How to deal with post-partum depression

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By: Bernice Maune

New moms have entered a journey of motherhood which is a beautiful experience but can leave them feeling overwhelmed and drained by the arrival of their babies.

Post-partum depression is a reality which many women face as they may struggle to keep up with caring for a small infant, creating a schedule that works while bonding with the baby.

Symptoms of post-partum depression may include severe mood swings, trouble bonding with baby and difficulty handling the day to day running of your household and a loss of interest in taking care of yourself and the child.

Visiting your doctor to discuss the onset of post-natal depression is essential to your well-being and that of your new born and family. A medical diagnosis is required before any medication can be prescribed. To help you deal in conjunction with medical advice, we’ve compiled tips to help you cope below.

Exercise

Get into a routine which works for you and your family. Exercise helps to release pent up frustration and also releases feel good hormones endorphins which can improve your mood. Simple exercises like walking, jogging and swimming are a great way to stay fit while not over exerting yourself.

Me-time

Make it a point to schedule a day during the week where you pamper and spoil yourself with something special like a massage, spa day, manicure or some retail therapy. It’s important to remember that even though your life has changed and you are a mom, you must also prioritise yourself as self-care and love is essential to being the best mother to your child.

Journal

Your emotions may be changing all the time and a good way of managing your feelings is by writing down what you are thinking and feeling. Journaling is also a form of therapy which can help you de-stress and become more self-aware.

Communicate

Talk and speak to your partner and loved ones about how you are feeling. Keep them in the loop so that they can understand your mental and emotional state as well as help you where they can. Postpartum depression can develop because of a sense of being overwhelmed by the new baby and by speaking out, your family and partner can come up with plans to help with the baby.

Group therapy

Meeting up with mothers who are also experiencing post-partum depression is a form of support which can give you a platform to express yourself in the presence of women who can relate to you. Ideas and techniques on how to handle being a new mom can be exchanged without fear of feeling like a failure.

Healthy diet

Improve your diet and stock up on fruits, vegetables, fresh and raw food and increase your water intake. A healthy diet will enable you to be energised and able to cope with the demands of a newborn.

Rest and relaxation

Take turns with your partner to get at least eight hours sleep or hire a nanny who can assist you and baby so that you can rest.

Remember to check in with your doctor if you do not feel better and the symptoms of postnatal depression continue.