Now that you have delivered a healthy baby, like everyone around you too should be beaming with happiness. But you aren’t, are you? Are you afraid of this new and huge responsibility? Is that it? Is it that simple? Or is it something deeper that even you cannot fully comprehend and understand. Well you can console yourself, as you are not alone at all.
Every year millions of mothers give birth in various parts of the world, and more than half of them feel what you are feeling now, a mix of apprehension, fear, excitement and even anger all rolled into one. Science has given this vague but taxing phase of your life a name, the post natal depression. Like I mentioned before it is known to be common, but what is not known is that why you are suffering from it and someone else is not. It could be genetic, or maybe it just depends on your body’s hormone levels or even your overall body constitution.
Its classic symptoms include feeling alone, lost, crying for no reason, unable to cope with the baby, getting irritated with the baby, not being able to sleep, feeling tired all the time, loss of appetite or the other extreme of eating all the time, and in worse cases even suicidal thoughts. While many of these symptoms are common for all mothers, it is essentially the feeling of being miserable and lost even when surrounded by loved ones that is a dead give-away of this depression.
While medicines can help you along the way, it is your sheer will power that will help overcome this depression. That’s why I have taken the liberty of listing five things that can help strengthen your will power and help you along the path of recovery, so you can truly appreciate the goodness you have been blessed with.
To begin with, take some time out for yourself. I know this is very difficult, given the demands and needs of a little baby and of the various relatives and well-wishers that have suddenly flocked around you. But you need to make time for yourself, for the simple reason that the first step in this curing process is accepting the fact that you have this malady and the fact that you alone can help yourself. So understand that what you are going through is common, so it is not something to feel guilty or embarrassed about. You can conquer it, like everything else in your life.
Having a child may feel like a burden right now, but remember having him/her was a conscious and deliberate decision on your part. And no, you did not make a mistake. No one is born a mother, they become one. In time you too will become comfortable in this new role. Focus on the good things, like the bundle of warmth cuddling next to you. Even though there are lots of people in his/her life, but at this point he/she doesn’t need anyone, except you. You are the centre of his/her universe right now, as you are the only one he/she knows intimately. And you need to cherish that and step up to take this responsibility.
Don’t Bottle It All Up
It also helps to talk about what you are feeling to someone or anyone, it could be an elder, your partner, a close friend or even your doctor. Talking just helps you come to terms with the issues you are facing, thereby helping you better cope with what is troubling you. Never worry that you will be judged harshly on account of what you are feeling, as this is just a temporary phase in your life and shall soon pass.
In no way does this reflect on you as a person. Your loved ones will understand that, no matter what you feel and say and will be supportive, something you could make do with now. So talk openly and freely, get help from your doctor, as trust me your doctor would have seen numerous such cases and will be only too happy to talk you through this phase.
Indulge In Mood Elevating Foods
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In the light of what you are going through it is only fair that you indulge in your favourite foods. But having said that, guard against all those internal voices telling you to binge eat or the exact opposite starve yourself for no real reason. The best way to master these uncomfortable feelings and thoughts is to eat whatever you want, but ensure you eat slowly, frequently and in reasonable quantity. Try to eat loads of bananas and chocolates, as these are proven to enhance mood and so a little bite every now and then should help you stay in good spirits throughout the day.
Also eat loads of fish like tuna and salmon as they contain Vitamin B12, a mood elevating vitamin and many useful omega-3 fatty acids that can help in dealing with depression. Certain fiber rich foods like brown bread and oatmeal help generate neurotransmitters in the body that are ultimately responsible for improving your mood. So eat these in various ways, as often as you can.
Keep Yourself Busy
An empty mind is the devil’s workshop. This adage holds the truest for one undergoing any kind of depression. So instead of lying in bed, thinking worrisome thoughts, try being on your feet, by keeping yourself busy always, so that none of those evil thoughts make a backdoor entry into your already fragile mind. When you find yourself free and being unable to sleep, try taking a slow, short walk in your house or garden.
Step into the balcony, get some fresh air, play your favourite music, get into the kitchen and cook or bake a surprise for your family. The idea is to distract yourself long enough to get involved in the household work again. If you are feeling better, than try doing some basic exercises in the room itself, as any kind of physical activity releases loads of feel good hormones.
Keep The Big Picture In Mind
Lastly, always keep in mind the big picture of your family, as their love and support can help you overcome this and much more. It is true that you have sacrificed your job, your figure, your lifestyle, and to a great extent your freedom, but is also true that you have been blessed with a healthy bundle of innocence and warmth, and that your family is grateful and appreciative of you bringing him/her into this world. Cherish this moment of new found happiness in the form of your little darling, as he/she is solely your creation.
Photo Credit : Pulsetoday.co.uk