How to Cope with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
Giving birth is a beautiful phenomenon that changes your life forever. But, all the changes can sometimes be overwhelming. The period after having a baby can be full of various unexplainable emotions. You may feel fear, joy, anxiety, and sadness. Regulating emotions during this time can be challenging so that it affects your life and everyday activities. If you feel like you’ve been experiencing mood swings, difficulty in decisions, and trouble bonding with your baby, you might be having postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety.
Millions of women worldwide go through postpartum depression. The most effective way to cope is to get help from professional therapists/psychologists. They evaluate your symptoms carefully and devise a step-by-step plan to manage your problems.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
Identifying postpartum depression is crucial for ensuring the mother and the baby’s mental health. A depressed mother can face difficulty bonding with her child, affecting the baby’s sense of safety, love, and security. Addressing the issue requires identifying the common symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety:
- Severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Reduced interest in once-loved activities
- Irritability and anger issues
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
- Fear of not being good enough
- Excessive worrying
- Twitching and feeling shaky
- Racing heart
- Feeling on the edge
Ways to cope with postpartum depression and anxiety
The following steps help you cope with postpartum anxiety and depression easier:
Physical activity and exercise
Exercise is essential for a healthy body. It works wonders on both physical and mental levels. While exercise might be the last thing you want to do while going through postpartum depression, a little motivation might bring massive changes. Regular exercise releases endorphins in your body (also known as the happy hormones that may combat depression). It takes your mind off life’s worries and gives you a fresh perspective.
Meeting exercise challenges can help you get in shape and regain your confidence. When you look good, stay healthy, and remain fresh, your mental health automatically boosts up. You don’t need expensive equipment to start your daily exercise routine. Just head out for a walk each day or try yoga at home. It is simple, cost-friendly, and useful.
Eat nutritious and healthy food
Try adopting a healthy diet. Eating healthy and nutritious foods like leafy greens, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and an antioxidant-rich diet helps you improve your mood, mind, and body. An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, could worsen your condition. Avoid high sodium foods, processed items, fatty and oily snacks, and fast food. While eating healthy alone will not cure postpartum depression completely, it will undoubtedly help in the process of coping with it. Eating healthy is a form of self-care and compassion. Besides, a healthy body promotes mental well-being.
Have some time to yourself
Being a new mom, you may find yourself stuck on the couch all the time worrying about or looking over your baby. While the bliss of having a newborn is incredible, not having enough self-time deteriorates your mental health. Having some time to yourself takes your mind off housework and worries. Let your partner or a trusted adult take care of your baby for some time. Having these “Me time” sessions once or twice a week can help you manage your emotions.
Make sure to rest and get enough sleep
If you just had a baby, you’ve probably been told to adjust your sleep according to your baby’s routine. Though this advice may sound annoying after a while, it is effective. Usually, new mothers don’t find enough time to sleep due to their babies’ odd sleeping hours. Newborns don’t sleep at night and tend to enjoy slumber during the day. Try to manage your sleep pattern accordingly. Getting proper rest and a night of sound sleep is essential for your mind to function properly and combat depression and anxiety.
Make sure you’re not missing out on DHA
If you feel like you’re going through postpartum issues like anxiety and depression, it is a good time to increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake. DHA is an omega-3 fat essential for the proper functioning of the brain. It improves learning ability. Pregnancy and lactation make childbearing women suffer from DHA loss leading to postpartum depression. Seafood is delicious and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can buy supplements from the nearest drugstore as well.
Does breastfeeding suit you?
While you breastfeed, your body releases oxytocin, which makes you feel relaxed. The inability to nurse has been linked with higher levels of postpartum depression. Having said that, many women develop PPD symptoms while breastfeeding due to a condition known as Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex. This condition makes you experience feelings of sadness or anger after breastfeeding for several minutes. All you need is to opt for the method that feels right.
Avoid being alone
Loneliness and avoiding social gatherings can lead to depression. It is understandable that motherhood isn’t easy, and you have little time to keep your social life active, but it is crucial. Having someone to talk with and vent out to if you feel overwhelmed can be a massive burden off the shoulders. Try talking to experienced mothers who previously had postpartum depression and anxiety and avoid being alone.
Why choose MindShift Psychological Services?
If you feel like living with postpartum depression is getting out of control, and you have little control over your emotions, don’t shy away from seeking help from professional Therapists / Psychologists. MindShift Psychological Services near me provides guidance for coping with postpartum depression for people in Riverside, California, Corona, California, and Los Angeles, California. Individual Therapy and Group Therapy near me might help you learn effective anxiety and stress management skills. Choose MindShift Psychological Services and begin your journey towards the brighter side of life.