What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a severe mood disorder that can debut in the first few months after childbirth – hence its name. This type of depression can also happen after the expecting mother experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth. Postpartum depression makes you feel incredibly sad, worthless and without any hope. For this reason, mothers who are suffering from this type of disorder, despite their best wishes, have trouble caring and bonding with their baby,
For this reason, mothers who are suffering from this type of disorder, despite their best wishes, have trouble caring and bonding with their baby, thus hindering unwillingly their cognitive and emotional development. Though there are many possible theories concerning the factors that lead to the onset of postpartum depression, the scientific world is yet to find a consensus on this matter. However, genetic predisposition and a history of mental illness
However, genetic predisposition and a history of mental illness are oftentimes linked to this disorder.
How To Fight Off And Overcome Postpartum Depression?
There are numerous ways to fight the baby blues; the best and most recommended by the medical community being psychotherapy and medication. If for some reason, you want to explore other ways, then these 6 effective techniques to treat and overcome postpartum depression might be perfect for you:
1. Exercise Is Good For The Body And Soul
There is a lot of evidence that physical exercise is therapeutic. It holds the power not only to help you ladies win back your bodies and shed some extra baby weight but also to change your brain chemistry for the better.
You see, whenever we engage in physical activity of some sort our brain releases a cocktail of hormones that help us deal with the situation. From directing more blood flow to the muscles to raising our cardiac rhythm and using the blood glucose for energy, our bodies know what to do in virtually any situation. However, during physical exercise, our brain secretes one more hormone called serotonin which is, in fact, a mood-enhancer. That’s why we tend to feel really good after a good workout.
2. OTC Supplements
By increasing our dopamine levels, we can truly help ourselves fight off the baby blues. Nevertheless, before you take any over-the-counter dietary supplements such as B vitamins or SAM-e, check with your physician first.
B vitamins and SAM-e have been clinically proven to be an effective way to boost your mood and fight off depression. I can’t stress this enough: Before popping a pill or two, because you think it’ll help you have a better relationship with your baby, talk to your doctor and/or therapist!
3. St. John’s Wort vs. The Baby Blues
St. John’s Wort has been cited in over 30 studies for its incredible antidepressant effect. According to the research, this herb is as effective as a mild or moderate antidepressant. However, due to its strength and properties, St. John’s Wort must not be taken with other medications because it interferes with the way the synthetic substances are metabolized. So, once again, make sure you check with your doctor before you try anything out.
If you’re given the green light, then you can proceed to use it against postpartum depression. The standard dose is 900 – 1,500 mg daily. Time to drink some tea!
4. Overcome Postpartum Depression With Mindful Eating
A passionate nutritionist will always say that the best medicine is food. Of course, they would be right. The first step towards a happy mind and a healthy body is eating good, nutritious food. After all, we all know that sugary, highly processed foods aid depression. So why not start to overcome postpartum depression by eating whole, unprocessed foods that are packed with Omega-3s and all the good-for-you stuff?
Focus on eating more healthily and you’ll reap the benefits sooner than you think. You’ll have more energy, you will feel better, you’ll master weight loss after pregnancy and your mood will improve. A good start would be granolas, whole-wheat toast, organic fruits, and vegetables.
5. Light Therapy
There’s a reason why people who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) benefit so much from light therapy. SAD is a type of depression that, just like postpartum depression affects only some people. Likewise, its mechanism is not yet fully understood.
However, by exposing yourself to a special kind of light that mimics the sun’s rays you can improve your mood and gradually overcome postpartum depression. The theory is that exposure to a certain type of light will activate a brain area that controls circadian rhythms along with melatonin secretion – a special hormone that is derived from the mood-enhancing serotonin. So, if you feel you could use a little extra light to fight off the baby blues, why not give light therapy a try?
6. Work On Your Social Life
One of the things about depression is that it makes it really hard to socialize. You don’t want the company of others because you feel the need to isolate yourself. However, you must break this cycle because postpartum depression breeds isolation and isolation breeds depression. It’s a vicious circle.
For this reason, you should bring more people into your daily life, especially the ones you love. Start small, by organizing a little soiree at home, then gradually, expand by going out with a good friend for a cup of coffee. Eventually, you’ll be ready for a girl’s night, while Daddy babysits the little one at home.
Postpartum depression is a serious mood disorder that can wreak havoc in the lives of its sufferers. What makes it even more serious is the fact that it renders the mother unresponsive to the child’s emotional needs, thus hindering its normal development. Thankfully, there are many ways to help you overcome postpartum depression. Besides psychotherapy and medication, there is a myriad of things mommies can try.
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