There are some very simple steps a new mom can take to alleviate the intensity of postpartum depression. First and foremost, a new mother needs to not panic when she finds herself feeling depressed. There are several things happening that contribute to this. One being that her body was carrying and sustaining life to her unborn child for the past nine months an now her womb is empty. The hormones have to adjust to the new change as well as all the organs that have to go back in place. Remember, the organs were pushed and pressed on during pregnancy and now they must move back into their proper place or shrink back.
Once she has had her new born baby, she may get trapped inside the house for days on end. It is very important that she go outside and get some fresh air. If not a walk, go on a ride around the block. If she is unable to go outside for a medical reason, it is important to sit by a window and look outside and really have a look at the trees, birds, sky and flowers etc. This will get her “out of her head” and place her attention on outward thoughts versus being stuck on her “unhappiness.”
It is equally important to take her prenatal vitamins as recommended by her doctor. Her body needs to recover and supply milk so it is important that she gets the right nutrients. While I was pregnant and still now that I am nursing, in addition to my prenatal, I take Omega oils, folic acid and Cal Mag but you may want to ask your doctor what is right for you. It is extremely important for new mom to not use her depression as an excuse to eat a pint (or gallon) of ice cream. This will only make her feel more helpless and depressed! When new mom is feeling depression, this is the most crucial point to eat healthy and avoid caffeine and sugars! Eating healthy will make mom feel in control of her life and better about herself.
New moms need to make sure they are drinking lots of water. Water I am convinced is a miracle. This will keep mom hydrated, producing milk and believe it or not, help her loose that extra baby weight. Water flushes the toxins from the system, helps maintain digestive health, reduce fluid retention and provide more energy.
Lastly, she needs to sleep. It is tempting to get caught up on emails or other “important” activities while baby is sleeping but really sleep is so valuable to heeling a body and depression that it should take priority! New mom needs to take care of themselves and sleep is the best gift a new mom can give herself. I say Happy mom makes for even happier babies!!