You’ve just brought home your new baby and are feeling the excitement and joy over this new addition to your family. Shortly after though, you can’t deny the blue mood you are feeling. Nothing seems to pick you up anymore and you may even find yourself crying for stretches of time. What’s going on? Could it be postpartum depression? This condition occurs more often than many women would like to admit, so it’s important that you arm yourself with a few facts about this so you can get the help you need.
Here are five things to know about postpartum depression.
No Two Women Experience This The Same
Know that there is no ‘standard’ for how you will be feeling when suffering from postpartum depression. Some women feel very sad, others feel anxiety. Yet others may simply feel a fogginess in their brain and not feel quite like themselves. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you aren’t feeling quite right, you need to address these feelings.
Support Will Make A Difference
As much as you can, get support from others around you. Whether this is your significant other, your parents, or your friends. Ask people to help you. If you are trying to take on everything on your own, this can lead to an increased risk of postpartum depression because not only will you feel overwhelmed, but you may feel socially isolated as well.
In many cases, medication may be required for those suffering from severe postpartum depression. Don’t feel ashamed to see a mental health counselor. Remember, you are doing this not only for you but also for your baby. You want to be in your best shape to care for this newborn and you can’t do that if you aren’t healthy.
Exercise Can Help
Another thing to consider is the fact that regular exercise can provide mood-boosting benefits and help get you out of your funk. While you shouldn’t avoid medication thinking exercise will cure everything, if you aren’t getting active, try and get outside for a walk with your baby at least once per day. The sunshine will also help ensure you are producing enough vitamin D, which is also important for warding off feelings of depression as well.
Take Time For Yourself
Finally, work on not feeling guilty for taking time for yourself. You need to care for your own body if you can care for that of another. This means eating right, sleeping enough (or as much as you possibly can!) and getting the exercise as just noted. Put these things on your top priority list so that you can feel your best at all times. While it may be hard to bring yourself to eat right – or anything – if you are experiencing postpartum depression, for example, it’s a must that you try. It will only help you feel better in the end.
So keep these few points in mind and know that you aren’t alone. Millions of women suffer from this and it doesn’t’ make you a bad mother. It just means you need to seek proper treatment to care for your situation.
[Image via Getty]