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How to Cope With Postnatal Depression

Aug 25, 2008
Postnatal depression is a condition that happens to about 10% of women after they have a baby. It is often known as the baby blues, and includes feeling unhappy, blue, sad, and miserable. In many cases this type of depression is not even recognized because of all the normal changes that occur during and after pregnancy. However, although this is a very common problem, there are some things that can be done to treat it and help to get new moms feeling back to normal again.

Causes of Post Natal Depression
There are a variety of different reasons that you could be dealing with depression after you have a baby. Many times it is a result of changes in the hormones in the body. There are big changes that occur within the first 24 hours after having a baby and this can lead to depression. Also, thyroid levels can drop leading to depression. Some of the other factors that can end up leading to problems with the baby blues include feeling overwhelmed with taking care of a new baby, lack of sleep, stress, feelings of losing your identity, and have less control over the time that you have.

Symptoms of Postnatal Depression
There are many symptoms that can be symptoms of depression. If you happen to have any of these symptoms after pregnancy and they last for more than a couple of weeks, you could be dealing with depression.

- Very little energy
- Feelings is restlessness
- Irritability
- Loosing interest in activities
- Crying more often than usual
- Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless
- Problems staying focused
- Too much sleep or not enough
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Withdrawing from family
- Dealing with chest pains or headaches

Simple Treatments to Try
There are a variety of treatments for post natal depression, and while some may include drug therapy or even talk therapy with a professional, there are simple things that you can do at home to combat this problem. The following are simply and alternative treatments that you may want to try.

- Get More Rest - One thing that you can try to get rid of the depression you are dealing with is to start getting a bit more rest. When you have a new baby, often it can be difficult to get the rest you need, leading to more risk of depression. Try sleeping whenever your baby does so you get the rest you need.

- Talk to a Friend or Family Member - Just talking someone can definitely be a huge help when you are dealing with the baby blues. It helps you to realize you are not alone and allows you to express your feelings too.

- Get Out More - Staying in the home all the time can actually lead to depression, so you need to get out more. Go out with your baby and run some errands or just go for a walk around the block. It can really help.

- Join a Support Group - Joining support groups can help. There are many people out there that are also going through postnatal depression and joining a group with others who understand can be very healing and helpful for you.

- Try Baby Massage - Consider trying baby massage by taking a class so you can learn how to do it. This is a great way that you can learn to better relate to your baby and you'll begin feeling better too.

- Eat Foods with Omega 3s - If you're going through post natal depression, chances are that you are low on fatty acids in your body, which can lead to depression. So, start eating foods that have omega 3s in them, such as seafood and fish.
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