Improve postpartum depression
1. What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression has a much stronger impact and lasts longer. It follows about 15% of births, in first-time mothers and in those who have given birth. It can cause severe mood swings, exhaustion, and feelings of hopelessness. The intensity of those feelings can make it difficult to care for your baby or yourself.
Postpartum depression should not be taken lightly. This is a serious disorder, but it can be corrected with treatment.
2. What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
Symptoms of postpartum depression vary from person to person and even from day to day. If you have postpartum depression, chances are you are familiar with some of the following:
You feel sad or cry a lot, even if you don't know why. You are exhausted, but you cannot sleep. You sleep too much. You can't stop eating or have no interest in food at all. You have many unexplained aches and pains or illnesses. You don't know why you're irritable, worried, or angry. Your mood changes suddenly and without warning. You feel out of control. You have trouble remembering things. You cannot concentrate or make simple decisions. You have no interest in the things you used to enjoy. You feel disconnected from your child and wonder why you are not as filled with joy as you thought. Everything feels overwhelming and hopeless. You feel worthless and guilty about your feelings. You feel like you can't open up to anyone because they'll think you're a bad mother or raising children, so you withdraw. You want to get rid of everyone and everything. You have malicious thoughts about harming yourself or your baby. Your friends and family may notice that you are withdrawing from them and from social activities or that you are not like yourself. Symptoms are most likely to begin within a few weeks of giving birth. Sometimes, postpartum depression doesn't show up until months later. Symptoms may improve for a day or two and then return. Without treatment, symptoms may continue to worsen.
3. Treatment of postpartum depression
There are two main treatments for postpartum depression: medication and therapy. Either can be used alone, but they can be more effective when used together. It is important that you make some healthy choices in your daily routine.
It may take a few tries to find the right treatment for you. Stay in open communication with your doctor.
3.1. Antidepressants have a direct effect on the brain. They alter the chemicals that regulate mood. However, they will not work immediately. It may take several weeks of taking the medication before you notice a difference in your mood.
Some people experience side effects from taking antidepressants. These can include fatigue, decreased sex drive, and dizziness. If the side effects seem to be making your symptoms worse, tell your doctor right away.
Some antidepressants may be safe if you are breastfeeding, but others may not. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
If your estrogen levels are low, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy.
3.2. Therapy A psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional can advise. Therapy can help you understand destructive thoughts and offer strategies for overcoming them.
3.3. Self-care This part of the treatment may be a little more difficult than it sounds. Practicing self-care means cutting down on your slack.
You should not try to take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Others may not instinctively know what you need, so it's important to let them know. Take some time for "me," but don't isolate yourself. Consider joining a support group for new mothers.
Alcohol is a depressant, so you should stay away from it. Instead, give your body every chance to heal. Eat a balanced diet and exercise every day, even if it's just walking around the block.
Treatment helps most women feel better within six months, although it may take longer.
4. What natural remedies are there for postpartum depression?
Along with medical treatment, natural remedies such as exercise and adequate sleep can help improve symptoms. Massage, meditation, and other mindfulness practices can help you feel better. Maintain a diet rich in nutrients but low in processed foods. If you're not getting the nutrients you need in your diet, ask your doctor to recommend the right supplements.
Herbal remedies can be tempting. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements in the same way they regulate drugs. The agency monitors supplements for safety, but does not evaluate the validity of health claims.
Also, natural supplements can still interact with medications and cause problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the supplements you take and in how much, even if they seem harmless. Many of the things you ingest can end up in your breast milk, which is another reason to tell your doctor.
St. John's wort is an herb that some people use to treat depression. According to the March of Dimes, there simply isn't enough research to know if this supplement is safe to treat postpartum depression.
There is some evidence that a lack of omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with postpartum depression. However, there hasn't been enough research to know if omega-3 supplements improve symptoms.
5. How to deal with postpartum depression: 4 tips
5.1. Communication You may be tempted to keep your feelings to yourself, especially if you are a reserved person by nature. But it can be helpful to talk to someone you trust. You may realize that you are not alone and that others are willing to listen.
5.2. Resisting isolation Being reclusive with your emotions can lead to depression. It's not necessary to have a hectic social life, but try to maintain your closest relationships. It can help you feel connected.
If you feel comfortable in a group environment, you can join a depression support group or a group specifically for new mothers. If you've stopped participating in fun group activities before, try them again to see if it helps. Being in a group can help you focus on other things and relieve stress.
5.3. Cut back on housework If you can't do chores and errands, let them go. Use your energy to take care of the basic needs for you and your baby. If possible, enlist the help of family and friends.
5.4. Rest and relaxation Both your body and mind need a good night's sleep. If your child doesn't sleep for a long time, ask someone to change the shift so you can sleep. If you're having trouble drifting off, try taking a hot bath, reading a good book, or anything that helps you relax. Meditation and massage can help reduce stress and help you fall asleep.
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