How To Maintain Your Mental Health After Having A Baby?
Birth and early baby blues can affect your emotional and physical health severely. Here are some tips on how to maintain your mental health after having a baby.
Having a baby is one of the most joyous and exciting moments in the lives of new parents. New parents often go through mixed feelings of joy, pride, anxiety, and fear all jumbled up together. Are you having baby blues and why are you having them?
Just because it's a joyful moment does not make it unusual for a new mom to feel worrisome and anxious. Baby blues is a term often used for signs and symptoms of irritability, feeling emotional, and bursting into tears without any reason a few days after giving birth to your baby.
Approximately 80 percent experience baby blues. It is often due to hormone level fluctuation such as estrogen and progesterone. It requires no treatment although talking to someone helps as it cures as soon as the hormone levels stabilize.
How To Know You Are Having Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is different from baby blues as baby blues occurs in only the early weeks after birth. Every 1 in 8 women goes through postpartum or postnatal depression.
Although postpartum depression occurs after four weeks of birth and may last for longer than baby blues, you should address it if you feel vulnerable, helpless, worthless, guilty, hopeless, or sad after a week or two of having a new baby. It is important to seek mental health advice for it or else sometimes the patient or the new mother goes into an extreme mood disorder called postpartum psychosis.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
Before we dive into what are the causes we all need to understand that depression is a mental health condition and not a weakness. So just like any other medical health condition, seeking advice and treatment for it is necessary to cure it.
Personal history or family history of depression or mental illness
Sometimes there is a history of the patient going through depression in her early life years or during pregnancy, or other times depression is prevalent in some families. It all adds up to be one of the important contributing factors in a patient's present mental health condition.
Anxiety and depression related to being a new parent
New parents go through a surge of emotions related to the new baby. The constant worrying thoughts about child health and hearing things on how to care for your baby; all sum up to form postnatal anxiety. New mamas often reported feeling depressed when worrying about the new baby and how to look after the new family member.
Trouble sleeping or physical health issues
A new baby knows no difference in what is day and night and caring for a newborn can therefore be tiring and exhausting. New moms do not get enough sleep or rest throughout the day. This makes them feel more irritable and can be a big cause of postpartum depression.
Jump In your hormones
Most women feel sad and moody after giving birth. Mostly because of the sudden change in hormone levels before and after the birth of the baby. These hormonal changes contribute to the mood swings and post-natal depression that a new mom goes through after birth.
How To Deal With Postpartum Depression And Improve Your Mental Health Condition?
Just like any other mental illness, postpartum depression also needs to be addressed and treated symptomatically. Here are some of the steps we can take to aid postpartum depression and its consequences.
Getting enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep is the root cause of all the irritability and mood swings. New moms must get enough rest and a good amount of sleep. Falling asleep at night can be good for the new mom's mental health especially in the prevention of depression.
Reach out to mental health services or a healthcare professional
Depression is a common mental illness. Just like other common mental health conditions you should seek advice and consult a mental health professional.
Mental health support groups
Human services have made a lot of impacts nowadays and seeking help from a health professional or being involved in mental health support groups for women or new moms can be supportive. You can share your experience with other adults who have already gone through it. They will understand where you are coming from.
If your family is supportive and caring then it solves more than half of the problem. Family members are a major part of our life and if your family is supportive and comforting then there is no other better thing than that.
Addressing your worrying thoughts
Addressing that you are not feeling right is the first step towards better mental health. Then reach out to a mental health professional and clear up all your medical questions about your child's health and confusions regarding motherhood. Having in-depth information can be beneficial in alleviating anxiety and depression.
Healthy nutrition and environment
Eating a healthy and nutritious meal is important for new moms. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce anxiety and postnatal depression. Plus, maintaining healthy physical health, emotional wellbeing, and an environment like going out and having fresh air also helps decrease stress.
Self-care and breaks from baby
In the early days after giving birth, life with a new baby and caring for your baby can be stressful and exhausting. In times like these, you need to take breaks from your baby sometimes. Also, address your own needs for mental peace.
Practicing gratitude and laughter
Yes, having a baby is quite overwhelming and demanding, but practicing gratitude and laughter can work like magic and will help you enjoy those moments with your new baby.
A new baby with itself carries joy, pleasure, and endless glee but it can be quite overwhelming at times. Many mothers get depression after childbirth and their mental health can affect their life and their baby’s life too.
So seeking out mental health treatment and breaking the taboo of mental health issues should be the right step to take. You can enjoy the littlest and most beautiful moments of your baby to the fullest. "if mama is happy, the baby is happy".