Self-Help for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a serious medical condition and should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness, psychosis or something equally appalling.

Most moms suffering from postpartum depression tend to hide what they really think and feel – their symptoms so to speak. And that’s not right. What you should do is to be honest with yourself and the people around you. Tell them about what you really feel. This way, you and your family can seek help for your condition and work together to cure your symptoms.

Health.com suggests the following self-help activities for treating postpartum depression:

  • Schedule outings and visits with friends and family, and ask them to call you regularly. Isolation can make depression worse, especially when it’s combined with the stress of caring for a newborn.
  • Eat a balanced diet. If you have little appetite, eat small snacks throughout the day. Nutritional supplement shakes are also useful for keeping up your energy.
  • Get regular daily exercise, such as outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve mood.
  • Get as much sunlight as possible-keep your shades and curtains open, and get outside as much as you can.
  • Ask for help with food preparation and other daily tasks. Family and friends are often happy to help a mother with newborn demands.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Avoid using alcohol or other substances to feel better (self-medicating). Talk to your doctor if you’re having symptoms that need treatment.
  • Don’t overdo it, and get as much rest and sleep as possible. Fatigue can increase depression.
  • Join a support group of new mothers. No one can better understand and support the challenges of caring for a new baby than other postpartum women. 

For more information on support groups, talk to your doctor or see the Web site of Postpartum Support International at www.postpartum.net.

Source: Health.com