What is postnatal depression?
Postnatal depression is common in women after birth and about 1 in 7 women in Australia is affected every year.
It is unknown of the cause and usually last 1 months and up to a year. This kind of depression falls after birth to mothers while adjusting a new born in their environment as it’s a drastic change in their lives with all the hormones being unbalanced and the changes of your body makes it difficult to focus and feel settled.
Mothers who experience the feeling of strangeness and depression is commonly called baby blues and it can last up to 2 weeks to adjust within the environment of having a newborn. This feeling can be; angry, frustrated, emotional, teary and anxious.
Some women after birth have it mild and others severe to the point they can not cope which can affect the health of themselves and their child.
The feeling is strange but it is ok to feel this way however if the doubts and feeling of negativity continues more than 2 weeks then it’s important to seek the doctors or midwife and confront that you are experiencing postnatal depression.
Thus everyone handles postnatal depression differently and it is important that you get help and support during these period by a partner, family members, friends, caregivers and midwife.
Who can be affected by Postnatal?
Postnatal depression and anxiety can affect fathers and non biological parents other than the mother who gave birth. Often fathers do not speak about their suffering of postnatal and reach out for help. Fathers are affected in about 1 out of 10 in Australia that can last up to 6 months or could come and go later in the month.
What are the signs that your experiencing postnatal?
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty bonding with baby and feels guilty/ useless
- Lack of concentration or having unwanted thoughts
- Depression / Fear
- Repeatedly going over thoughts
The mood of Postpartum depressions
How to treat postnatal depression (PPD)/ anxiety
It is all depending on how severity your postnatal depression is will determine what type of method and treatment is most suited.
Supports from families/ friends or online communities
Getting supports from someone dear to you even if it is your partner or close friends, talking to them about how you are feeling emotionally and physically, getting them to listen and pay attention to your doubtful side. Remember they are there to give you support and while listening they can also give positive advice as a lover and friend. It is always good to do a bit of research about the condition of postnatal so your aware of what is happening and feel you are not alone.
Online communities such as; Glow app, Nuture, Pregnancy +, BabyCenter apps have people from all over the world sharing their thoughts, experience of the similar events such Postnatal, birth, depression and anxiety, general pregnancy, period talk and much more topics that your able to share and connect with too. On the contrary it is also with caution to beware of some of the social media of one persons opinion as they can be very judgemental.
Some of the useful links to join the community app download in apple store or google play;
Relaxation and Meditation
Relaxation and Mediation is a good healthy way of relieving stress/ depression and anxiety by calming the mind and body and practising breathing techniques. Listening to calmness of voice or music and meditate will help shift your mind out of everyday thinking. Yoga, tai chi and qigong, Repetitive prayers, breathing focus and body scan are great activities for meditation and relaxation.
Seeking support groups such as; mothers group, social activity groups, a therapist and psychotherapist. They can talk to you and your freely able to share your experience and get social support with useful advice.
Seeking your GP, Obgyn dr, psychologist, psychiatrist helps prevent Postnatal depression with professional guidance and methods depending what is required to stop suffering. This cab be a goal plan, medication/ prescriptions, strategies and support. Being open about yourself to professionals in order to find the best solution.
Eat plenty goodness of food
Try to eat small healthy snacks throughout the day mostly fresh leafy green vegetables/ fruit/ poultry/ dried fruit/ whole grain and oat as your body needs good nutrition to burn energy from the overwhelming period you are facing, regulating hormones and help produce breast milk for the child if breast feeding. After birth your mentally exhausted and the body needs healing which is important to stick to a good healthy diet to promote good healing and stabilise the inner health.
Here is what a healthy meal plan should look like in the table below.
Exercising Reduce Postnatal depression
Exercising promotes stronger muscles, healthy bones, heart and vital organs getting more oxygen to function well and improve digestive system. However after just giving birth it is not recommend to go straight into a heavy workout, rather start light even just a stroll in the park to get fresh air and feel the nature is always a good start. Remember to try drink plenty of water. Those who find water a little boring why not add a splash of fresh cut lemon or orange to give flavour and boost immune system.
Here is a table of what a good timeline should look like to slowly get into a good exercise routine to improve the well being from postnatal depression.