Postpartum depression (PPD) can be difficult to recognize and symptoms are often mistaken for “baby blues.” Despite the similarity in the symptoms, they are more pronounced in PPD and last much longer, sometimes extending to weeks, months or even a year or longer. Some of the common symptoms of PPD include crying, irritability, disrupted sleep or excessive sleeping, eating problems (too less or too much), sadness, hopelessness or helplessness, severe anxiety, etc.
Women going through the problem of PPD witness major hurdles in doing tasks at home or at work, loss of interest in activities that were earlier enjoyable and social isolation. They also feel worthless and like a bad mother due to their inability to take care of themselves or the baby. Additionally, women grappling the challenges of PPD possess obsessive thoughts about the baby’s health, have either negative thoughts or low interest in the baby, and fear of being alone with the baby.
Avoiding postpartum depression
To have an emotionally healthy motherhood experience and avoid suffering from PPD, it is important to prepare oneself by following the below guidelines:
1. Educating oneself about the symptoms of PPD is the first step toward helping oneself when the symptoms arise. As a result, one can inform the health care practitioners who can help in the recovery process.
2. Sleeping and eating properly is critical to one’s physical and mental well-being, especially during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is well-advised that a mother should sleep when the baby sleeps.
3. Exercise is one of the key ways to reduce the risk of PPD. Even 15 minutes of walking everyday will help a person to elevate his or her mood and make him or her feel better and more in control in terms of both mind and body.
4. Major life-altering actions, such as changing jobs, shifting house, etc., should best be postponed and not be made during or right after pregnancy as it will aggravate the symptoms of PPD. Keeping life as simple as possible would help in faster recovery.
5. Feelings of discomfort should be expressed in the delivery room, such as concerns relating to wanting an epidural and informing the attending physicians about it.
6. It is very important to surround oneself with people who can provide support during childbirth. It could be one’s partner, parent or best friend. One could also consider hiring a professional helper to experience a hassle-free period during delivery.
7. One can keep oneself informed of every possible outcome in the delivery room during childbirth by reading articles, attending a class or speaking to other women about their experiences so that it leads to less trauma.
8. During the postpartum period, a new mother will not be able to do the daily chores, such as cooking, washing, cleaning, etc., as was being done earlier. One would need to arrange people from the immediate circle of family or hire outside help to provide relief from the daily household chores.
9. One should utilize his or her support system to his or her advantage in venting out the feelings when burdened with the overwhelming feeling of frustration or sadness. One should also use his or her support to plan time for reflection in alone or an outing with his or her partner while a parent, sister or friend watches over the baby.
10. Attending a PPD support group helps a person in understanding himself or herself better as he or she would be able to relate with people who have had the similar experience.
Seek professional help
Postpartum depression that can occur anytime during the first year of childbirth. Such patients often need medical treatment. If left untreated, PPD can last for months or years and affect one’s relationship with the child and others. If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health issue, contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline to know more about the rehab facilities in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online to get more information on the treatments for mental health disorders in Florida.