date_range 07 Jun, 2020

Dealing with depression after childbirth

Post natal depression usually appears in the first few days after delivery, and may last only a few days or for a few weeks. Hormonal changes may be one cause of depression after child birth. After delivery, the levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop. The mother experiences a similar change during PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

Exhaustion from strenuous labour, too little sleep, painful stitches, sore nipples, often give the feeling that she will not be able to cope with motherhood and the responsibilities that come with it.

Accept mild depression as a normal part of childbirth and the mother needs to take special care of herself by taking adequate rest, eating a nutritious diet, exercising in moderation and having a social support system.

Trying a nap during the day when the baby is asleep helps. Adequate rest has a major impact on her emotional and physical well being. Babies need well-rested parents to care for them. Accepting assistance from others is sometimes difficult, but she may need to do so to maintain a positive and realistic emotional perspective.

Light exercise can also be helpful, like taking a brisk walk at a pace that slightly elevates her heart rate. Stretching and flexing while playing and talking to the baby will help tone her muscles and the mood may improve as the body starts feeling better.

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