As per, the WHO report, approximately 22% of India’s new mothers suffer from postpartum depression in the early stages of motherhood.
When taking care of their newborn, most new moms feel anxious, sleep-deprived, frustrated, detached and overwhelmed. This is known as ‘baby blues’, which lasts for a few weeks. Most women go through baby blues and it is normal. However, for some women, the symptoms last longer than a few weeks and may get worse. In a situation like this, one might be suffering from postpartum depression.
Early detection and symptoms
The journey for every mom is different and so are the signs and symptoms of PPD. However, there are few common signs you shouldn’t ignore, such as:
- Spending days crying
- Experiencing mood swings
- Irregular sleep pattern
- Eating too much or too little
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling detached from your baby
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Loss of interest in everyday activities
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, seek help and guidance to overcome postpartum depression. Professional treatment does help most women feel like themselves again.
PPD should be considered as an emergency and not something that will just pass. There are also things you can do from the comfort of your home to help cope with everyday life:
- ‘Me time’ for your spirit – Motherhood can bring a drastic change to your routine but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the things you used to before. Check-in for some ‘me time’ every once in a while and seek help from your loved ones whenever required. You aren’t on this journey alone; remember ‘teamwork makes the dream work’
- Exercise for your body– With a newborn and mental exhaustion surrounding you, it becomes important to take your mind off and channelize that anxiety elsewhere like going for a walk, or simply doing your favourite dance routine. Don’t exert yourself but even a 15 minutes workout daily can do wonders for your mental health
- Eat healthy for your soul– Even the simplest things like eating right or cooking your favourite dish might seem like a task, but don’t let your mood dictate your eating habits. Eating nutritious foods can uplift your mood to a great degree and give you and your baby the nutrients required
Postpartum depression is not a sign of weakness or an emotionally absent mother, it’s just a complication of giving birth due to hormonal changes taking place in your body.
Find your rhythm to overcome this and embrace the beauty of motherhood to the fullest.