5 Ways to Overcome Postnatal Depression Naturally
Research has shown that 80% of mummies who have given birth may suffer from baby blues. According to Mayo Clinic, baby blues typically begin with the first to three days after delivery, and may last up to two weeks. However, around 20% of these women may have postpartum depression. If you are a new mom and you are feeling down and not feeling sure of yourself, then you may be suffering from postpartum baby blues which commonly include mood swings, anxiety, crying spells and difficulty in sleeping.
Here are some tips that you can apply to overcome postpartum depression.
Watch a sad movie and have a good cry.
After childbirth, your hormones would be at its peak and this would cause you to feel very emotional. Your body will be working to get back to normal and you may feel terrible with your postpartum body. Watch a very sad movie on your phone or laptop while baby is asleep so that you can have a good, heartfelt cry. The additional hormones can be flushed out through your tears.
Get Enough Rest
Proper rest helps the body to rejuvenate and work at its optimum best.When you sleep, the body repairs itself and gets over the adverse effects of depression. Sleep relaxes your brain and calms your mind.So get all the help you can in looking after your young one and take the much needed rest. Put a family member or partner on baby duty and have some ‘me’ time. If you can’t find anyone to help you, just nap while your baby is sleeping.
Create a Care plan
A few weeks before you give birth, sit down with your husband and the main caregiver who will be helping you to care for you and your baby during your confinement. This main caregiver could be a confinement nanny or your mother or mother-in-law. Align your expectations with your husband and caregiver. This care plan would include whether baby will be fully breastfed, what happens if you have breastfeeding issues, whether baby will be co-sleeping and who does most of the household chores such as cooking and laundry. Do not be hard on yourself if some of the expectations that you have set for yourself and baby do not work out.
Eat healthily and take a 5 to 10 minutes walk at least once a week.
Healthy foods boost your nutritional status and wards off the tiredness. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, then it becomes all the more important to eat the right foods. Bring your baby out for a walk at least once a week as fresh air and nature will help you to feel better about yourself and motherhood.
- Limit the number of visitors during the first few weeks
It is important for new mummies to limit the number of visitors during the first few weeks after birth as mummy and baby would be adjusting to each other. Visitors would give well-meaning advices to first-time mummies. However, not all of these advice are helpful. Some would make us feel terrible as mummies, so invite visitors only when you feel ready to entertain well-meaning advices.
As mummies adjust to their new roles and learn about their babies, do not expect yourself to be able to adapt immediately to your new role. It takes time to adapt to motherhood and having a baby. Do remember that babies would wake up every 2 to 3 hours for milk and in the early days of motherhood, there is no such thing for babies to sleep through the night. For mummies who are breastfeeding, having your baby sleep next to you would help you to have a good night sleep and feed the baby at the same time. For mummies who are bottle feeding, do ask your partner or family members to prepare the milk for night feeding so that you are able to get some sleep. Getting as much help as possible is very important. Relax, and enjoy motherhood as much as you can.
Hafizah Rafie is a Childbirth Educator, Breastfeeding Counsellor and a Postpartum Doula.
- Watch a sad movie and have a good cry.