Written by Patricia Monson, Guest Blogger
Post-partum depression is something that’s hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it yourself. During my pregnancy, I understood that it existed, but didn’t think it would ever happen to me.
How wrong I was. Post-partum depression hit hard, and I was left wondering how on earth I was going to manage my mental health while caring for the newborn I loved so much. It was a tough process, but I found that the following 4 things were key in managing my depression.
Become Familiar With Your Symptoms & Triggers
Many moms confuse the symptoms of post-partum depression (PPD) with the side effects of parenting a newborn. Fatigue caused by sleepless nights might cause you to feel overwhelmed or cry during the day, but it might also be a sign of depression.
Get to know the common symptoms of PPD so that you and your loved ones can learn to spot them in your own life. You should also keep an eye out for triggers that might cause symptoms or make them worse. I found that my most telling symptom was a loss of appetite, which then led to guilt about how I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed to feed my daughter.
Blend Lifestyle Remedies with Professional Help
PPD isn’t something you should ignore. It can be a very serious problem and will make your first months as a parent extremely difficult.
I found that the best way to manage my PPD was to combine lifestyle changes and awareness of my symptoms with professional help. Please do not hesitate to seek help from a qualified therapist if you are experiencing depression as a new mother! You may benefit from talk therapy or medication.
Find Out What Treatments Work For You
Everyone’s PPD experience is different. You might find that you have physical symptoms like headaches (I did!) that go along with irritability, guilt, anxiety, and overwhelm.
It’s important to take some time to figure out some treatment options and try them out. If they don’t work right away, don’t get discouraged. You just need to experiment and find what works for you.
Find Support Groups – Personal or Online
From my experience, I know just how alone post-partum depression can make you feel. By connecting with other moms who have been there, you can get advice and support when you need them. There are lots of support groups out there, whether on the web or in your local area. Don’t be afraid to reach out so you can share stories and ask questions.
Moms who are struggling: I see you. I know you have your own personal journey for dealing with post-partum depression, but I hope that what I’ve learned will help you.