Postpartum depression (PPD) or postnatal depression is one kind of clinical depression that affects women and, in some cases even men, immediately after they become parents. The symptoms could range from fatigue, insomnia, altered eating patterns to anhedonia, increased anxiety, dipping libido and complete social withdrawal. While no concrete cause has been attributed to it, experts believe it is caused by a combination of, hormonal and psychological factors. In fact, hormonal treatment soon after childbirth did not show any signs of improvement on the victims of PPD. With stresses of home and work place, spilling over into each other, and more and more pregnant women facing challenges in daily life – psychological, socio-cultural as well as unexplained physiological changes, PPD is affecting more and more young mothers every day. What’s worse is that, these women are not just the jet-setting working women, working in the metropolitans, but also women from small cities, and far flung rural areas. Though many women may be in denial, that they are facing a problem, the following tips can be followed to deal with, any postpartum depression that might set in.
Dealing With Postpartum Depression
- Eat well, at least 4 times a day, and include low fat proteins, complex carbohydrates, and all kinds of fruits and vegetables, in your diet. Missing out on meals or eating too less, will affect not only the health of the mother but also that of the child, which will show signs later. Take large portions of salads, and make them available to you, at all times.
- When the baby falls asleep, you should sleep too. Getting too worked up will only exacerbate, the symptoms of PPD, and may ultimately lead to Postpartum Exhaustion. After childbirth, your body is already quite weary; do not cause it to grow weaker still.
- If feelings of helplessness have begun to greatly affect your normal life, it may be time for you, to reach out and ask for some help. There is no shame in asking for help as it may only make matters, easier for you. Husbands are usually quite sensitive towards their wives, during this time. This is the time he will tolerate every tantrum thrown by you, so why not just communicate, your feelings in a more precise way than getting worked up?
- Talk to other women, who have children as to how to deal with it. They may not have answers to all your questions, or even one of them, but the very fact that you are not alone in this, may give you some strength. Most women have found it easier to deal with PPD, when they become a part of a support group of sorts. Better still, ask your mother-in-law. This is one time, when she will be extra nice with you! Besides, she bore kids too. Also, women of their generation, were perhaps the first ones to have balanced, both home and a job – they can give the best tips!
- Go for a walk with your baby, get some fresh air, and take a calmer and more balanced look, at the situation. Remaining cooped-up inside the house, for too long will only deepen, those feelings of inadequacy, making your life impossible.
- Household chores and other responsibilities, could wait a little for now. Do not forget that your baby is totally dependent on you, and might take up most of your time and energy. Set realistic expectations with yourself, and do not push yourself too hard. Also, in case you are not able to meet those expectations, do not give way to feelings of guilt.