A baby is a bundle of joy with a big responsibility that can put you on an emotional rollercoaster. It is not easy to take out time for yourself, you are deprived of sleep as a result new mothers are vulnerable to have mood swings and undergo stress or depression. It is a common postpartum symptoms that most of the women may experience.
There is a sudden change in hormones after a baby is born. The hormonal disturbance when accompanies with stress, lack of sleep and tiredness can be challenging. All these are common symptoms but only for a week. If problem persist beyond a week you probably are suffering from postpartum stress or postpartum depression.
How do I know if I am suffering from postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a serious health problem that need to be looked after. The symptoms becomes severe to an extent of self-damaging and a feeling of not being able to take care of the baby. Symptoms of postpartum stress are –
What causes postpartum depression?
There are various factors that contribute to postpartum stress and depression.
Change in hormones after a baby is born – There is a sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone hormones after a child is born. The low level of thyroid hormone may cause tiredness and stress. There might be change in blood pressure, metabolism may be affected and all these can be a reason for postpartum stress and depression.
Change in physical appearance – some women get too much worried of their bodily changes and this causes stress as they feel they are not sexually attractive and have a feeling of worthlessness.
Sleep deprivation – new mothers find it difficult to have a good sleep and lack of sleep may lead to postpartum stress and depression.
Severe postpartum stress or depression may lead to a rare condition called postpartum psychosis. This requires the mother and a baby to remain in a hospital. The symptoms develop in 2 days to 2 weeks of time.
How to manage postpartum stress?
We shall discuss here some of the tips that can help you manage postpartum stress and depression.
Eat a healthy balanced diet
Eating a healthy food makes you feel good and provides the nutrients required by the body. Planning your meal ahead helps you choose nutritious food.
Take out time for yourself
Being a new mother is juggling between baby care, household chores and other responsibilities. Let someone responsible in the family take care of your baby for an hour or two. A little time for yourself can help you cope up with postpartum stress.
You might not get time for this but getting enough sleep is what you need to manage postpartum stress or depression. You can set your sleep timings with your baby’s nap time.
Take help and support
Taking help and support from your near and dear ones relives stress. New mommies are often exhausted and may find themselves in isolation. Staying connected with your friends and families is something that can help you in postpartum stress. Talking to someone and sharing what you experience is a stress reliever.
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself can manage and prevent postpartum stress. It is good for both mental and physical well-being. Taking small simple steps to change your lifestyle can make you feel good. It is okay to skip the household work and prioritise yourself and your baby. Go out for a walk, get some sunshine, try meditation, plan and prepare your meal and spend some quality time with yourself.
Do not neglect the relationship with your partner
After a baby is born you need to take out some time to maintain the bond between you and your partner. Do not stop communication with your partner and taking out 10-15 minutes for each other can make a big difference in relieving postpartum stress and depression
How is postpartum stress treated?
If the above mentioned tips fail to manage postpartum stress you may need medical treatment to manage postpartum stress. Your healthcare provider may recommend marriage counselling, antidepressants and/or hormone therapy.
Give yourself special treatment, take good care of yourself and enjoy your little one reaching milestones. All these simple ways can help you deal with postpartum stress.