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You are not alone! - Managing post-partum depression

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While the long awaited arrival of a bundle of joy in the family leads to an initial feeling of euphoria and exhilaration, for some women, such joy may soon be replaced with what we call “baby blues”.

Baby blues are partially hormonal in nature, but are also related to anxiety that comes along with becoming responsible for a new and tiny living being! Experts suggest that baby blues must however be differentiated from what is officially called post-partum depression (PPD). Baby blues tend to be mild and women can cope with these with effective support structures and emotional help from the partner, other members of the family, and friends.

However, the more severe version, PPD, could need professional help. The first step is to diagnose PPD. Certain overlapping symptoms of baby blues and PPD are sadness, mood swings, bouts of crying, and sleeplessness. Symptoms specific to PPD include lack of interest or negative feelings towards the baby, loss of pleasure, lack of energy, and feelings of worthlessness and guilt. Causal factors for PPD include stress and hormonal changes. PPD needs to be tackled for the welfare of both the mother and the baby. Studies suggest that babies whose mothers have PPD can, as a consequence, suffer from childhood depression and also from behavioural, social, emotional, and cognitive development related issues.

For tackling PPD, the first step is for those with PPD to realize they aren’t alone. In the United States, a 2013 study estimated that around 14% of mothers of newborns suffer from PPD. Apart from seeking professional help, mothers of newborns can deal with PPD by ensuring that they have sufficient nutrition (includes meals on time) and sleep.  Investing energy in interpersonal relations including with the spouse and by joining a support group of other newborn mothers is also recommended. Exercising, yoga, and pranayam are also suggested as stress busters that can effectively combat PPD. Most importantly, do not hide or suppress your feelings but cry when you must and confide in friends, family, and your partner. 

posted Feb 16, 2016 by anonymous

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Having a baby can make a woman feel like an emotional train wreck. One minute she is ecstatic and in love with little one, and the next she may be breaking down in tears. Many women experience major mood shifts after childbirth, ranging from brief, mild baby blues to the longer-lasting, deeper clinical depression known as postpartum depression. This disorder affects one in seven mom and
women who have a history of anxiety or depression during pregnancy or at some point in their lives are more at risk.

Postpartum depression should not be taken lightly. It’s a medical symptom that can include feeling anxious, depressed, irritable, restless and obsessive and it needs expert medical help. In case of postpartum depression, it’s best to talk to a professional who can make an accurate diagnosis and can suggest medication and therapy.In addition to getting treatment for postpartum depression, following are small things you can do to make it easier to get through this difficult time.

Talk It Out - Rather than keeping it to yourself, it’s healthy to talk through your feeling and doubts with not only your physician or a psychologist, but also your friends and family members.

Take Care of Yourself - In order to give adequate care to your little one, you have to be in the best emotional state possible. This means getting enough sleep, taking a hot shower, relaxing bath, walk around the block or visit

with a friend and believing in you as a mother.

Eat healthy foods - Have a balanced diet with food that will give you energy and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Exercise - Endorphin boost you get from a workout has been shown to alleviate depression, so go to the gym or a walk with your baby.

Realistic expectations - Don’t expect to be the perfect parent; many women with postpartum depression ought to be perfectionists and as a result impose unrealistic expectations upon themselves.

Join or Start a New-Mothers Group - Knowing that others are experiencing the same blend of joy and frustration will put your mind at ease

Breastfeed except… - Women who breastfeed for two or four months are less likely to have the disorder, however, breastfeeding can also make postpartum depression worse if you don’t want to do or you’re unable to do it.

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Dealing with pre-baby blues

Awareness of post-natal depression is on the rise, but women are seldom screened for anxiety or depression during pregnancy

Keep depression at bay

Some tips to reduce the risk

> Look after yourself; self-care, both physical and emotional, is vital even when there are no problems. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Find some time each week to do something you enjoy—it improves your mood and helps you relax. Get adequate sleep.

> Be open-minded about options of delivery: C-section or normal; epidural or not; breastfeeding or not. Studies have shown that in the long run, especially when it comes to the baby’s emotional development, the choice doesn’t really matter; what matters is the mother’s emotional state and comfort with the choice she made. 

> Be wary of family members and friends ready with critical or commanding unsolicited advice. 

> Increase positive influences. Find online support or spend time with friends who are supportive, helpful and offer constructive criticism, if any. 

> Exercise alone can reduce the risk of emotional disturbance by 30%. Mindfulness (focusing all your attention on one activity instead of multitasking) on a daily basis has been shown to significantly curb anxiety and depression. 

> Do not try to do everything yourself. Let family and friends help you with housework, shopping, etc. 

> Discuss any worries you may have with your family, your physician or a gynecologist.

More detail can be found here

We don't provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.