According to statistics, 1 out of 7 new mothers will most likely suffer from postnatal depression. And there’s a good chance the condition can be missed. Of course, you are at liberty to use medication, but as effective as medication can be, they don’t help you to cope. Luckily, there are other things you can do to help you get through the blues.
Assuming you’ve looked for professional medical help and your doctor has confirmed PND (Postnatal Depression), it’s likely you’ll receive prescribed meds and some therapy sessions.
But it doesn’t have to end there. You can put in the extra effort and start taking care of yourself. You can take control of your situation and definitely show yourself a little compassion because you deserve it. And always try to look at the situation from a different perspective.
If you need a little help with the latter, here is some advice to start with.
- Be Open About It
There is nothing to be ashamed about regarding PND. It’s a common condition that many women face, meaning you need all the support you can get. So, instead of trying to deal with it silently, reach out to friends and family. It can really make the difference. You may even want the help of a professional. Plus, talking about something helps to gain another perspective.
- Enjoy Your Beauty Sleep
A healthy mother is a healthy baby. In other words, just like a baby needs their sleep, so do the mother. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy when you have a newborn. Getting into a routine seems impossible, which can make it difficult to get the rest you really need.
According to Dr. Liz McDonald (Royal College of Psychiatrists), do your best to mimic your baby’s sleeping pattern. When they sleep, you put everything down and sleep with them. And in order to make it really effective, ask your partner to help out.
- Eat Right
A big part of staying a healthy mom to your child involves your diet. This is especially important during breastfeeding time because you want to maintain healthy energy levels. Approach your diet with nutritional food, like vegetables and fruits. Avoid the likes of white bread, cake or other bland carb based foods with little nutritional value.
In fact, swap the chocolate for something more nutritional. Because it’s making you feel good now, but the comedown can be tricky.
- Become Proactive
Why are people always recommending exercise for everything? Because it puts you in a good mood and gets rid of your tension in a healthy. However, it doesn’t mean you have to run 15 miles every morning. But just getting your heart beating for a few minutes can do wonders. For example, a brisk ten walk around the block is a good start.
But if you want to start exercising, why don’t you check out local classes geared towards mothers and children? It might even help you broaden your social life.
- Take A Moment
At some points during the day, you just have to take a moment. And at this moment you want to do something that helps you to relax as much as possible. It could be singing and listening to music, sitting on the porch with a cup of tea and watching the sunset, it doesn’t matter. As long as you take a moment to appreciate yourself and relax, you can get through PND.
- Maintain Your Social Side
Yes, having a baby can bring on a lot of changes and challenges. But it doesn’t mean you can’t socialize anymore. In other words, prioritize a little time with friends, go out, and enjoy your night. The point is when you feel the need to get out, then make time.
- Connect With Other Mothers
Dr. McDonald also recommends reaching out to other mothers, especially if you are dealing with PND. Isolation is dangerous, so avoid it by attending special activities like the children’s center. You can meet other mothers there and relate your experiences with people in the same position.
- Say Yes To Help
When you know you are in a tough position and a friend or family member reaches out, take it. Because getting support from those around you can be critical for controlling the condition.
- Stop Blaming Yourself
Always remember that postnatal depression is a condition that warps your logic and perspective on things. And having a negative perspective is part of the symptoms. The negative feelings are going to pass, but you have to stay strong.
- Drugs And Alcohol Won’t Help
By turning to drugs and alcohol, you are just making matters worse. In fact, you are creating more problems for yourself and increasing the intensity of the depression. So, if you know you can’t stop yourself, get professional help as soon as possible.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)