How to Destress

A Joyously Dark Time - How To Deal With Postpartum And Still Enjoy Your Baby

Postpartum depression (PPD) is often referred to as “baby blues” and not understood by the majority of society, many times least of all the new mother! More than 50 percent of women who give birth experience this form of depression in some degree. The length of time that postpartum depression lasts can vary from a few weeks to months or longer. A woman’s body is going through immense hormonal changes and this may one of the factors that initiate postpartum depression. Add to that the new mother is sleep deprived, the baby is crying and requires what seems like non-stop attention and the normal reasoning can be thrown right out the window. Usually the new mother’s body rebounds, the hormones level out, the routines are figured out and everyone is smiling and hopefully sleeping again.

However, its often seen some new mothers and even mothers with more than one children who do not follow this pattern. During pregnancy, they experience a severe from of postpartum depression. Along with a new mother, mothers with children experience anxiety, insomnia and irritability along with difficulty concentrating and a deep overwhelming sadness that she can’t seem to explain. Gradually, this will magnify all the other symptoms over again and the mother in a horrible cycle of depression. Other factors that result in this form of depression include lack of family support, possible history of depression either in herself or other members of her family and negative experiences in her life. Taking antidepressants will help the new mother respond well and help balance those hormones once again.

Along with mild and moderate forms of postpartum depression approximately one percent of women will experience postpartum psychosis which, as its name suggests depression with psychotic tendencies. Women who have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have a risk of this type of postpartum depression. This type of postpartum depression is what most people hear about in the news and receives the greatest attention. Women who suffer from this form of depression are more likely to cause harm to their children and/or themselves because they have hallucinations that their child/children are evil in some manner and they are trying to save them. Prompt treatment is imperative in these situations.

Coping strategies for the new mother coping with postpartum depression:

Ask for help in cooking, cleaning – don’t be afraid to get some help then you can spend time with your baby.

When your baby is sleeping don’t stay up and read you lie down also and get some much needed and deserved rest.

Expectations that you must do everything now – throw that out the window.

Have someone watch your baby and you take some time for yourself or with someone special

There are three phases for treatment of postpartum depression:

Acute – the goal is to bring the symptoms into remission

Continuation – the goal is to stabilize your mood and hormones, aid in recovery, and prepare a long-term plan to prevent repeat occurrences.

Get help as soon as feel the baby blues have lasted too long or get worse. There is nothing to be ashamed about and treatment will help you regain control quickly. Do what is best for you and the bond with your new baby. The medications and resources available today have greatly improved. Getting quick and aggressive treatment in the beginning will bring you to a better place and then it is about maintenance.