It should feel like the happiest time of your life bringing home a new born baby to add to your family. Weeks, months or even a year after can turn into fearful anxiety, sadness, anger and depressed feelings all in one.
Here are some myths regarding Postpartum depression and what you can focus on instead.
Postpartum Depression and Baby blues are the same. FALSE
Baby blues happens from a few hours to 2 weeks after giving birth. This is a normal occurrence for the body as the hormones from pregnancy are being released. 50-85% of women experience this as weeping or crying for no reason and not knowing why, it clears up on its own with no medical intervention needed.
Postpartum depression on the other hand sneaks up slowly over months or a year with some feeling irritable, overly tired, anxious more than usual, anger towards others or even the baby, social isolation, not feeling worthy to be the baby’s parent, not connecting with the baby, feeling overwhelmed to the point they regret having had the baby. A mother still loves her baby but at this point she is suffering with a mental illness that requires medical and professional treatment.
Taking care of others and not focusing on the PPD will make it go away. FALSE
One of the worst things a mother suffering from depression could do is to take the focus off herself and invest in others. At this point we hope those around you have noticed a shift in personality and are helping you make changes to get better. Mom needs to focus on getting enough quality sleep, taking regular breaks from the baby, eating healthy meals to nourish her body and getting a few hours to either do leisurely activities, hanging with friends to socialize or working out at the gym to get rid of anxiety or anger.
If you had PPD with one child, you will surely have it with another. FALSE
This one I can attest to is totally false. I had PPD with my first child and my second was a completely different story. Sure, when you are pregnant you may be anxious to think it may happen all over again with your 2nd or 3rd baby but think about it. Each baby comes out with a different personality, your hormones are different with each pregnancy, your circumstances might have changed, and you may have taken the steps to prepare yourself for the expected ups and downs parenthood will bring you next time round. If you had PPD once you also have a bigger chance of catching it earlier or preparing to go back on meds before the baby is born with your doctor monitoring, you.
Many women feel they are failures as mothers or are the only ones. FALSE
Motherhood is tough stuff, cut yourself some slack. From waking up hour after hour feeding, changing, rocking to sleep, baby crying then you’re crying…… its enough to make anyone want to call it quits.
I get it, I had a colicky baby for 9 months that didn’t sleep and wanted to be on me 24/7…..its tiring work, emotionally, physically and yes I felt alone too. I had so many days where I would dream about going back to work to feel normal, I felt like there was something wrong with the way I was meeting my baby’s needs and sure as heck thought someone else could do a better job.
I lived in a neighborhood with people who were retired and over the age of 6o, I had no other moms to connect to in the beginning as I couldn’t face going out in public as my baby cried and fussed most of the time.
It wasn’t until I joined mom groups with other babies who were crying, throwing up all over the place and other moms who I could relate to about my day that I started to get better.
Main Tips for PPD Include:
- Seeking outside socialization
- Professional support for mom
- Having a physical with your doctor to rule any condition out
- Depending on spouse and family to give you breaks from baby
- Eating a healthy balanced diet (More healthy fats to calm the nervous system)
- Join a mommy and baby group and realize how hard it really is to be a mom
- Ask for spouse or someone you trust to watch for personality changes
- Get some exercise into your day or go for a walk alone
- Keep in contact with your friends, even if they don’t have kids
- Meditate, take a long hot bath, nap when the baby is asleep
- Read books about babies and educate yourself about your needs too
Keep up the magnificent work mamma, you are doing amazing!