How to Beat Postpartum Depression

ppd treatment

So its Mother’s Day week and while most of us our preparing to celebrate our Motherhood there are some amazing mom’s who are suffering, usually silently!  A while back we posted an interview with Ms. Lauren who had also suffered from postpartum depression and was challenging us all to ask the question #howsmama to anyone who had just had a baby.  Did you challenge anyone? Go HERE to take the challenge for yourself!

Angela of Natural Born Mommy also experienced postpartum depression and provides us with 6 FAB tips that helped her through as well as a free workbook below.  Enjoy!

Blessings,

The MAK Team


How to Beat Postpartum Depression

By Angela Baguet

It can happen to any of us.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a therapist or if you have been around kids your entire life.  Postpartum depression is a real thing that many mommies go through.

But did you know that many of us mommies who don’t get to the point of depression still experience postpartum blues?  It’s a normal thing, but it still feels awful.

My experience with postpartum depression

I was a therapist before I had my daughter, but that didn’t stop me from experiencing intense postpartum blues.  Although I didn’t get to the point of being clinically depressed, there were days when I felt really down and worthless.

One important thing to know about postpartum depression is that it can affect us all differently.  For me, it wasn’t so much that I wasn’t bonding with my baby or that I was overwhelmed with mommy-hood.  Instead, it was more about how much my relationship with my husband had drastically changed.  It was about people suddenly being very opinionated about my life, yet at the same time, I felt like I didn’t matter to anyone.  And it was about my body image, something I had already struggled with prior to pregnancy.

These feelings persisted on and off for about a year after my daughter’s birth.  What’s interesting, however, is that I was assessed for postpartum depression only once throughout that entire time period.  The assessment came from my child’s pediatrician a week after I had my baby, not from my own doctor.  So I think it’s safe to say that there needs to be more awareness about postpartum depression.  But what is postpartum depression exactly?

Postpartum blues versus depression

Women who have more than just postpartum blues may have a hard time functioning.  They might struggle with caring for the baby or for themselves.  They may experience intense anger or anxiety, as well as significant changes in eating or sleeping habits (which can be hard to assess because us mommies don’t get much sleep to begin with).  In some cases, moms may even have thoughts of hurting themselves or the baby.  If you are experiencing any of these things, please seek support from a therapist.  You are so worth it, Mommy!

So how do you fight the postpartum blues/depression?  Follow these tips!  They will take some time and effort.  But again, you’re so worth it!

How to beat postpartum depression and the postpartum blues

  1. Get support

Even if you feel worthless, you are incredible!  So please seek support from a therapist, especially if you think you have more than the postpartum blues and are on the verge of depression.

Don’t try to go it alone.  Talk to your spouse/partner or whoever will listen (I’ll listen!).  For me, talking to my mom and having date nights with my husband was a big help.

  1. Know your triggers

I started to notice some environmental conditions that preceded my blues.  For instance, if I didn’t get enough sleep or ate a bunch of sugar the day before, I noticed that this affected me physically.  I felt drained, which felt a lot like depression, so then I would feel depressed.

If you know what triggers your depression, then you can find ways to work around those triggers.  It can be hard identifying triggers, so I recommend keeping a journal, even if you only write a couple words per day.

  1. Change your thoughts

Behind depression, there are often extremely negative, irrational thoughts driving our feelings and behaviors.  For example, I thought “Things are never going to be the same with my husband again, and it’s just going to get worse as we have more kids.”

These thoughts are not helpful!  So you need to change them!  Challenge those thoughts and replace them with better thoughts.  Instead, I should say to myself, “Our relationship has changed, but that’s part of the adventures of growing old together.  We’ll learn to adjust.”

  1. Identify coping skills

What sort of things help you feel better when you are feeling sad, depressed, anxious, or angry?  Make a list, and use those ideas when you feel depressed.  Try to come up with a nice variety of coping skills.  For example, identify ideas to use at home versus in public, as well as ideas you can do while the baby is awake versus napping.

  1. Change your behaviors

Changing your thoughts can be really hard to do, especially if you are a person who is used to thinking negatively.  But you can also work on changing your behavior.  By changing your behaviors, you realize that you start to feel better, which in turn helps you change your thoughts.

So how do you do this?  Use some of those coping skills that you identified above.  Plan and schedule things to do throughout your day in order to keep the good feelings going (You can download my FREE WORKBOOK below to help with this).  I know… plans go out the window when you become a mom.  But take little baby steps.  You can plan something as simple as lighting a candle that uplifts you or drinking a cup of tea.  For me, diffusing essential oils and having a cup of lavender tea during the baby’s naps helped me to feel as if I was treating myself.

  1. Prepare yourself

If you know you are susceptible to postpartum depression and are having another baby, do what you can to prepare yourself for the second time around.  Your experience and your emotions can vary from one child to another, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

 

Download my Free FREE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION WORKBOOK HERE to start feeling better with just a few simple steps.

I hope this post was helpful to you.  Please share it so that other mommies out there can benefit from it!  And thank you to Mom Always Knows for giving me the opportunity to share this information with you!

Have you experienced the postpartum blues or postpartum depression?  If so, what did you do about it?

 

Disclaimer: Although I was a therapist before I became a stay-at-home mom, I am not your therapist (Although, I’m sure you’d be wonderful to work with!).  Reading this post does not enter you into a client-therapist relationship with me.  The content in this post is meant to be used as a general guideline and has not been individually tailored to your needs.  If you are in need of therapeutic services, please seek the support of a mental health counselor.

 

Angela Baguet

Angela is a wife and stay-at-home mommy to a beautiful little girl.  Prior to becoming a mom, she worked as a child mental health therapist.  Her blog, Natural Born Mommy, teaches mommies about parenting and mental health.  She focuses on natural, organic solutions and also writes about other fun mommy things like planning kid parties.

54 replies
  1. Keren Charles
    Keren Charles says:

    Oh wow! This is one of the things that is not talked about that much when it comes to pregnancy.I am not a mom yet, so it is a bit scary to know this can happen. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips.

    Reply
  2. BRittany
    BRittany says:

    I struggled with post partum depression after I had my second son. I felt out of control all the time and I didn’t know what was going on. Then I finally talked to a doctor.

    Reply
  3. HilLesha
    HilLesha says:

    I didn’t realize it at the time, but I experienced postpartum depression shortly after my first child. I was going through a divorce during that time as well, so I thought my emotions at the time were only linked to that. Clearly, that wasn’t the case!

    Reply
  4. Dawn McAlexander
    Dawn McAlexander says:

    I was already clinically depressed before I had my baby. I can’t say that I suffered from postpartum depression because I couldn’t tell the difference between postpartum and clinical depression. Either way, it was tough and I battled it for years and I have just about beaten it.

    Reply
  5. Jeanine
    Jeanine says:

    I’m so lucky I never had to deal with this but these are really great tips. It can be so serious, and not many like to talk about it!

    Reply
  6. Donah @ SJB
    Donah @ SJB says:

    This is worth noting. Great that there are therapist moms like you who selflessly share information like this. Depression has affected more and more people, specially mothers and it becomes alarming. Thank you for your tips and helpful guides. I will also share this very valuable information.

    Reply
  7. Blythe Alpern
    Blythe Alpern says:

    I truly hope the stigma around Postpartum Depression is lessening. It’s a struggle that so many moms deal with and having this valuable resource can help them feel less alone.

    Reply
  8. Cindy Ingalls
    Cindy Ingalls says:

    I’m so glad to see more and more women talking about their experiences with Postpartum Depression. It is nothing to be ashamed of, nor should you be afraid to ask for help. This resource you provided is so useful.

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth O.
    Elizabeth O. says:

    I have never dealt with postpartum depression before. I can only feel for mothers who have and are going through this right now. I think it’s important to open up and share what you’re going through with your family so that they know how they can support you and help out.
    Elizabeth O. recently posted…Ram Dass on healingMy Profile

    Reply
  10. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says:

    I experienced postpartum depression with both of my girls, and the worst part was the first time around, nobody had a clue what was actually wrong with me. I didn’t go to the dr for it, because no one told me I should. It was just a normal feeling after a baby was born. Um, no. The second go round, my aunt who is also a midwife, was my midwife, and she monitored me closely after the baby was born. Sure enough, it set in again, but this time I was prepared.

    Reply
  11. Tereza
    Tereza says:

    What a brilliant post – this must be so useful to new mums suffering from this. I’m not a mum but just imaging this is terrifying! x

    Reply
  12. Angie Rose
    Angie Rose says:

    These are great tips for anyone struggling with postpartum depression or even just regular depression. You can feel so alone when you are going through it. It’s important to have a strong support system of people who can keep you going, and remind you aren’t alone. Wonderful tips here. I totally agree when you say changing behaviors is very important.

    Reply
  13. roxy
    roxy says:

    This is an issue that seemed to be silently unknown for so long. It’s great to see that it is being discussed more openly so women who are hurting can find ways to heal and know they are not alone.

    Reply
  14. Dana
    Dana says:

    Great post for new moms. It’s nice seeing postpartum depression getting more attention and being more recognized for those who need help

    Reply
  15. Kristina
    Kristina says:

    Post partum depression is rough. I have it after each pregnancy. It’s hard but important to understand that it’s ok to talk to our doctor and spouse/partner to get help we need.

    Reply
  16. Cassie Tucker
    Cassie Tucker says:

    I hope mothers suffering from this condition use this as a resource. I think society doesn’t do a good job recognizing any form of depression, especially postpartum, and because of it those whom suffer do so without getting the help they need.

    Reply
  17. Marcie in Mommyland
    Marcie in Mommyland says:

    Finding my PEPS group (new mom support group in Seattle) helped me tremendously. After a difficult pregnancy and a preemie baby, I was so overwhelmed and depressed. Finding my village really saved me as a Mom.

    Reply
  18. Brittany @ Everyday Thoughts
    Brittany @ Everyday Thoughts says:

    I also struggled with postpartum depression after having my littles. There are so many crazy hormones coursing through your body and the sleepless nights and new anxieties create a perfect storm. Thank you for sharing these tips and starting the conversation so that women feel safe expressing their own experiences.

    Reply
  19. karen
    karen says:

    I can imagine how challenging it must be for so many women out there during this holiday. Your tips for postpartum depression are really helpful. I had a friend go through it, so these are good to know.

    Reply

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