After giving birth to your baby, you may have mixed feelings. You can feel joy, fear, sadness, and many other emotions at the same time. If all these feelings have become severe and begin to affect your daily life, you may be experiencing postpartum depression. Postpartum depression symptoms usually begin within a few weeks of giving birth and the effects can last for up to six months. This process; mood swings can cause difficulty bonding with your baby and difficulty making decisions.
If you are experiencing all these symptoms, remember that you are not alone. Be sure to visit your doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms to create the best treatment plan for you or may refer you to a psychiatrist. There are also things you can do at home to deal with postpartum depression in your daily life. Let's consider in detail what you can do to deal with postpartum depression.
1. Take time to exercise
Researchers note that exercise may have an antidepressant effect for women experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression. Especially walking in the fresh air can have a positive effect on your psychology. In a study published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity, it was statistically proven that walking relieves depression. If you don't have time for a long-term exercise plan, you can try doing 10-minute workouts several times a day.
2. Start a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet alone will not cure postpartum depression. However, getting into the habit of eating nutritious foods can help you feel better and give your body the nutrients it needs. A healthy diet plan can ease your depression and help you lose weight gained during pregnancy.
3. Take time for yourself
You may feel neglected and overwhelmed while taking care of your newborn baby and household chores. Instead of going through this stressful process alone, you can try to get help from people you trust, if possible. With the support of your spouse or family, you can take time for yourself, even if it is for an hour or two. In this short time you will spare for yourself; take a walk, relax, go to the movies or do some yoga and meditation. So you can feel a little more relaxed.
4. Pay attention to your sleep patterns
2009 study shows that women who sleep less may be more prone to depression. Experts say this is especially true for women who get less than four hours of sleep between midnight and 6 a.m. In the first days after birth, your baby will probably not sleep through the night, and this can disrupt your sleep patterns. You can rest during the day by taking a nap and trying to sleep early. You can prepare your milk in advance by expressing it with the help of a bottle pump so that your partner can feed the baby while you sleep.
5. Benefit from fish oil
One study found that postpartum depression rates were higher among women with low levels of DHA, a subgroup of omega-3 fatty acids. You can use fish oil to increase your DHA level. If you are a vegetarian, you can opt for flaxseed oil.
6. Observe the effects of breastfeeding on your mood
Experts say that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of postpartum depression. However, there are also some cases where women develop symptoms of depression while breastfeeding. This condition is called the Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex or D-MER. In the case of D-MER, you may experience sudden feelings of sadness or anger that last for a few minutes after breastfeeding your baby. In this case, you can consult your doctor for another feeding method.
7. Talk about your feelings
Study published by the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry shows that talking to others about your feelings can help change your mood. Researchers say that regularly sharing your feelings with people who have experienced the same situation will reduce the effects of depression.
You may need help from an expert
Many women may experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Symptoms may worsen over time and develop into chronic depression. In this case, you should consider seeking help from an expert. Only 15 percent of women seek professional help for postpartum depression symptoms. Your doctor will give you the best advice on getting the support you need. In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend using antidepressants. These drugs can pass into breast milk, but are generally considered safe for women who are breastfeeding. If you have any concerns about this, you can talk to your doctor.
If you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, remember that it can be treated. Call your doctor right away if you feel helpless, have obsessive thoughts about your baby, feel paranoid, or have hallucinations. These are symptoms of a more serious condition called postpartum psychosis. Do not ignore these symptoms and do not neglect to see a specialist.
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