Postpartum anxiety/depression or even psychosis is becoming more prevalent among women after childbirth. Especially since the pandemic and quarantine, I have seen a spike in this. Most recently, I witnessed my daughter go through this, and I wanted to write about ways to prevent and cope with it.
WAYS TO PREVENT POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Don’t be afraid to ask for support, including close friends or family, before childbirth. Talking with them helps to keep you relaxed before childbirth. Know that you are allowed to have feelings of sadness, frustration, and anxiety. During this time you have an influx of hormones, plus your life has just changed. This is normal. When these feelings continue, and you are having a hard time finding peace or even being able to smile or enjoy your little one, that is when you should take a moment and reflect. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for support. Do not feel like you need to suck it up and move on. Your mind and body are telling this momma that she needs some TLC as well.
In the beginning, it will feel impossible even to consider exercise. Exercise can be anything you make it to be, even if it is a short walk with your little one. Aim to make a habit of exercising or just getting some physical activity in the morning daily. Walking and breathing fresh air will provide a soothing effect on your mind and body, which contributes to the prevention of depression.
A tired, exhausted body can cause stress that leads to depression. Therefore, you should aim to get sufficient amount of sleep and rest. When the baby naps, YOU nap. If you have a family member or friend that you feel comfortable staying with the baby while you rest, do it. Laundry, dishes, and household chores will all still be there in a few hours or days. What matters is that you are resting when you feel you need rest.
You can join a postpartum or new mommy group – find your community; find your tribe.. You may be the one going through this, BUT you are not the only one, and sometimes hearing others share what they are going through helps.
Take a break:
Allow your partner/spouse to stay with the baby and leave the house for a bit. Get your nails done, go to the store, take a drive, and stop by for a chiro adjustment – do something for yourself.
Ways To Cope With Postpartum Depression:
- Consume Fish Oil:
Studies say that women with lower levels of DHA experienced higher levels of PPD. Therefore, you should keep your DHA at a moderate level.
Consume more fish oil. Seafood, like fish oil, is an ideal DHA source and helps boost your omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA.
- Create time for yourself:
You might get overwhelmed by dealing with all the stresses such as new responsibilities, breastfeeding, household work, or your older children alone. You need to take time for yourself.
Ask for support from your mother-in-law, your partner, or some close friends. They can help you with common household chores or babysitting. You can utilize this time by going for a walk, watching a movie, taking a nap, or doing anything you want to.
- Resist Isolation :
You should try to resist isolation. Spend time and chat with adults or your mom for support. You can also have phone or Zoom support to interact with your loved ones.
Research shows that talking with others helps to shift your mood. Your depression level goes down after sharing your feeling with others.
- Rest and Digest:
Moms who get the least sleep, experience the most postpartum depression. Therefore, you should have an adequate amount of sleep and don’t forget to eat! Sleeping with a newborn can be a bit difficult, therefore, you should try to get some rest at least whenever find the time.
According to the research, exercise has an antidepressant effect on women with PPD. Another research shows that walking in the fresh air plays a significant role to ease depression.
- Balanced Diet:
Eating healthy food will help to cope with postpartum depression. Studies also show that eating foods that are nutrient rich and not processed helps women with PPD.
- Chiropractic/acupuncture care:
Of course, I’m going to recommend chiropractic and/or acupuncture care. Childbirth and caring for a baby can put stress and tension on your body. Having an adjustment to realign your spine and allow your nervous system to function or an acupuncture treatment can also assist.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Ask for help – from your spouse/partner, family, or friends.