Pregnancy can be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, but of course, has its challenges as well. It is shown that 1 in 8 women experience postpartum depression after giving birth. There are elements that can cause drastic changes in a woman’s life, especially in physical and emotional health. Some physical changes include fatigue and abdominal pain. Emotional changes can consist of mood swings and/or feeling withdrawn from family and friends. An important key factor is to know that postpartum depression can happen to anyone. Here are some steps that you can take to help in your recovery:
Nutrition: Having a well-balanced diet can help with controlling mood swings. Consuming non-nutritious foods can result in a lack of energy and lower self-esteem. Avoiding sugary foods such as sodas, ice cream, and highly processed boxed foods can be beneficial in lowering your blood sugar levels. A substitute for this can be complex carbohydrates like whole grain (oats, farro, barley, etc.) which provide a better foundation of energy.
Rest: Women who have postpartum depression often struggle with maintaining a balanced sleep pattern. A step that you can take to help control this is to rest when your baby sleeps. Even if you cannot fall asleep, laying down in a quiet place can do your body and mind wonders. You are not only helping yourself, but your baby as well by sustaining a relaxed state of mind.
Communication: Women who are always putting others first can struggle when it comes to asking for help about themselves. Allowing yourself to open up to family and friends can be a prominent source of emotional support. Even if they cannot help solve the problem right away, expressing your thoughts can ease any distress. You may even be shocked to find that they have gone through an experience close to yours.
Community: Groups can be a wonderful experience for new mothers. When going through a change in life, it can be hard to put yourself out there and make new connections with people. By joining a community it can provide a specific level of support that can be hard to find. Learning about other women and the experiences they have gone through can give you hope and reassurance that you’re not alone through this journey.