Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a form of clinical depression that occurs a few days to months after delivery, although recent studies show that PPD episodes may also begin prior to child delivery and it could last for months or up to a year. PPD is common with mothers who recently gave birth but surprisingly, fathers may also experience the symptoms.
On a given normal situation, it could be quite ironic that a mother would feel very depressed after giving birth to her child. Postpartum depression could manifest the following usual symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, exhaustion, guilt, low energy, emptiness, frustration and all the possible depression-related emotions you could think of.
Just like conceiving and giving birth, it is unique for every woman. Some may experience it, some may not and it could range from a simple feeling of loneliness to scary episodes of anxiety attacks. Mothers who have experienced it would say that it is like being under a dark veil with dark thoughts playing in your mind when you are supposed to be feeling great and happy with the little bundle of joy in your arms.
Hormones play a great role in this bewildering experience. Yes, you may call it postpartum “crazy” but it is real. As much as people will sometimes consider PPD as “part” of the whole process of being a mother, bear in mind that the woman who endured conceiving and giving birth probably need some form of help.
Natural Ways to “Ease” PPD
Going for the “pill” may not be the option for most mothers who experience PPD. If you are not comfortable taking prescribed medication for depression or anxiety, there are some natural ways to relieve the overwhelming sense of fatigue and melancholia.
This is a BIG WORD for most mothers. You may enlist the assistance of some adults in your life and help them understand what you need. Maybe a few hours sleep during the day would do you well. Have someone do the household chores for you or have a family member take care of the baby for a while.
FEED YOURSELF PROPERLY
Nutrition plays a big role in this new chapter in your life where hormone changes are in the constant runabout. Your body needs ample amount of necessary vitamins and minerals for healing and hormone regulation. It is good to stock on a good amount of omega-3 fatty acid from fish, nuts and oils. Dark leafy vegetables, fruits, and grains will assure you of a good supply of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. It is also good to load up on protein to help keep your mood stable and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Do not deprive yourself with the desire to eat something sweet. You are tired, hungry and you deserve your chocolates right. Just go for the high-quality dark ones to help improve your mood by boosting serotonin and help trigger the release of the much needed “feel good” hormones called endorphins.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Remember that dehydration makes the blues a lot worse. Do not wait until you are thirsty before you drink your water or any decaffeinated beverage. Go for 13 glasses of fluids if you are breastfeeding. Make it exciting by making your own glass of juice or decaf iced tea when you settle down to nurse your baby.
Take time to pamper yourself at the salon. Look good, feel good and be beautiful not only for your better half but, most importantly for yourself. Should you decide to go for hair treatment or hair dye, go for the organic products because this is not the best time to acquire those allergic reactions to hair products. You may also want to request for a gentle relaxing massage for that complete sense of calm and well-being.
SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS
Human interaction with the right people will help lift off that feeling of loneliness. Find time to eat out or have a coffee break with some friends at your favorite hangout spot.
MIND YOUR VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Continue taking your prenatal vitamins for a couple of months after giving birth to replace the lost nutrients. Although supplements and vitamins will not be a substitute for real foods, fruits, and vegetables, they will help in boosting your nutrient supply.
Try some of the natural herbal supplements that could make a wonderful difference in alleviating your mood and help you enjoy motherhood experience better.
The above-mentioned tips are natural ways to help alleviate postpartum depression. If you feel the need to see an expert, don’t hesitate to do so. You deserve the best of care that you need in order to become the best mother to your newborn.
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