When we think about our health, the first thing that typically comes to mind is whether or not our physical health is up to par. We often focus on a healthy diet, exercise, and fighting off the common cold. Unfortunately, we often forget about our mental well-being, which many argue is one of the most important health factors.
In honor of 2017 World Health Day, the World Health Organization is focusing on depression. Depression isn’t usually discussed in everyday conversations, which is unfortunate because there are many people that may feel as though they are alone when in reality, there are many individuals experiencing the same thing. This is especially true when it comes to new moms who are experiencing depression.
According to the March of Dimes, postpartum depression is a kind of depression that happens to women 1-3 weeks after having a baby. This is not to be confused with baby blues, which only lasts for around 10 days. If you are experiencing postpartum depression, you may have strong feelings of sadness, trouble sleeping or concentrating, guilt or shame, little interest in the things you used to do, or trouble bonding with your baby. It is important to know that this is not your fault and there are ways to help guide you through this difficult time:
- Lean on others for support. Postpartum depression is very difficult to go through, especially alone. This is why it’s important to get professional help and surround yourself with a good support system. You can even join a group for moms experiencing the same thing you are. By ensuring that you have a strong support system, you are laying a solid foundation to begin fighting this depression.
- Take time for yourself. It is important to focus on your overall well-being during this time. Set some quality time aside for yourself so you can relax a little. Try taking a walk outside to enjoy the sunshine and get a bit of exercise at the same time. You should also try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Even though your baby may get up every few hours, it is still important for you to get an adequate amount of sleep. If you are finding it hard to sleep, you can try to calm your mind by reading a book or even meditating.
- Nourish the relationship with your partner. Your partner is going to be your rock during this time. Make sure to include them in everything that is going on. Share how you are feeling and what you may need from them. Keeping the line of communication open may help you feel not so alone. While communicating your feelings to you partner, also try to carve out time for just you two. This alone time may help you reconnect and create a stronger sense of security between you and your partner.
Postpartum depression is a very difficult thing to go through, and here at Any Baby Can, we want you to know that you are not alone. We provide resources for moms going through situations just like this, including wonderful support groups offered in English and Spanish. Give us a call at 512.454.3743.