What is Postpartum Depression?
Many women deal with postpartum depression after their pregnancy. It plagues women with feelings of sadness and anxiety when it should be a time of joy. Many women feel so exhausted that it prevents them from being able to care for themselves or their families. After childbirth, the hormones estrogen and progesterone shoot up, which may be the cause of the changes in mood. Many new mothers also do not get enough sleep, which could also cause exhaustion and feelings of sadness. Dealing with postpartum depression can be hard, but it possible. There are a lot of symptoms of postpartum depression to look out for. Some symptoms include:
- crying for no reason
- feeling moody or irritable
- oversleeping or not being able to sleep
- Losing interest in hobbies or fun activities
- Stomach or muscle pains
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Avoiding friends and family
- Struggling to connect with the baby or form an emotional attachment
- Thoughts about harming oneself or baby
What to do
It is so important that postpartum depression is not left untreated. If any of these symptoms are present it is important to talk to a healthcare provider. Only they can diagnose a woman with postpartum depression. Once diagnosed, they can prescribe either counseling and therapy or medication to help. If left untreated, postpartum depression can last for months, or even years and continue to affect the health of the woman.
Other Ways to Help
Once diagnosed and receiving help, it also important for women to take care of themselves and build a bond with their baby. One way to do this is to eat food or take supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which many believe to help lower the risk of postpartum depression. It also important for women to make sure they are getting enough sleep and sunshine. This is easier said than done, but by making it a priority, women will be able to take better care of themselves and their babies. One great way to fight depression is to exercise. Slowly begin to exercise a few days after giving birth and work up to a normal level. Many women even walk or run while pushing their baby in a stroller. Another problem many women face after pregnancy is feeling lonely. While it may difficult, it is important to try and find a good support network. Having supportive friends, family, or even coworkers can make the world of a difference.
Dealing with postpartum depression is no easy task, but can be done, especially with a good support system. The most important thing a woman can do is contact her healthcare provider is she or someone else notices any of the symptoms mentioned earlier. The health of her and her baby are important and should not be left untreated. To make sure you are getting the vitamins your body needs before, during, and after pregnancy, check out our liquid prenatal vitamins.