How to Prevent Postpartum Depression
While some mothers may have a family history of PPD, it tends to be the first episode of depression for half of women diagnosed with the illness. There's no single cause for PPD, which makes it all the more difficult to determine whether or not you'll experience it after giving birth.
As with any disorder, there are steps you can take and things you can do to possibly prevent PPD. Here's what you can do to lessen the chances of experiencing PPD post-birth.
Take Time to Rest
Getting the required rest as a new mother isn't easy, but finding moments to catch up on some rest and relaxation will likely lessen your PPD symptoms. Taking at least 15 minutes every few days to take a relaxing bath, read a book, or meditate will do plenty of good for your mental health.
Exercise always does a body good, in more ways than one. Not only does it improve your relationship with yourself, working out increases serotonin levels. Known as a happy neurotransmitter, serotonin promotes feelings of content and comfort. It's also known to reduce depression and regulate anxiety. So get out there and exercise!
Get on a Regular Sleep Schedule
We know that's not always easy, as newborns tend to be a bit all over the place when they sleep, but with a little time and effort, it's possible to make happen. In the beginning, be sure to sleep when your child is sleeping. This will make you feel more well-rested once they wake up and need to be taken care of.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration has been known to cause anxiety, so make sure you're drinking the right amount of water for you each and every day. Your doctor is the best person to recommend how much water that should be, depending on your body weight.
Lower Your Expectations
You are not expected to be the perfect parent the second you bring a child in the world, so we hope you remember that. During those moments you become flustered and feel as though you're doing something wrong, pause and take a deep breath. You're not the epitome of parenthood, so don't expect that of yourself. Do what you can and your baby will be in good hands.
Ask for Help
When things start to get really difficult to deal with on your own, don't hesitate to ask for help. We know it's easier said than done, but your friends and family will be more than willing to offer aid in your time of need. Chances are they've dealt with similar experiences at some point during motherhood, so they'll understand.
Talk to Your Doctor
A tried and true method, always be sure to speak with your health care practitioner about your concerns, symptoms, and everything in between. These trusted professionals know better than anyone what you should and shouldn't do to prevent PPD, so don't hesitate to schedule an appointment or two with them as soon as you can. They'll be your guide through the whole process, offering advice you can't find on the internet. Use them to your benefit, because they are there to help and only want the best for you.