Postpartum depression, also referred to as postnatal depression (PND), is very common with new moms. It’s not surprising really given all the challenges new moms face. Your body has just been through a lot of intense changes, the birth of your baby may have been traumatic, your hormones are fluctuating and you may be struggling with lack of sleep and trying to breastfeed your new baby.
In fact many women start experiencing depression during pregnancy which is referred to as prenatal depression.
If you think you may be have postpartum depression the best thing is to seek professional help to get through it. There is no point struggling through this, it can be very painful and you need to get your mental health back on track. You may be able to work through it with your therapist and you may even be prescribed medication to help you cope.
It is important for you to be able to change your daily habits which will in turn help to change your mindset and help you with your recovery.
In addition to seeking professional help here are some great natural ways to help improve your postpartum depression symptoms:
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Get Some Good Sleep
So this may sound impossible with a newborn baby but if you ask for help and get creative it can be done. Good sleep plays a very important role in our mental health and getting enough is important if you want to improve how you are feeling. While getting enough sleep won’t cure your postpartum depression it certainly will make a much needed positive impact.
Sleep when your baby sleeps, yes you’ve been told that before but do you do it or do you quickly do the dishes or hang the washing before your baby wakes up? Your mental health and well-being is important so make sure to do it.
Find a way to unwind before bed so that your mind doesn’t get stuck in a pattern with anxiety when you try to fall asleep. Meditation works wonders as does a good bed time routine.
Get Up, Get Dressed, Open The Curtains
It is so easy to get stuck in a rut at home when you have a newborn. You don’t have to get dressed and you don’t have to brush your hair or make yourself look good… but getting up in the morning, putting on a flattering nursing top, and getting ready for the day does wonders for your mental health.
So get up, get dressed, make your bed and open those curtains to get the sunlight into your home. This will give your mood a wonderful boost.
Get Outside and Get Moving
Fresh air and exercise are an amazing combination for good mental health. Put your baby in the stroller and get your trainers on, then head outside for a walk. Remember for the first 6 weeks after the birth of your baby you are not allowed to exercise, but you can walk. Walking has loads of benefits – it will help you to lose some of the pregnancy weight and it will make you feel great.
If you have a baby wrap you can leave the stroller behind and wear your baby instead. This will promote bonding with your baby and if your baby has been struggling to go to sleep chances are high he will nod off while you walk.
Start off slowly and as you get your strength back after the birth you can pick up the pace a bit.
You will be amazed at how much of an impact food has on our mental well-being. Eating lots of carbs, sugary foods and junk food will make you sluggish and will do your mood no favors!
Drink lots of water and get in foods that boost you moods. Oats, bananas, lentils, brazil nuts, oily fish and dark chocolate are excellent boosting your mood. Get in enough protein to keep your blood sugar levels stable and stick to light, healthy meals.
You may be struggling to cook meals while looking after your baby, ask for some help from your hubby, your mother or find someone that delivers home cooked meals in your area.
Drinking some herbal tea instead of coffee will help to reduce your caffeine intake as well as to help boost your energy levels and mood. There are teas for nursing and women’s support teas.
See Some Mom Friends
Go visit some mom friends, chances are high they will know exactly how you are feeling. Mom friends are the safest people for when you start venturing into the world again with your new baby.
You need to get back into the swing of things and get out and about. If you are not feeling up to leaving the house just yet don’t push yourself too hard, rather ask a friend to come visit you. Seeing your friends will brighten your day and it also means another set of hands to hold your baby so you can have a break.
Get Some Supplements
Your body has taken a knock and you may need that extra boost, especially if you have not been eating properly. Make sure you are getting in enough vitamins and minerals by taking a vitamin supplement. Omega 3 can help to combat depression.
Dance and Laugh
It is amazing how much music can impact your mood – get out your favorite songs and dance. Laughter is amazing medicine, its good for the soul. Watch some comedies, call a close friend that always makes you laugh or read the funnies in the newspaper.
There are so many uses for essentials oils and many are known to boost your mood and help to alleviate depression. You can use them in a room spray, in a diffuser or applied to the skin around your wrists, temples or your feet. Remember to use a carrier oil when applying essential oils to your skin.
Also keep in mind that not all essential oils are safe for babies so do your research if your baby is going to be around you when you use essential oils.
Some essential oils that are great for treating depression and anxiety are Lavender Oil, Sandalwood, Basil, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Orange, Geranium, Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Turmeric and Cedarwood.
OK so placenta encapsulation won’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but it is quite common for women to have their placenta dehydrated after their birth and then encapsulated. Consuming these capsules helps to speed up your recovery after birth and helps to prevent postpartum depression.