The excitement of welcoming a new baby is one that all women look forward to. The thrill of holding your bundle of joy and looking after her makes your heart overflow with intense emotions. You cannot wait to fulfil your motherly duties and you know you’re going to love each moment.
But then it takes a turn.
An unexpected whirlwind of negative emotion, stress, anxiety and disconnection with your baby occurs. You feel like you are inadequate or not deserving to be the mother to your child, or even start to feel a negative emotion towards your baby.
This is the scary world of postpartum depression. Even the women who suffer from it are terrified of it.
It brings with it a rollercoaster journey of anger, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. You are looking down at your innocent child and thinking, what’s wrong with me? Children are a gift of God, a blessing to be cherished, yet here I am, sinking into a black hole, silently.
I know even the thought of it can send shivers down your back. What if people mock me for being silly? Will they just put it down to me feeling “blue?”
Too many women suffer behind closed doors due to the negative stigma attached to PPD. Many people put other women down to being “immature” or “you’re just hormonal” due to the intense emotions they feel. This is far from the reality of what postpartum depression mothers suffer.
It can be difficult to ask for help when you are overwhelmed with emotion, and stuck between loving your child and wanting the best for them, yet feeling battered and exhausted from the conflicting thoughts which go on in your head. However, it is important to reach out because Mother’s Mental Health Matters.
It is also important to understand that postpartum depression is different from just experiencing baby ‘blues.’ A diagnosis can be made if a mother is feeling more than ‘blue’ even after 2-3 weeks after childbirth. Medical consultation is necessary in order to have a clinical diagnosis of PPD.
Symptoms may include; feeling over anxious about baby’s health, loss of appetite, consistent mood swings and in severe cases even wanting to cause harm towards baby.
These are a few ways to help you deal with them:
Speak to a close, trusted individual about your emotions – bottling up the feelings makes the overwhelming power in your head feel worse. This includes speaking to your partner about how you feel in your journey of motherhood.
Scheduling time out for YOURSELF – I know that sounds crazy, how can you have personal time when you have to constantly feed, change and put a baby to sleep? It’s possible! Ask a relative, friend, or a nanny to look after the baby while you get some personal time, that could include getting a manicure done or catching up on uninterrupted sleep. Remember, the smallest actions make the biggest difference.
Getting sufficient nutrients from your diet and vitamin supplements – this is crucial for your health. Lack of important vitamins, minerals, and omegas -3s can have a HUGE impact on the functioning of the brain. This in return impacts the level at which PPD affects you.
Exercising– this ties in with the health aspect of PPD. Exercising releases happy hormones that can help your body feel relaxed and help you to deal with the anxiety which comes with PPD. Also, exercise can physically help your body relax from the soreness and tiredness felt due to the responsibilities with a small baby.
Counseling – seeking medical help is crucial if PPD is causing you to feel overwhelmed to the extent that you cannot function properly, are unable to eat or drink and feeling extremely low.
It is very important that you understand that postpartum depression is a part of your journey where you are at, it doesn’t define YOU as an individual. Never hold yourself down for feeling in a particular manner and always seek out for help when you need it. Never feel ashamed because mother’s mental health matters! A healthy mama is important for a happy, bubbly baby.
Always remember, YOU are your baby’s world. Their life is INCOMPLETE without you my dear friend, so love yourself, cherish yourself for being the superwoman that you are, you got this!
Disclaimer: All information stated is of my own opinions and should not be taken as a replacement for professional medical advice. For all medical conditions regarding mental health, clinical advice and appropriate diagnosis is recommended.