, still most moms like me didn’t actually catch its true meaning and how it feels inside a living and a breathing woman!

Let’s begin with the PPD facts:

It’s quite common. And though studies vary, somewhere between 1 in 6 and 1 in 8 moms go through PPD which is due to ever increasing environmental, physical or emotional factors:

  • Physically – There’s a huge hormonal surge prior to birth and then a massive drop afterwards. And because of that you are absolutely sleep deprived and you feel completely exhausted.
  • Emotionally – Emotionally also you need lots of adjustments as you might feel anxious and overwhelmed at a time. Emotional fatigue might accompany with the feeling of responsibility to care for a newborn.
  • Environmental – Now there could be many external circumstances which might contribute to PPD which includes taking care of toddler siblings, lack of family support or financial problems.

PPD symptoms include quite serious things such as:

  • Overwhelming anxiety.
  • Inadequacy feelings.
  • And even baby bonding troubles.

Moms might suffer from feeling of regret, rage or remain commonly insensitive about everything. And in severe cases some women might even think about hurting themselves or their new baby.

Baby Blues:

Baby Blues are comparatively more common, experienced by around 60 to 80 % of new moms. And though its initial symptoms are quite similar to PPD (sadness, anxiety, irritability, crying), the actual difference is that its symptoms appear just a couple days post delivery and disappear in about two weeks. And any mood swings which sticks around for more than 2 weeks, comes under the PPD radar.

PPD Treatment:

PPD are most commonly treated with therapy by a good Mental Health Professional and prescribed antidepressants. Consult your doctor if you feel like any of the above stated symptoms.

Antidepressants during breastfeeding:

The antidepressant effects on new born babies haven’t been researched and studied widely. However, many doctors hold the opinion that the breastfeeding benefits are so immense that these generally outperform any potential antidepressant risks while nursing the baby.

So in case you’re breastfeeding, make sure your doctor knows about it when you discuss antidepressants.

It’s even important to know that PPD symptoms can crop up anytime during the 1st year. And weaning can also trigger PPD due to the sudden hormonal drop. It’s all because of the hormonal changes.

The only actual risk aspect is any prior depression or anxiety related to your pre-pregnancy life or a previous PPD experience from an earlier pregnancy. However, it can happen to even those women who have never experienced depression before.

How to cope with PPD?

Be kind to yourself:

Ensure that your basic needs are fulfilled. Try to eat and sleep well. Do not feel guilty about the way you’re feeling now. Just coz you’ve PPD, it doesn’t at all mean you’re a bad mom or you don’t care for your baby. Once you get over it, such feelings will get diminish.

Seek support. Don’t hesitate to request for it during this hard period. Help can be in numerous forms such as friends cooking meals as well as folding your laundry. You definitely require support for faster recovery.

Feelings sharing:

Don’t hesitate to share how you feel. Talk to close friends. Enroll in any mom’s group for support or chat with other moms about PPD problems. I am sure you’ll be quite surprised at how many women are sharing same feelings. And in case you partner is supportive, make him aware about everything that’s going on and how he can assist.

Complete Rest:

The hardships of nursing a newborn 24*7 can be real exhausting. And quite sadly, moms with PPD can’t sleep often. However, it’s really important to have rest breaks, even in case you’re just watching TV or reading a book. Request a friend or relative to look after your baby for some time each day while you take rest. You can even consider hiring an experienced doula or a babysitter.

Go outdoors:

Place your newborn in a baby carriage and conduct a walk around a nearby park or meet a nearby relative or friend. The sunshine, fresh oxygen and friendly conversation will surely ease you out. And in case a brief walk is way too much for you, just step outside your home, sit in the sunshine and inhale some deep breath for a few minutes.

Responding to your physical self will surely assist you feel better from inside. While your friend or partner takes care of your baby, just opt for a relaxing shower. Apply your usual makeup. Shop around just for yourself and purchase some new stuff for your postpartum wardrobe. And of course wear your favorite outfit to offer yourself a boost.

Hold Back:

Just hold back you usual daily chores. Don’t worry about doing things like laundry while your baby is sleeping. You don’t need to cook as you can order it. Just turn off the phone ringer while you and your baby are trying to get some sleep or when you’re going through a much-required break. In case you’re observing maternity leave, cast out all thoughts of the work from your mind.

 

You should never feel ashamed or guilty. As the PPD symptoms are not in your control, it doesn’t make you a bad mama. Nevertheless, the option to get proper treatment is your choice.

Just relax and don’t fret – You’ll surely get back on track pretty soon!

 

Bio – As a clinician with years of medical experience, Lisa brings a leading approach to maternity wear design fusing her knowledge as a Women’s Health specialist, awareness of current design trends and her unique style, . With the introduction of mommyliciousmaternity, the needs of the prenatal body are embraced throughout the entire pregnancy. Mommylicious maternity apparel inspires women to enjoy a healthy and active pregnancy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Give your inbox a dose of delight.

Sign up to receive helpful parenting info, program updates, contests, and special offers - right in your inbox.

WE ARE HONOURED TO BE TRUSTED BY: