Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tips for Managing Postpartum Depression


There’s no shortage of information and advice for those experiencing motherhood for the first time. From breastfeeding to understanding how a baby behaves, new mothers are practically smothered with knowledge of how to successfully embark upon the beautiful adventure of helping a newborn get acquainted with life.

With that said, there remains a factor of motherhood which is too often considered a taboo and not adequately addressed: postpartum depression. You’re a mother caring for a baby and you’re inexplicably sad and upset? The breadth of information accumulated over thousands of years of parenting appears incapable of providing effective assistance. If this is the case, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re alone. While postpartum depression may come off as abnormal and something to feel bad about, the truth is it’s a condition that affects upwards of 50% of mothers with a newborn. You aren’t alone, and you’ll never be alone.

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While postpartum depression is undoubtedly not as bad as it might sound, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for new mothers to confront the condition head-on. The following is a basic guide to overcoming postpartum depression:

Seek help

This is a pretty simple tip to follow. If you think you’re experiencing postpartum depression, seek help. The therapy and treatment which is most effective will vary from one woman to another. You might get substantial benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy; research CBT therapy to see if it might be the right fit for your situation. Or, you might respond better to alternative approaches to addressing the struggles of postpartum depression. The key is to accept the need for help and take steps to get help.

Exercise

It comes off as a catch-all solution to many of life’s problems, but the truth is exercise can do wonders for treating anxiety, depression, and stress. Go for a three-mile walk. Jog, run, or ride a bicycle. Lift some weights or swim some laps in a public pool. If sports are more your thing, play tennis or racquetball. Ultimately, the way you exercise after giving birth is irrelevant as long as you do it. While the ways in which exercise help those dealing with postpartum depression may not be apparent at first, you’ll more than likely come to realize the benefits of fitness. Just give it time.

Eat well

Being told to adhere to a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is a piece of advice you’ve heard so many times it loses meaning, but doing so can be incredibly effective in helping alleviate the symptoms of postpartum depression. While a change in diet will not outright cure the condition, it will result in feeling better in general. Ensuring your body gets the right ratio of nutrients via foods is a building block for health and wellness. Doing so will, at the very least, lead to being healthier. The result is being a person in a better position to manage the symptoms and outcomes of PPD.

Resist isolation

One of the hallmarks of postpartum depression is a mother’s desire to avoid others. If you’re dealing with PPD, you probably want to be left alone as much as possible. While it’s undoubtedly alluring to avoid other people, taking steps to resist isolation is key to overcoming postpartum depression. It’s easier said than done but urging yourself to be more sociable than you want will give you the chance to embrace aspects of life you may otherwise neglect. Simply put: avoid isolation and take the step to socialize. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Postpartum depression can often seem like an alienating condition. The truth is you are among millions of mothers who have experienced PPD. Never fear. You will overcome.

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