Having a baby is such a joyous and beautiful time in a parent’s life. Having this new little person in your life, that you so carefully created, is such an amazing thing. However, sometimes having a baby can create changes in mood for new moms and they may develop postpartum depression.
If you have experienced persistent changes in your mood, you may be experiencing postpartum depression and should speak to your doctor or health care provider.
In addition to your doctor's support, here are five ways to help you with manage the postpartum period.
1. Recognize the signs
Postpartum depression is different than general depression and ‘baby blues’. The main differences is that symptoms are more severe and persist longer than those associated with ‘baby blues’. If you think you may have any symptoms relating to postpartum, speak with your doctor or care provider.
2. Create a routine
For those of us that have had a baby, we know that no one else’s schedule matters except baby’s, but after the first couple days, you should be able to work out a general routine with your new baby. Your routine should be flexible enough to work with yours and your baby's changing needs.
Even if it’s just a walk. It’s not going to be easy to get out of the house when you’re feeling down, but getting those endorphins going can help boost your mood. Go at your own pace and don’t try to push yourself too hard in the beginning. Give yourself time to recover and take it one day at a time.
4. Lean on your partner or a supportive friend
Allow your partner or a trusted friend to be involved and be there for you as you adjust to life with a new baby. You don't have to do this on your own.
5. Allow people to help you
There is a popular phrase, “it takes a village” when it comes to raising a child and this couldn’t be more accurate. Typically during this time, new parents are flooded with offers from family and close friends with sincere desires of helping out. Don’t feel like you have to turn them away.Take someone up on their offer and let them bring you dinner, watch the baby so you can get some rest for an hour or so, or just be there as a listening ear.
Many women feel ashamed about having postpartum depression. If you are struggling, reach out. You may be surprise to learn that there are other moms just like you.