How to help yourself
If you are a mother struggling with postnatal depression there are some ways to help you make yourself feel better. One important thing it to recognise that there is always support available, and that you can be helped to get better and more like the old you. Below are some things you yourself can do to try to overcome this affliction:
Talk to family and friends
Talking things through with loved ones can help you identify your fears, concerns and feelings. Talking to your family or friends about your feelings can in some ways be as effective as taking antidepressants. Your family and friends will reassure you that you will get better and should hopefully be able to offer support with your new baby.
Try to get some Rest
It may be difficult to get rest in the early weeks after birth but try to make some time when your baby is sleeping. Perhaps your partner can look after the baby while you have a relaxing bath or a nap. This can help you to refresh you.
Postnatal depression does not last forever
Try to remember that you will soon be on the road to recovery. Through professional support and treatment your individual problems can be resolved. Try not to focus on your illness and instead focus on positive things in your life such as your family and friends.
Follow a well balanced diet
You may well be familiar with the saying, you are what you eat. And it is indeed true that following a well balanced diet can help you to feel better. Following a well maintained diet not only promotes a healthy and fit body but also boosts your confidence.
Exercise can truly aid with postnatal depression, as it keeps you keep fit and releases endorphins (feel good hormones). This will help you feel better and allow you to get your post pregnancy body back. You may not feel like doing any exercise at all but you could do subtle exercise such as brisk walking.
How you can help a partner with postnatal depression?
Your baby has arrived and you feel as if you are on top of the world, but your partner appears to be unhappy and depressed. The truth is that many women suffer from postnatal depression and it does not mean that they do not love their baby any less than you do. Postnatal depression is an illness which needs treatment and it is best to make sure your partner sees a doctor. However, as a partner there are also some things that you can do to help during this tough time, as described below:
- Reassure her that you are there to support her through this difficult time. Make time to listen to her feelings.
- Go with her to the doctor to discuss symptoms. Encouragement is essential. It is best to make sure that the physician is a sympathetic doctor who will make her feel more comfortable and willing to talk.
- Try to take some time off during the first few weeks or get friends and family to help out with the new baby. Being left alone with a newborn can be daunting especially if it is your first child.
- Try to show your affection by giving hugs.
- Arrange to take your baby out or get a family member to babysit. A break to take your wife out or leaving her to do something she enjoys like having a bath can work wonders.
- Let her know that there is help and support out there and that she will get back to her old self in no time.
- Do not push your partner to get back to normal. You have to remember this is an illness and she cannot help the way she feels.
Post Natal depression Guide
- Post Natal depression
- What causes depression?
- What are symptoms of depression?
- How is postnatal depression diagnosed?
- What steps can I take if I have symptoms of depression during pregnancy or after childbirth?
- Do mothers suffering from postnatal depression harm their baby?
- How is depression treated?
- Can fathers get postnatal depression?
- Psychological Treatments for Depression
- Treating Postnatal Depression with St John’s Wort
- How to help yourself