Giving birth can be the most rewarding experience for a woman. You look at your child—full of innocence and potential—and be overwhelmed with love. But that feeling of immense joy can take a sudden dip, leaving you sad and confused.
An estimate of 1 out of 7 new mums experience postpartum depression, which can last from weeks to a few months. This can be caused by physical (i.e. hormones changing) or emotional factors. If unattended, postpartum depression can affect your quality of life and your relationship with your newborn.
Here are some tips that can help you get away from the blues:
Stay active as much as you can
Exercising is not only great for staying fit, it also releases endorphins, also known as one of the happy chemicals. There are tons of exercises you can do at home or squeeze in between taking care of your baby. Even a 10-minute workout session or a quick morning walk with your baby in a stroller can do wonders in boosting your energy and lightening up your mood.
Pamper yourself once in a while
Three words: you deserve it. Having someone to care for does not mean you should deprive yourself of the little things that make you happy. Been wanting to go to that massage parlour? Do it. Craving for a bubble bath? Why not? Don’t feel guilty for taking some time off to do whatever it is that will make you feel more of yourself. These simple but meaningful breaks will benefit you and your baby in the long run.
Get enough sleep
Although this may be hard for new mums, sleep is still important to keep you energised while taking care of your baby. It’s also vital to keep you in your optimum health. Talk to your husband or other family members who can help you look after the child while you’re dozing off. You can also gradually teach your baby how to sleep through the night so you can get more rest.
Invest in healthy diet
Do not take food for granted. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet may not cure you of your postpartum depression, but it’s an essential way to take care of yourself and regain your much needed strength. Coupled with an active lifestyle and enough sleep, it will make you feel better on days when you feel like you can’t even function.
Rely on your network
Now is the time that you need as much support as you can get from friends and family. Do not be ashamed of telling them what you’re going through or asking for help. You can also join a group of experienced mothers both online and offline to make you feel less alone.
Talk to a professional
If you have tried everything to get rid of your depression and nothing has worked, it’s time you seek the help of a mental health professional. Your counsellor will advise on other professional methods you can explore to deal with your postpartum depression. This can include psychotherapy or taking antidepressants and other types of medication if necessary.
Did you know that new dads can have postpartum depression too? Be sure to check how they’re doing as well.