No doubt that pregnancy is one of the most joyful experiences any woman could have, but for some women it can be very hard time due to the hormonal and emotional changes that happen in a new mom’s body. Postpartum depression is one problem that some women have to deal with. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition where the new mom experiences some form of depression after childbirth.
The levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body fluctuate dramatically after delivery. These hormones are linked with neurotransmitters that affect a person’s mood and the chemical fluctuations can increase the risk of postpartum depression. Ten to 15 percent of women experience major postpartum depression that can occur anytime during the first year. Along with consulting your doctor, there are 5 healthy habits you can adopt to fight and prevent postpartum depression.
1. Get Proper Sleep: Sleep is highly essential for a new mom. It may seem hard for a mom to get enough amount of sleep, but poor sleep makes depression worse. Poor sleep leads to significant alterations in brain neurotransmitter functioning, which is one of the reasons behind depression.
2. Exercise: During pregnancy and the postpartum period, it’s important to exercise. This increases serotonin blood levels, which can help you decrease anxiety and feel better emotionally. Try walking, swimming, or yoga. Remember that it’s more about moving and feeling good than pushing yourself and burning calories. A study of more than 1,000 mothers found that those who exercised before and after the birth of their baby tended to feel better emotionally and were more social than women who didn’t.
3. Reduce Stress: Try to incorporate stress-reducing practices into your daily life. Meditation and breathing techniques can help you manage stress and face your new routine in a more peaceful way. Even a few minutes of meditation twice a day, or taking time to breathe deeply and consciously, can make a huge difference.
4. Don’t Feel Guilty: Feeling guilty is very common among women with PPD, because having a baby is supposed to make you feel happy and fulfilled, but instead you’re feeling sad and depressed. Guilt is a very negative and harmful emotion and generates a lot of doubt about your new role as a mom. Know that you didn’t choose to have PPD. It’s not your fault.