Coping with Postpartum Depression

postpartumdepression

The excitement of bringing a new baby into the world brings a roller-coaster of emotions; from happiness to complete overwhelm and for some even a deep depression.  Postpartum depression is believed to affect 10% of women. Hormonal changes, lack of sleep and the learning curve of having a new baby can lead to what feels to be unmanageable stress.

While it’s quite understandable that you feel exhausted and emotionally drained, the symptoms of postpartum depression last longer than the typical “after baby blues” and may include some of the following symptoms: severe mood swings, loss of appetite, insomnia, withdrawal from loved ones, low libido, suicidal thoughts and difficulty bonding with your baby.

If any of these symptoms linger and interfere with your daily tasks, it is important to contact your physician for advice and relief.  Even though you may feel tempted to isolate, reach out to your loved ones for support and carve out time each day to nurture yourself with some of the following:

Bodywork- Both Acupuncture and massage offer deep relaxation and can help to stimulate feel good endorphins.

Good Nutrition- Eat a balanced protein carbohydrate diet with comforting, warm foods like soups, steamed vegetables and grains to help your body renew and regenerate.  Including omega 3 fatty acids in your diet can also help to combat postpartum depression.

Outdoor exercise- A little bit of fresh air and sunlight (with it’s vitamin D benefits) can go a long way to helping you feel better.  Without over-exerting, see if you can go for a gentle walk with your baby each day.

Rest, often- Take every opportunity you get to rest.  When your baby is taking a nap, it’s a great time for you to lie down too.  Resist the temptation to overload your to do list and create a simple routine that feels manageable.  Remember, your body is going through a lot of changes after birth and this is your time to regenerate.

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