This post is also available in: French
Motherhood comes with so many pros but there are overwhelming moments too. Mainly, giving birth takes its toll on your body and mind. It’s rare that you come out the other side feeling exactly as you did before being pregnant. Normally it takes awhile for your body and mind to adjust to your new way of life, and the prospect of being a new mom can feel very daunting. Add a crying newborn baby into the mix, and it can be especially difficult mentally, leading some new mothers to slip into postpartum depression. You’re not alone if this all sounds familiar, and there are strategies for coping with postpartum depression.
Postpartum Depression: What Exactly is It?
The most accurate description of postpartum depression is that you have feelings of depression that come about because you have just given birth. The weight of this new challenge is bearing down on your shoulders, and you aren’t able to handle it.
Under no circumstances should you feel embarrassed or ashamed to have postpartum depression.
A lot of women go through a slump after giving birth; it’s almost natural to do so. I mean, you’ve just carried something inside you for nine months and then forced the baby out after hours of labor. Then, you have no respite as you immediately look after and care for this small child.
So, firstly, don’t kick yourself for feeling this way. Coping with postpartum depression and any other type of depression can be very hard. The only slightly positive thing for new moms is that you already know what’s causing your feelings. It’s the fact you’ve just given birth and feel rundown, mentally drained, and stressed.
As a result, you can get through this difficult time by addressing the main issues. To help you break out of your postpartum slump, keep reading this guide.
Speak to People and Let Your Feelings Out
I’ll say it again: You needn’t feel ashamed about coping with postpartum depression. Sadly, many moms feel this way.
Thus, they feel the need to hide what they’re going through. They close themselves off from everyone else, and don’t express their emotions. I’m no psychologist, but you don’t need a diploma to tell that bottling your emotions is never a good idea. Ultimately, it will lead to an emotional breakdown, which just makes you feel worse.
Instead, do the complete opposite of bottling up emotions and open up about how you feel to someone you trust.
Talk about what you’re going through. Ask for advice… and help.
There’s nothing wrong with struggling with postpartum depression, and other mothers will relate to it. Speak to friends and family, and they’ll give you the confidence you need to get through it. It’s the little things, like support from you friends. That’s what can really help you.
Alternatively, if you’re really self-conscious about talking to people about coping with postpartum depression, then confide in a psychologist instead. Or, simply writing how you feel down in a diary can be helpful, as can speaking into a camera on your own. Really, anything to get the feelings out of your body can be therapeutic.
Don’t Distance Yourself from Your Child
One of the reasons people have trouble coping with postpartum depression is that they see their child as the problem. They think their kid hates them, normally because they won’t stop crying. This makes you think you’re a terrible mother, and then you start to resent the baby because they hate you after everything you sacrificed to bring them into the world. As a result, you now feel guilty for feeling that way.
So let’s look at that thinking process and point out the fallacies. Firstly, it’s natural for babies to cry. They aren’t fully developed beings, and this world is entirely new to them. So, don’t blame yourself for their crying, and don’t blame the baby either. It’s all part of life, and they’ll soon grow out of it as they become used to you and their surroundings.
Secondly, if you want to get out of your slump, then you need to spend as much time with your child as possible. Coping with postpartum depression means you don’t distance yourself from baby, even though that’s the normal reaction when you see them cry every time you touch them.
So, spend as much time as you can with the little one. And the bond between you two will start to build; it’s a gradual process. You’ll realize how amazing your baby is, and your baby will become so used to you that they’ll cry when you’re not holding them!
Treat Yourself to a Makeover
Let’s be realistic here. You can feel like absolute garbage after giving birth. You look in the mirror and feel like a shadow of your former self. You’ve got the baby weight to lose, but what’s more your general beauty seems like it’s faded away. Is this all in your mind? Most probably, yes. But, there are naturally going to be signs of stress and worry in the lines on your face. A lot of mothers struggle to feel self-confident and beautiful after giving birth, which leads to anxiety whenever they go out. And that ultimately leads to feelings of depression.
Thankfully, the solution is very easy: give yourself a well-deserved makeover!
Completely refresh the way you look. How? You could go to a spa and get pampered with face masks and the whole works. This special day goes a long way to making you feel beautiful in your skin once more.
Or maybe you’ll completely change up your look instead. If you have long hair, do something dramatic and get it cut into a short style like a bob. If you have curly hair, why not straighten it or just do something different? This makes you look and feel like a new person, which can boost your self-confidence. Also, it’s almost symbolic of your move from your old life to your new life as a mother. It signifies change!
Take Up Yoga
Yoga is one of the best things you can do when you’re going through a difficult period after giving birth. This activity is effective for coping with postpartum depression because it addresses so many of the causes of your feelings. You’re carrying a lot of stress as a new mother, you feel ugly because of the added baby weight, and you have so many anxious thoughts swirling in your brain. With yoga, you can address two or all three of these things at once.
You see, yoga is a lot more than doing simple stretches. It’s proven that many forms of yoga help you tone your muscles and get into good shape. This helps address any body issues you have after giving birth.
Not only that, but yoga is so good at relaxing the mind. Many specialists recommend doing yoga if you feel a lot of stress as it focuses on deep breathing and calms the soul. A yoga session helps you get a handle on both stress and anxiety.
While I toyed with the idea of putting points in here about getting fit and de-stressing, then I realized that yoga is an alternative exercise that covers it all. By all means, though, if you want to start to exercise and join a gym, then go for it – with your doctor’s pre-approval for the change to your workout routine.
If you want to practice other means of de-stressing, then that can help you even more. But, if you want something relatively easy that you can do in the home and will benefit you in multiple ways, then yoga is a great choice.
Final Words on Coping with Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is very real, and it affects many new mothers. Remember, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t feel ashamed by this!!
Feeling embarrassment or shame will only fuel your negative feelings and lead you into a deeper slump after giving birth. Instead, accept you’re going through a tough time, embrace it, and then follow the advice in this guide. Use the tips above to help you climb out of your slump and start enjoying motherhood.
This post is also available in: French