Overcome Postpartum Depression

Edited by estrella sacragon, Anonymous, Lynn, Nerissa Avisado and 1 other

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A new baby! What shall I do?

Having a new baby around the house is an extremely overwhelming experience

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especially for first-time parents. And while some families can easily and effortlessly adjust to the coming of a new member, there are also some that need a lot of help in settling into their new routines now that a brand new member is added. With all these changes happening, everything can be overwhelming. And this is where post partum depression begins to set in, especially for some new moms.

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Post partum depression is one medical concern that should be taken seriously. Symptoms of this type of depression include anxiety, mood swings, being irritable, restlessness, and becoming too obsessive. With all these alarming symptoms, post partum depression must be professionally dealt with. Post partum is called "post partum" simply because this shows itself right after or soon after you have given birth to your baby.

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If you feel like you are going through post partum depression, you have to submit yourself to a medical professional who can immediately advise you on how to deal with your depression accordingly. Below are four helpful ways that may be of great help to a mother who is going through post partum depression while she is simultaneously receiving professional medical treatment.

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How to Overcome Depression during Post Partum

  1. 1
    Take Good Care of Yourself.
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    After you have given birth to your baby, one important thing a mother should not overlook is to take care of herself properly. When you are a mom, you tend to easily put your wants and needs on the back burner because you end up getting too focused on your little one. However, it is extremely important to take into consideration that for you to proper and give the care your baby needs, you need to be in your best emotional state possible. This means you need to have enough sleep, eat when you are hungry, making sure you eat the right kind of healthy foods, and believe in yourself as a mom.
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  2. 2
    Share Your Feelings.
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    The worst thing any new mother can do if she is suffering from post partum depression is try to keep everything to herself - her thoughts, her anxieties, her fears, her concerns, and her confusion. It is important and healthy for a mom to talk through doubts and feeling not only with your doctor, but also with your family members and friends. Today, we have extended abilities in forming relationships and support groups via the Internet. Whether you choose to completely share what you are feeling in person or over the Internet, what matters here is that you allow yourself to talk through your emotional state.
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  3. 3
    Get Support.
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    No one needs to go through post partum depression alone. With hundreds of avenues of help for mothers these days, feeling isolated and alone must never be your position. You need a strong support group.
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Post partum depression is a serious medical issue that should be given the right undivided attention. If you think you are suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about it.

How to Overcome Depression During Pregnancy

The birth of a newborn can trigger a lot of powerful emotions, from joy to excitement to fear and anxiety. However, this can also result in something that you least expect — depression. Studies show that up to 20 percent of women deal with depression when they are pregnant. And most often times, this depression is simply mistaken as mood swings that are most common to pregnant women. But if this depression is not treated, you and your baby may be at risk for certain complications.

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If you are showing signs and symptoms of depression while you are pregnant, it is very important that you consult your health care professional. And while you're at it, you can also try following these few simple steps that can greatly help you keep your depression at bay while you are infanticipating.

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  1. 1
    Try to Build a Strong Support System.
    If you are having depression during pregnancy, the best solution is, of course, to seek the help from licensed professionals. However, it is just as important to have a little extra support once in a while. Do not hesitate calling your friends or family, especially when you are down. Talk to them about your frustrations, your fears, your inhibitions, and whatever it is that's been bothering you. Whether you are single or in a relationship, having a solid and strong support system to be with you during your pregnancy days is vitally crucial. Especially when you are in your time of need, don't let your pride swallow you whole. Lean on your friends at this point in time because next to your doctor, only they can understand and embrace fully what you are going through.
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  2. 2
    Stay Active.
    There is a very popular misconception among pregnant women that they can't indulge themselves in physical activities because they are pregnant. This is actually far from the truth. Pregnant women must always stay active, all throughout the course of their pregnancy. because this does wonders for your mind and body. Experts say that when you are doing regular exercises when pregnant, you get to boost your self-esteem, combat your depression, and eventually lose stress. If you have your exercise routine already, you can still continue working out. But for any modifications, make sure you discuss this with your doctor. On the other hand, if you have not yet established a routine, start by taking frequent walks. Doing little exercises can help you go a long way, as far as dealing with your depression is concerned.
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  3. 3
    Pamper Yourself.
    A lot of women are having a very hard time adjusting to all the physical changes accompanying pregnancy. After all, nothing is more depressing than seeing parts of your small body expanding at exponential rates, right? At this point, do not deprive yourself from indulging in small luxuries that can greatly give back the self esteem you badly need. Treat yourself to a fancy haircut or a day at the spa. Or buy those wayfarers you have been eyeing for months. Take time to pamper yourself because by the time you have your newborn in your arms, finding the luxury of time to do all this pampering is next to impossible.
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How to Treat Post Partum Depression Using Natural Methods

Being depressed can significantly make you feel so helpless and hopeless. People who are suffering from post partum depression are bound to feel more depressed for longer periods of time. If you are dealing with depression brought about by your post partum blues, you should always stop telling yourself that you are hopeless. Why? Because these days, along with the right therapy and proper medications, there are different approaches you can take to fight back your depression.

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Changing your behaviors, your lifestyle, your physical activities, and even your thinking are all considered natural treatments for depression. If you want to learn and know more about the many natural methods for depression to help you feel better, below are some helpful tips.

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  1. 1
    Get in a Routine.
    One psychiatrist and medical director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at the UCLA said that if you are suffering from depression, you need to have a routine. Depression strips away your life's structure. One day of depression melts into the next, and the next, and so on. By setting a gentle daily schedule, you can actually start to get yourself back on track. Although this will take some time, the effect you achieve is somewhat helpful.
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  2. 2
    Set Proper Goals.
    When at times you feel downright depressed, the feeling of inadequacy is common. You will always feel like you cannot accomplish anything at all, and this can make you feel even worse about yourself. To help you push back, start setting daily goals for yourself. Your goal must be something that you know you can succeed at, like watering your plants every day. As you begin to feel better, you can then start adding more challenging daily goals.
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  3. 3
    Do Exercise.
    By doing exercise, your feel-good chemicals called endorphins are temporarily boosted and this can give long-term benefits, especially for people suffering from depression. Doing regular physical activities can encourage your brain to have itself rewired in more positive ways.
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  4. 4
    Eat Healthy.
    There is no magic diet that will help fix depression and anxiety. However, watching what you eat is generally a helpful idea. If too much depression makes you feel like you want to overeat, take total control of your eating habits so you will feel better. Although nothing is ever definitive at this time, there is evidence showing that foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (tuna or salmon), or folic acid (avocado and spinach) can help ease depression.
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  5. 5
    Take Ample Rest.
    Depression will make it so hard for you to get a good night's sleep, and without enough sleep, you are only making your depression worse than ever. So what can you do about it? Start by doing some changes in your lifestyle. Try to practice going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Try not to take afternoon naps. Take out all possible distractions in your bedroom like TV and computers.
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Post partum depression is something to be taken seriously. Today, medications and natural remedies are readily available for patients to consider. Thankfully, more and more patients have learned how to successfully handle their post partum blues.

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How Post Partum Depression is Diagnosed

No actual test can provide a definitive explanation that someone is suffering from post partum depression. Instead, health care professionals diagnose this illness just by gathering comprehensive family medical and mental health history. Most sufferers actually benefit if they allow a health professional to take into account their entire background and life.

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The background checks include, but are not limited to, the patient's gender, cultural and sexual orientation, religious or ethnic background, and socio economic status. Some physical examinations may also be conducted by a health care professional, along with laboratory tests to completely evaluate the patient's overall health. These tests will also help in identifying the mental health of the sufferer.

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Non-Drug Treatments for Post Partum Depression

With a staggering one in eight women affected by the dreaded post partum depression, this condition is one serious problem that should not be taken lightly. And while seeking help from medical practitioners is the best solution, there are other non-drug treatments you may want to try for this type of depression that have been proven practical and beneficial to new mothers. However before you do any new regime, it is always best to consult to your doctor first. Here are some of the most helpful non-medical ways to battle your post partum anxiety.

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  1. 1
    Proper Breathing Techniques.
    If you think proper breathing techniques will only help you as you go through labor pains, think again. There are lots of breathing techniques you can use in day to day life that can help you bring yourself to a more peaceful place. When you do proper breathing, you eventually reach a relaxed state, which then decreases your heart rate, calms down your breathing, loosens your muscle and stabilizes your blood pressure.
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  2. 2
    Do Some Exercise.
    Getting yourself into a fitness routine will not just help you get rid of all that leftover baby weight. Exercises can also help you clear your mind. At least one health expert has said that exercise can help women to feel better about themselves, melting away all the adrenaline brought about by anxiety. With proper exercise, this can help relieve muscle tension and encourage better sleep. This is also known to promote good well-being by releasing endorphins, the brain's chemicals that are associated with feeling good.
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  3. 3
    Have the Right Support Groups.
    Sometimes, just knowing that you are not alone with your condition can greatly provide some lift to your spirit. There are lots of support groups for PPD today. The Postpartum Support International is a good choice because they understand the importance of friendship and communication, especially when you are in such a difficult time. They also offer a lot of valuable resources that include a complete list of help centers in your locality to education for friends and families, and health care specialists of women greatly affected by post partum syndrome.
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  4. 4
    The Bright Light Therapy.
    The Bright Light Therapy is surprisingly a good intervention for women suffering from post partum ailment. There have been studies that show about the rate of production of serotonin and how it is directly related to the duration of bright sunlight. You can buy portable light boxes that can be conveniently used at home. Medical experts also agree that this is also a good option for pregnant women because it is easily accessible and can be extremely well-tolerated, plus safe for breastfeeding moms.
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  5. 5
    Proper Nutrition.
    Most of the time, moms are so concerned about making sure their baby is well fed, forgetting that she also needs to feed herself. Basic daily nutrition can give you a normal blood sugar level and this will help you achieve a more stable mood. Aside from having enough levels of magnesium and calcium in your body, you should always keep yourself well-hydrated as well to help you ease your anxiety.
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The Dangers of Post Partum Ailment

After you give birth to your newborn, your body becomes flooded with specific hormones that are designed to change your body from your pregnant state to you post-pregnancy state. Generally, it took your body nine long months and a couple more weeks to prepare your baby, and it will take a few more months of time before you can return to your normal pre-pregnancy shape.

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When your body is rushed with different hormones, not only will these provide a lot of helpful functions. But also, these hormonal changes can greatly cause your emotional symptoms that may somehow feel like you are having severe pre-menstrual syndrome. As this happens, you experience a mix of emotions - you feel on edge, you feel down most of the time, and your mood swings are indescribable.

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You may even feel overly-fatigued until it reaches to a point when you feel generally overwhelmed with the whole process. This is now where hormone-induced depression comes into the picture - the post partum illness - and this normally passes within weeks a few weeks.

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  1. 1
    Understanding Post Partum Syndrome.
    A lot of women get post partum ailments, but only very few of them are willing to pay a visit to their doctor for further discussion, thinking that this depression is just normal and can get better over time. Post partum disease, when left untreated, may become severe and can even interfere with your capacity to bond with your new baby. In turn, this can possibly affect your baby's development, considering the fact that your bonding is critical to your child's emotional state. Worse, your baby's behavioral issues with sleeping and eating may be compromised, and you may find it difficult to soothe your child because of the lack of emotional attachment.
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  2. 2
    The longer you leave your post partum syndrome untreated, the longer the depression lasts.
    In some severe cases, the risk of developing post partum syndrome is possible, and this can put you and your baby in a dangerous situation. Thus, do not think that your post partum ailment can easily go away over time. You need to see your doctor and submit yourself for possible treatments to help you return to your normal state.
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  3. 3
    When recovering from post partum illness, it also helps that you include emotional and physical recovery.
    You can do this by having adequate rest and ample amounts of sleep. When your baby is asleep, grab the chance to get some sleep as well. You should also get your daily dose of exercise. Walk a bit each day while your baby is secured in a baby sling with you. Eat healthy and nutritious foods because you need to nurture yourself to fully recover. When you are on the road to recovery, try to set realistic expectations and try working around the house. Take some time for self care. Indulge in a long shower, get dressed, and pamper yourself once in a while. Finally, the support and companionship from your family, partner and friends can help you a lot. Call on them and allow your support system to walk you through the whole recovery period.
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What are the Main Causes Post Partum Depression?

For any mother, having a baby is very stressful. No matter how much a mom-to-be looks forward to it, or how much you unconditionally love your child, there will really come a point when you feel tired and so stressed about having a baby. But don't worry. Baby blues are perfectly normal. However, if you notice no signs of improvements weeks after giving birth, then you are now suffering what they call a post partum syndrome.

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Post partum illness can greatly interfere with your ability to take care of your child properly. That is why it is urgently important to get professional help right away, so you will be able to get back on the road to a happy motherhood.

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What are baby blues? After you have your baby, you expect yourself to be happily enjoying mommy-hood. You expect to celebrate the coming of a new member into the family. But instead of feeling happy about it, you somehow feel sad and you just want to do nothing but cry. You don't understand why, after months of preparation for excitement and joy, you find yourself so exhausted, unhappy, and anxious. Like any mom, you may not be expecting all these negative feelings. However, mild depression and mood swings are actually very common, especially in new mothers — so common that it has its own name - the baby blues.

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Causes of Post Partum Anxiety

Studies show that the majority of new mothers experience symptoms of baby blues, including difficulty sleeping, sadness, moodiness, appetite changes, irritability, or concentration problems. All these symptoms normally show up just days after giving birth. Baby blues are generally normal. Experts say that post partum stress is probably caused by major hormonal changes that happen following birth. If you just gave birth and you are having these baby blues, there is actually no cause for undue worry. Once your body's hormones level out, you'll feel better.

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Postpartum Depression: Signs and Symptoms

Post partum anxiety is a very serious problem, and one that must not be ignored. However, one typically cannot easily distinguish the difference between baby blues and post partum. Initially, post partum depressions are somewhat similar to the normal baby blues. In fact, they share similar symptoms, like crying jags, mood swings, sadness, irritability, or insomnia. The main difference though is that in post partum disorder, you also have more severe symptoms like suicidal thoughts or the inability to properly take care of your newborn, and most of the time, these symptoms last longer.

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Post partum depression normally sets in soon after you give birth to your child. It will then gradually develop for several months. However, there are also cases where post partum comes on suddenly, and in some mothers, the primary signs do not appear until a few months after they have given birth. Post partum illness is a condition that should not be taken lightly. Patients should immediately seek professional help so as not to increase the problem.

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What is Post Partum Disease?

Post partum depression is the most common health problem closely associated with childbirth. Post partum anxiety affects about 13 percent of women within four weeks of giving birth. In the United State, this type of depression occurs after one out of every eight deliveries, and affects about a staggering half a million women every year. Also called a major depression with a postpartum onset, this type of condition causes women to have delusional thoughts after giving birth.

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Contrary to what most people perceive, post partum depression is not an illness exclusively experienced by mothers. Fathers can suffer from this illness as well. In reality, post partum affects to as many as 10 percent of new fathers. Symptoms in men include having difficulties in taking good care of themselves, as well as of their children. Sadly though, 50 percent of individuals suffering from postpartum depression are never detected at all, which then results in devastating outcomes both for the patients and their families. For instance, it was postpartum psychosis that triggered one mother, Andrea Yates to drown all her five children back in 2001, and it was the same with Susan Smith, who drowned her two sons because of this illness.

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The Signs and Symptoms of Post Partum Ailment

Common symptoms of postpartum anxiety begin within four weeks after a mother gives birth to her baby. These symptoms include feelings of emptiness, severe sadness, frequent crying, or emotional numbness. There are also those that my feel angry and irritable all the time, and others have the tendency to abruptly withdraw from their relationships with friends or family. Sufferers of postpartum also experience inner pleasure if they try to keep themselves from their normal activities.

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Furthermore, people with postpartum depression also experience some trouble sleeping, constant tiredness, overeating, sudden loss of appetite, a strong sense of inadequacy or failure, intense anxiety and concern about their newborn or the lack of interest in their baby, and worse, suicidal thoughts or fears of harming the child.

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On the other hand, postpartum psychosis, although it rarely happens and is deemed a severe type of postpartum anxiety, has symptoms that include delusions or false beliefs, hallucinations (some mothers hear voices or see things that are not actually real), thoughts of doing harm to the baby, or severe depressive symptoms.

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Recent edits by: Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Anonymous

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