I remember the day after delivering my daughter. It was a normal vaginal delivery for me. As I took a look at my baby, she was sleeping peacefully in her crib oblivious of the world. She looked like an angel on earth. I was very happy seeing her angelic face. Since I hardly got off bed since the previous day, I decided to take a little walk around the hospital room till my breakfast arrived. After taking a few steps, I started crying incessantly. I was feeling a sharp as I could not take another step. I knew this was about to come. My uterus would be shrinking and I would experience pain. But the episode of crying like a maniac took me and my husband off guard. Looking back when I think of this incident, I usually laugh it off. But I had no idea what was going on in my mind that made me cry like I was in a funeral. Can I call it my postpartum depression, I’m not sure! Though that was just the beginning, there have been a number of episodes that made me question my motherhood and if I could be an ideal mother. There were so many times I thought that deciding to become a mother have been the worst decision of my life. What trouble I have gotten myself into! Why is my baby crying? Why is she latching on to me the whole day? Why is she feeding on so much? In spite of being a tiny creature, why is she peeing and pooping so much? How many diapers do I have to change throughout the day? Yes, it was a crazy ride of unnecessary stupid concerns for almost a month after delivery.
80% of the moms suffer from this severe mood disorder called baby blues, but postpartum depression is an even serious extension of baby blues with strange emotions that might embark thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby even.
Postpartum depression is classified as a psychological disorder that can be treated if taken help at the right time.
Here are a few tips you can follow to cope up with postpartum depression:
Secure attachment with your baby –
Developing an emotional bond with your baby is crucial. But what is the big deal in that? Every mother falls in love with their baby at first sight. This isn’t the case at all times. While some mothers may feel overwhelmed when they see their baby’s face for the first time, for others it may take days, even a month to feel that attachment with the baby.
Breastfeeding your baby, soothing your baby, responding to your baby’s emotions are some ways to develop warmth with your baby.
Spare some ‘me’ time –
Being a new mom is not easy as it comes with a lot of responsibilities of breastfeeding, doing household chores, looking after the family and the older children as well. Appoint a nanny, or take the help of your family members to take care of the baby of an hour or two. You can go out for a walk, visit a salon, visit your friends for a brunch, take a nap or join a yoga class. All of these activities are anti-depressants and will help you relax.
Try to follow the advice “sleep when the baby sleeps”.
Focus on DHA –
Studies have shown that women with low levels of DHA have high rates of postpartum depression. Have fish and seafood that is a good dietary source of DHA. However, if you are a vegetarian, you must add flaxseed supplements to your diet.
Share your emotions –
Don’t keep your emotion to yourself. Find a suitable person, maybe your husband or your mother or a friend to share your postpartum emotions with. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with any of your family members, seek professional help. Talk to a psychiatrist for help.
Post-Partum depression usually disappears with time but you must consider speaking to a mental health professional if matters get worse.