Becoming a mom can be one of the most enriching and beautiful experiences of a woman’s life. However a lot of moms out there go through postpartum depression, a condition that is rarely spoken about or simply underrated when it comes to its effects on the mother’s psyche. During postpartum, that can begin as early as during the pregnancy, the mother can experience a wide array of emotions, varying from anxiety, sadness or even a feeling of disconnect from the baby.
Unfortunately, many people will try to minimize these effects on the mother, which ultimately makes her feel even guiltier and more burdened. Knowing this, we’re here to tell you that postpartum depression is a terrible condition, that you can eventually rise above, if you try and follow these tips below:
1. Boost Your Endorphins by Exercising
Many doctors and scientists recommend exercising for postpartum depression suffering moms, as it helps the body release endorphins and dopamine, among others, that can help you feel vitalized and think clearly again. However, it’s indicated that you have an exam with your ob-gyn specialist to make sure everything is securely restored in your body after giving birth and you’re not exposing yourself to any dangers while exercising. Just to be safe, you can start out with gentle exercises such as walks in the park with your baby – this will help restore your pelvic floor, improve blood flow and with it your mood too. Swimming would also be a good way to eliminate some of that post-partum negativity – but this also requires an honest talk with your doctor before anything else.
2. Try a Different Approach in Bonding With Your Baby
Postpartum depression often comes accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and insufficiency as a fresh mom. You probably already feel like you can’t connect with your baby or that becoming pregnant was perhaps a mistake since you don’t feel adequate enough to raise your child. While these thoughts are powerful enough to not push them aside, you should remember to be gentle on yourself because it’s precise thoughts like these that arise by default in a condition such as PPD.
It’s essential to know that during this formative period for the baby, you’ll create the base for their type of emotional attachment as adults. However – and we can’t stress this enough – you need to relieve some of the pressure you put on yourself and remember that mistakes are not forbidden in a healthy emotional attachment and it’s okay to make them. Simply try to make as much physical contact with the baby as possible, talk to them and smile to them as often as you can.
3. Focus on Yourself For a Bit
Another reason why postpartum can have such a stranglehold on moms is that as soon as they give in to their responsibilities as moms, most women feel an acute loss of identity. And for good reason too, since all their time and resources go towards caring for the baby. This is why it’s indicated that you work with your feelings of guilt and carve out some time for yourself, understanding that it’s not as much taking from the baby, but giving to yourself, so you can become more fulfilled and apt to give back in turn.
It’s time to remember what your professional and personal aspirations are and offer yourself the opportunity to nurture these dreams once again. For example, you can take up painting as a hobby or apply to those AAT courses online that can help you become a successful accountant when you’re ready to go back to work. Whatever it is you choose to do, remember there’s life outside the baby’s needs and you still have your whole life ahead.
4. Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
This may sound like a cliche, but it couldn’t be further from the truth – you need to give yourself time to sleep and this can optimally be done when the baby is sleeping too. There’s no telling what toll a lack of sleep has on a regular adult, not to mention a mom who’s already having it hard on account of her postpartum depression. It’s true that when your baby is little, there won’t be too many chances for a solid few hours of sleep throughout the night, but there is one way you can go around this. You can pump your breast milk into a bottle, allowing for your partner to feed the baby at times during the night instead of you.
All in all, postpartum is not a condition to be messed with it and, at times, it may seem like it will never go away. But those are the exact moments when you need to stand by yourself and remember that a lot of women go through it, mistakes are human and your identity will remain intact if you will only allow yourself to indulge in a hobby or a pastime activity that feeds your soul.