How To Deal With Postpartum Depression
Super Administrator | Feb 17, 2023
Typically, the postpartum blues show up within the first three weeks after the birth of your baby. Due to the huge volume of hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and overwhelming new responsibilities, it is not surprising that we feel the blues. When we know what and when to expect them, it makes them easier to navigate. Ignoring the signs of baby blues can only worsen the situation and lead to postpartum depression.
To learn more about how to deal with postpartum depression and reduce stress during this critical time, check out the proven tips from our experienced Coach Joan.
Plan and Prep, but Stay Flexible
Prepping yourself before your baby is born will help with PPD immensely! Remember that this time in your life is not just about your new baby; it is also about you and your wellness.
In general, we need to shift our thinking from having a birth plan to having hopes and desires for birth. When we present a plan set in stone for your child's birth, it will inevitably cause disappointment if everything doesn't go according to that plan. Speak up, discuss your options, and present your hopes but allow for some flexibility too.
Ask questions about what to expect from your medical provider. If possible, share the information with your partner and close family members. Also, don't hesitate to seek guidance from a certified postpartum coach.
Let Loved Ones Learn How to Help With PPD
Do not underestimate the power of your hopes and desires for the postpartum period. When well-meaning friends and family want to help and bring gifts, allow them to! Ask them to help with requests that will assist you, not just your baby. If you are uncomfortable speaking about these requests, ask your partner or family member to assist.
Although receiving gifts of baby clothes and blankets is thoughtful and kind, a more hands-on gift will help you more during this time. Request a meal train, so you will be guaranteed nutritious meals for the first few weeks. Nutritious food will help your recovery and benefit your overall health, including emotional well-being, rather than grabbing quick, easy, low-nutrient food, which can only contribute to postpartum depression. Request that someone holds your baby so that you can be hands-free for a while to use two hands when you eat or want to relax in a longer-than-usual shower. Ask your friends to take your older children out of the house for a few hours. Ask for help around the house.
Your Body and Mind Need to Rest
Sleep!! Now, this may seem unreasonable, but it can be done. This is the first step of how to deal with postpartum depression. Although broken sleep is not ideal, it is better than no sleep. Take a night shift with your partner. Many parents will both be up at night, resulting in two exhausted parents. It is also common for the birth parent to be up through the night, making an exhausted parent a resentful one as well.
Instead, discuss this when figuring out your postpartum wishes so that you both know what to expect. Do not wait until you are exhausted! Depending on your schedules, plan that one parent is "on" for 3-4 hours while the other sleeps, then trade shifts.
When you are not getting enough sleep at night, get whatever sleep that you can throughout the day. Even if that's not possible, spending time in a darkened room while you relax will help your brain and body to wind down, offering some restorative benefits. When your medical provider approves, get some sunlight and fresh air outside. If a walk around the neighborhood seems daunting, ask a friend to come with you and take it slowly. You will benefit from the chat, support, fresh air, vitamin D, and light exercise all at one time.
Take All the Time You Need to Bond With Your Baby
Say no, to extra duties and expectations like school events, hosting visitors, or any unnecessary chore that can wait. If you feel pressured, this is not the time to send cards and updates to others. You will say no for now, but not forever. If you feel any guilt, reassure yourself that this is YOUR time. You and your baby need to connect, spend time together, and discover your new love. Use your medical provider, mental wellness coach, doula, or midwife as a buffer! (We won't tell anyone!) You may find it easier to tell others that your doctor recommended something rather than you asking.
On-Demand Parenting Support
Your village is there; you just have to look! Speaking with someone who has been there will help to normalize this time. It is always good to reach out to be reminded that you are not alone. It can be challenging to look at life objectively during this foggy time, but a reassuring and supportive system can make a difference. Our team at I Help Moms is always there for you.
You got this and congratulations!
Ready to find ways to keep your cool? Ready to spend more time enjoying your kids?
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