5 Tips For Dealing With Postpartum Depression

Bringing a new baby into the world is an exciting event, but the first weeks and months of a baby's life can be very stressful for a mother. While experiencing the "baby blues" is common in new mothers, postpartum depression is a serious concern, as it can be long-lasting without the proper treatment and self-care. It is believed that postpartum depression is caused by a combination of hormones dropping rapidly along with sleep deprivation and feeling emotionally overwhelmed. If you fear that you may have postpartum depression, use the following tips:

Be Honest with Your Doctor

Suffering from postpartum depression is not something to feel ashamed of. If you're experiencing this condition, it is essential to be honest with your doctor about how you are feeling so he or she can help you. There are a number of medications that can be prescribed to help treat postpartum depression. Taking a medication for postpartum depression does not mean that you will have to take the medication for the rest of your life.

Consider Therapy

In most cases, depression is best treated through medication and counseling. When you're experiencing postpartum depression, it is in your best interest to see a therapist who is experienced in providing therapy for women. There are a number of forms of therapy that have been found to be very beneficial for women with postpartum depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. 

Make Time for Sleep

Caring for a newborn or young infant can be exhausting, and it is not uncommon for mothers of babies to be sleep deprived. But sleep deprivation can play a huge role in postpartum depression. Don't feel like you always have to be the person caring for the baby. Make arrangements with the baby's other parent, family members, and friends to help care for the baby so you can take a well-needed nap, or sleep uninterrupted for several hours straight at night.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise causes the release of endorphins, which can create feelings of well-being. After you doctor has cleared you medically to exercise, make physical activity a planned part of your week. Taking your baby for a walk or a hike is an easy way to exercise, and you may want to consider joining a fun class at a gym.

Avoid Isolation

When your suffering from postpartum depression, it is easy to isolate yourself from other people. Unfortunately, isolation will not help the symptoms of your depression. Make a conscious effort to leave the house, visit family members, and make plans to meet friends.