Having postpartum depression is when mothers suffer depression after giving birth when it comes to all of the responsibilities that have to endure, having no time to themselves, lack of sleep, and constantly feeling like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. According to a CDC study, one in nine women experiences postpartum depression. By forming a connection with your baby and not being afraid to seek help from your partner, you will be able to bring the joy back to being a mother.
Having postpartum depression is nothing to gloss over as there are changes that can occur to your hormones, your physical health, and can increase your stress levels. After giving birth, women experience a drop in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Thyroid levels tend to drop which leads to fatigue and depression. You could also experience changes in blood pressure, low immune system, and metabolism changes. Postpartum depression can also lead to having low self-esteem in that you have trouble losing baby weight or are still experiencing pain from giving birth. Not getting enough sleep at night as a result of your child’s cries can lead to depression. New mothers can feel heavy anxiety if they are not confident that they know how to properly care for their child.
Postpartum depression can make bonding with your child hard as your depression causes you to negatively respond to your child or not respond at all. This could also mean not interacting with your child, playing with them, reading to them. In the first five years of your child’s life, it is always important to form a bond with them. This bond will ensure how they interact and form relationships with others later in life. This means that when your baby cries, comfort them. If your baby smiles at you, smile back. Bonding with your baby will be a huge benefit to your child and will help release endorphins that will make you happier.
Even if there is a part of yourself that is telling you that you would rather be alone, stay connected to your family and friends. Isolating yourself will only make your depression worse if you feel like you have no one to lean on. Let your loved ones know that you need help and what they can do to better your situation. Share what you are experiencing with one other person and let them know that you are just looking for a good listener instead of judgment. It can help to find other mothers who are feeling the same way as you whether it is in-person support groups or ones online so you can all offer advice on what to do.
It may be hard to want to connect with your partner as it is you who have birth and not the other. You feel like they do not understand what you are going through so there is no point in confiding in them. You may be feeling resentment every time your child cries, needs to be changed or fed. Because you know that it is not the baby’s fault for their behavior, you place your frustration on your partner. Remember that you and your partner are in this together. It is not supposed to be about you raising this baby alone. Tackling these challenges together will make everything easier.
If your partner is angering you and you expect them to help you in some way, communicate with them. Do not expect them to read your mind or already know what you want. It is also important to find time to spend together to better reconnect. You two do not even need to go anywhere, but spending 15 minutes watching a TV show together or snuggling up in bed can make a difference.
It is possible that with a big support system, you could still be dealing with postpartum depression. You can meet up with a good therapist to help you with your marriage or if you do not feel like you have enough support in your house. There are also antidepressants that can help you function properly with your baby and life in general. Make sure that you are monitored by a physician and that you engage in psychotherapy as well. There is also estrogen replacement therapy that is to be used in combination with antidepressants.
It will be difficult to get through postpartum depression if you are not doing anything to take care of yourself. This means exercising at least half an hour a day. You can go on a nice walk around the neighborhood or take your child with you to the park. You can even do yoga at home to help with your flexibility and energy. Exercising is a great way to release those feel-good endorphins ready to make an appearance. Make sure to sleep for seven to eight hours as less sleep can worsen depression. You can tell your partner that you would like to take a nap for half an hour and would appreciate it if they can watch the baby until you wake up. Give yourself some quality time like reading a book, taking a bubble bath, lighting scented candles, or get a message. By taking care of your postpartum depression, you have the chance to be a happy mother towards your child.
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