Help Prevent Postpartum Depression

There are numerous steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing postpartum depression. Here are some tips to help you prevent your chances of experiencing depression during your postpartum period.

Take Care of Yourself
Making up a postpartum plan is a great first step in helping you feel more in control. When you have a plan, you can have a better idea of where you might need some help. Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • How much time will you have off?
  • Who will be available to help you out?
  • What will you need help with?
  • Are there tasks that you can delegate to your partner or other family members?
  • Is there anything that can wait and be put off for a while?

Once the baby is born, don’t forget to give yourself some breaks. Arrange to have someone come by a few times a week, even if it’s just for an hour, so that you can have some time to yourself. Use this break to do activities that interest you, not chores.

Don’t be shy about asking friends and family members for help. Keep a list handy and whenever someone asks if there is something they can do for you, say yes. Having a strong support system is one of the best ways to avoid postpartum depression.

Looking after a baby is more than enough work for one person or even two. So try to avoid making any major life changes in the months following the birth of your child. This includes moving and changing jobs.

Natural Remedies for Postpartum Depression
Exercise has been found to be extremely helpful in elevating people’s moods and therefore it is a great way to combat depression. Additionally, getting out of the house with (or without) your baby will give you a much needed change of scenery and help you loose some of your pregnancy weight. Since both of these elements can contribute to negative feelings, getting regular exercise is an excellent way to keep postpartum depression at bay.

Postpartum depression and nutrition are also related. Eating a poor diet, full of junk food and processed foods, often leads to having little energy and feeling poorly about yourself. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet full of whole foods will give you the energy you need and help you loose weight faster.

Joining a support group for new mothers is one way many mothers have dealt with their feelings after giving birth. A support group gives mothers a forum to talk with other women who understand exactly what they are going through. It allows them to gain advice and insight as well as make some new friends. But don’t forget about the support you can get from the friends you already have. Schedule a coffee or lunch date whenever you can.

When to Seek Help
If you’ve tried all of the above suggestions and you still feel down, then it may be time to make an appointment with your health care provider. If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks or your depression is interfering with your daily activities, it is best to seek professional advice.

Find more advice on postpartum depression at Pregnancy Q and A.