“Baby blues” is a common experience experienced by most moms who just gave birth.
As hormone levels adjust to their normal range, this triggers different issues like sleep problems, mood swings and anxiety. But if these symptoms persist for a long time, it’s possible that you will be diagnosed with postpartum depression.
1 out of 7 women experience postpartum depression. This typically starts as depressive tendencies then may escalate to an intense feeling of sadness. You will go through a series of crying episodes and possibly find yourself withdrawing from social events.
Irritability, anger, panic attacks and anxiety are the initial symptoms you need to watch out for. For severe cases, some moms have suicidal tendencies and even have thoughts of harming their child. As the depressive tendencies progress, severe mood swings, extreme lack of energy, erratic decisions and difficulty bonding with the baby will manifest themselves.
If you feel like the baby blues are overcoming your day, tell your partner or a family member about it. You can also set up an appointment with your physician and discuss what the treatment options are. Getting better could take months, so catching this problem as early as possible is crucial.
Aside from the treatments you will receive from your doctor, here are other ways to help fight such depressive tendencies.
Taking daily multivitamins is a must even if you are not suffering from any condition. In addition taking omega-3 supplements can be another option as they are getting many researchers’ attention today regarding their ability to fight depression.
A recent medical study reported that the development of depression has an association with the low dietary intake of omega-3, an essential fatty acid that is known to prevent coronary diseases as well. Many breastfeeding moms purchase fish oil as a source of their omega-3 to improve their breastmilk. You can also get omega-3 from chia seeds, flax seeds, salmon, mackerel and other oily fish.
Another published scientific study in the Journal of Affective Disorders stated that among the vitamins they studied (Riboflavin or Vitamin B12, folate, pyridoxine and cobalamin), only riboflavin showed positive effects in improving mood disorders. The research also suggests moderate consumption of this vitamin will show the best results.
Know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal supplements. If you choose to use such natural remedies, it is also best to consult your doctor about it first.
All moms would attest to how newborn babies can make you crazy. Taking some time off to do something else other than housework and caring for your child should also be a priority. Make it a habit to get dressed, leave the house and run errands on your own, just to change your mood at least.
You can also get a babysitter and catch up with friends. The physical and mental stress of being a new moms are not a joke and the only way to keep yourself sane is to make sure you get some time off once in awhile.
Take Care Of Yourself
You will not be able to take care of other people if you cannot take care of yourself. Caring for a newborn will be the most stressful months of your life and they require constant attention, love and affection.
If baby blues are bugging you, asking your spouse to take over once in awhile will help you get some time off to step back and assess the matters that are weighing you down. Do you need to see a physician? Or do you just need a break? Pondering these questions will make you realize the best solutions to take.
Try to stay active even if you just gave birth. Take your baby out in a carrier or a stroller, grocery shop together and make sure to pick healthy foods. Sleep as often as possible if there is an opportunity to do so and do whatever you can to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Set Realistic Goals
Never expect to be perfect at parenting. Nobody is!
The dirty dishes and uncleaned floors, unfolded laundry and messy toys can wait for a while. Set realistic goals when it comes to accomplishing your duties as a new mom. Nobody cares if your house is a mess. As long as your baby has fresh diapers, clean clothes, and feeds on time, you are doing a wonderful job.
When depressive tendencies become full-blown postpartum depression, it is usually treated with antidepressant medications. But these medications can get in the way of breastfeeding. Getting therapy with a mental health provider is also another option your primary doctor can offer.
Postpartum depression is not a condition you can treat all on your own. If you prefer a holistic treatment plan, talk to your doctor about it.