Fight those Baby Blues Before they Get out of Hand
For all the women who are undergoing postpartum depression it is necessary to understand that this is just a phase of life and with the right attitude and approach it can be mitigated easily and swiftly
Babies will wake you at odd hours at night and bother you with their needs. So do not expect yourself to feel like you are in love with your child at every single moment of the day. However, if you notice yourself pulling away too much, it can be a sign of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs right after childbirth. Although it is fairly common it can be very debilitating too. Hence Saturday Fare spoke to a gynaecologist and a counselor to understand the condition better and suggest some informed remedies.
"Firstly for all the women who are undergoing postpartum depression it is necessary to understand that this is just a phase of life and with the right attitude and approach it can be mitigated easily and swiftly. Because of the immense biological, emotional, financial and social changes that new mothers go through, feelings of anxiety and emptiness are common. If you treat yourself well, these feelings can be short-lived and you can make the transition into joyful parenting much more easily and quickly," says Dr Parul Deka, a young gynaecologist.
So what are the indications that you may have postpartum depression? "Uncontrolled crying is actually a sure and telling sign. If you find yourself bursting into tears frequently, it could be a sign of your changing hormones. This should subside after a few weeks. However, continuing to cry to the point where it disrupts your life can indicate a more serious problem," she shares.
Anxiety is the second telling sign according to Dr Deka. "While some amount of worry is natural when you are newly responsible for a dependent child, this feeling shouldn't overwhelm you," she shares. Some mothers undergoing postpartum depression also experience immense irritation while attending to the new-born. "Babies will wake you at odd hours at night and bother you with their needs. So do not expect yourself to feel like you are in love with your child at every single moment of the day. However, if you notice yourself pulling away too much, it can be a sign of postpartum depression," explains Dr Deka. After the intense physical exertion of pregnancy and labor, exhaustion is a normal side effect. If this low energy goes on for more than several weeks, however, you may need to take measures to heal beyond just resting. "And this too can be a sign of postpartum depression," she adds.
So how does one manage postpartum depression and eventually heal? "Go outside by yourself for as long as possible at least once a day. Whether you realize it or not, your body and mind need the outdoors. So when someone is there to be with the baby in place of you, enjoy the opportunity to walk around outside," says Ruhi Kashyap. a wellness counselor. She continues, "Dance and listen to music daily. No matter how you feel, you can intentionally celebrate your new life with music and dance, right in your own home. Take frequent breaks from the endless work of changing diapers, feeding and other household chores to play your favorite symphony or song, and sing along and dance in your home."
Inorder to combat postpartum depression, self care is important and doing one's work too is very important. "Use flexible scheduling to your advantage at work. Your career pursuits are important to both you and your family, so continue to engage in them with an eye towards more flexible scheduling. You can get small amounts of work done during the baby's naps and while family members and friends are enjoying their new loved one. Whenever you can, contribute to your workplace team from home. Online tasks and projects make this much more feasible than it once was," says Ruhi.
Sharing some other tips for self care, she says, "Turn off all technological devices and go to bed early in the evening for adequate sleep. Avoid screens as soon as possible before or after dinner so that you can relax and be prepared for a peaceful night's sleep. A fatigued mother is more likely to be depressed and moody, transferring that energy to the child, so get at least seven hours of sleep every night, consistently. Also if you need, take naps while your child sleeps during the day as well."
In addition to these measures, meditation and yoga can go a long way in ushering mental health and warding away the postpartum blues. "Meditation will calm your nerves and make you connect with your inner self, helping you overcome guilt and other troublesome feelings as you adjust to a completely different lifestyle as a parent. On the other hand I must say that yoga postures not only helped me during my pregnancy but afterwards as well. Relaxing to the body and the mind, these mild exercises are more than worth the time it takes to practice them," Ruhi concludes.