Women Become More Prone To Postpartum Depression When They Don’t Do This 1 Powerful Thing
Postpartum depression is a common phenomenon that affects many women post-pregnancy. It is generally marked by extreme mood swings, deep feelings of sadness, feelings of guilt, frustration, and helplessness.
There are 10 million cases reported each year in India and one in every 7 women is suspected to have postpartum depression in the USA.
Even though the numbers are shockingly large, the stigma and lack of awareness around it make it difficult for women to reach out for support and take therapy to resolve postpartum depression.
Most often the symptoms of postpartum depression are brushed off as ‘hormonal changes or just a phase that will pass away. It is true that postpartum depression is caused due to fluctuations in hormones but that still has a big impact on your psychological state of mind.
Bindiya shares her personal experiences with us in dealing with postpartum depression.
“A few days after I came back from the hospital, I just did not feel like myself. I did not even feel like taking care of my children. I just wanted to lie down and stare at the ceiling. I did not know what was happening to me and I just felt so guilty”
Bindiya and her family’s confusion is common given that women are expected to push down their own needs and continue with their roles and duties even at the cost of their mental and physical health.
“I followed the routine, changed the diapers, gave him burps but… Nothing made me happy. I really wish I had taken help a bit earlier. I would have been able to enjoy those precious days with my baby” continues Bindiya.
Sometimes we get caught up in the middle of a storm. Waves after waves come and we lose ourselves in the helplessness and hopelessness that things would never get better.
Postpartum depression or any other mental health disorder can feel the same. It drains our mental energy and we are no longer in the state to actively take steps to improve our mental health hence we get stuck in a vicious cycle of feeling worse about ourselves.
Therefore, a renowned Clinical Psychologist who has reached in India, as well as different cities of Canada, talks about the importance of self-awareness and self-care to reduce the chances of going through postpartum depression or any other mental health issues.
“The storm will come. That is the reality of life and something we cannot change. But what we can do is prepare for the storm beforehand so that we can manage our responses and emotions in healthy ways rather than being consumed by them completely”
In the case of postpartum depression, women need to take good care of themselves during pregnancy and even after it. Women who continue neglecting their needs and keep attending to their duties without much time to themselves become more vulnerable to postpartum depression.
A wife and a mother have many responsibilities to tend to but in fulfilling those roles they often forget to take out some time for themselves and do things that they enjoy or activities that make them feel at peace and satisfied.
“I learned to take care of myself after I joined therapy. Before I became a mother, I used to really enjoy getting my nails done. Then I never really made time for that ever since pregnancy. Now I take out some time every once a month and just cut some slack in the nail salon. Honestly, before therapy, if I did something like this I would feel guilty and selfish but in therapy I understood that there is nothing wrong with loving yourself and taking care of yourself too” opens up Bindiya.
The most important and fruitful self-care practice is to become honest with your needs, wants, and desires.
If you need rest, take it.
If you need to take out some time away from your children, take it.
If you are not comfortable with certain things, convey it.
Suppressing your feelings will only bottle them up and then lead to a bigger explosion later on. On the other hand, when you accept them, you can create a space of positivity and growth. This space will allow you to take better care of your children without compromising your own happiness.
Never lose your independent identity.
You were a woman before you became a wife and a mother. Remember and hold onto things that you like doing, that make you.. You. Dedicating time and effort to maintaining your self-identity has many long-term benefits. It boosts your self-confidence and builds a healthy physical and mental state of mind.
Emotional, financial, and self-independence build resilience and strength within you. A strong mindset will protect you from getting lost in the anxiety, and feelings of sadness and help you to cope with the many challenges that come after pregnancy.
You can reduce the signs of postpartum depression by practicing consistent self-care, mindfulness, and dedicating enough time to yourself. These practices are proven to help women avoid postpartum depression or any other mental health concerns that may come with major life changes.
Reach out for support.
Mental health may not be as tangible and apparent as physical health but it is as important, perhaps even more important than physical health. A healthy mind can fight many physical illnesses and overcome life challenges.
On the other hand, declining mental health will impact all areas of your life including relationships and career.
“When I started taking therapy, I did not only see positive changes in me but also my relationships. My marriage also improved and I could be a better mother without that constant cloud of depression and stress over my head” concludes Bindiya.
When you observe your mental state of mind deteriorating then do not ignore the signs and reach out to a therapist who can help you to understand your feelings and gradually help you to reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Prioritizing your self-care practices and being more open to therapy support is the biggest protection against postpartum depression or any other mental health issues that you may have.