When I was a brand new mom, I was expected to feel overjoyed and excited all the time. But it was not quite the same. True, I did feel overjoyed but I felt confused and upset too. Apart from being happy, I was always in a state of self-doubt, confusion, worry, and fatigue. Often I had bouts of depression, anxiety, and mood swings. I would get easily angry and shout at everyone around me.
I often wondered what is wrong with me. Little did I know, that I was actually suffering from post-pregnancy blues which is called post-partum. The moment I learnt that it was normal, I heaved a sigh of relief. It was very reassuring for me that it was completely normal to feel like that and I was not the only woman suffering from post-partum depression.
Some women suffered through depression without choice, while some decided to deal and overcome it. I decided to be the latter. I wanted to be a happy new mommy, bond with my little one, and enjoy the experience of motherhood. My decision was firm to overcome my post pregnancy blues and find ways to cope with it.
Symptoms of Post-Partum Depression
I often felt confused with my new emotional state of mind. But the following symptoms helped me analyse, research, and come to a conclusion that I was suffering from post-pregnancy blues.
- Crying often
- Extreme sadness
- State of helplessness
- Lack of enjoyment in motherhood
- Lack of interest in day to day activities
- Guilt and restlessness
- Difficulty in concentration
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Sleeplessness at night and a state of drowsiness in the day
- Irritable and angry all the time
Ways I Coped With my Post-Partum Depression
When post pregnancy blues become severe, the best way to overcome it is to visit a doctor. However if diagnosed early, can make several lifestyle changes to overcome post-partum depression. Following are some ways I coped up with mine
Post Pregnancy Blues and How Overcome it
1} Took out time for myself
After becoming a new mommy, I always felt overwhelmed and overburdened with the addition of new responsibilities along with the old household chores. Many women suffer with the additional burden. But I decided to take a stand for myself. I reached out for help. I asked either my husband or my mother to share my responsibilities. While my mother or hubby did the baby sitting, I would finish the household chores. And sometimes, I requested for help at household chores while I looked after my little one.
2} Exercised Regularly
This may sound surprising to all new mothers, as the last thing they would dream of is to find time to exercise amidst all the responsibilities of home and the baby. But yes, I did this. I would make it a point to find time to exercise. Since I could not find time to fit in long exercise workouts, I often took long walks with my baby in her stroller. Both I and my baby would enjoy the fresh air and I would get my exercise too. I noticed a dramatic change in my emotional state after I began exercising.
3} Take out time to rest
Initially I used to get annoyed when I was told “sleep when the baby sleeps”. But I later realized how important and true this was. I decided to take naps every time my baby slept and I saw a drastic improvement in my sleep patterns. I felt better and refreshed like never before.
4} Followed a healthy diet
Eating healthy actually plays a very important role in curing post-partum depression. I took on to eating a healthy balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk. Eating healthy made me much better physically and mentally.
5} Add fish oil to your diet
Omega-3 fatty acids are best to meet your body’s nutritional requirements. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to improve concentration and memory. I decided to add fish and fish oil to my diet regularly. I noticed a significant difference in my behaviour, and concentration ability. My mood swings, helplessness, and the feel of worthlessness gradually disappeared.
6} Increase Breast Feeding
Many new mothers may not be completely for this. But I strongly recommend increasing breast feeding as it dramatically improved my mood and helped me bond with my little one. Additionally, the feel good hormone “prolactin” made me feel happy, satisfied, and produced enough milk for my little one. I am still breast feeding my baby and I feel great about it.
7} Avoid Isolation
Alone days with baby made me feel isolated and cut off from the world. I often felt miserable about the way my life changed. Even though I was enjoying motherhood, I always felt a state of loneliness within me. A lot of thinking made me realize that I had to do something to change the way I felt. I decided to open up with my immediate family, friends, and neighbors. After I regained my social circle, I felt much more confident and happier about myself.
8} Avoided an Overscheduled Life
I always felt an abnormal urge to get everything done always and I had become a freak for perfection at everything. Then I realized this is only going to get me more depressed. A spotless house, empty dish basin and laundry done are all necessary, but not above my health. I was not a superhuman, I realized that. I only did how much I could and spent the rest of the time with my baby, who brought joy to my world.
Untreated or lately diagnosed post-partum depression can have serious health implications and can lead to various mental disorders. It is important to analyse it in the beginning so that you can help overcome it with some simple lifestyle changes and measures. If they do not work, one can also reach out for medical help if needed. With so much changes happening in the body after pregnancy feeling down is normal. Be good to yourself. Every mother deserves it. I am glad I overcame my post pregnancy blues and enjoyed the first week of my little one thoroughly.
Read More: 15 Natural Ways To Cure Postpartum Edema