Top 10 tips for coping with postpartum depression

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The phrase “baby blues” gets tossed around quite a bit, but in many cases, it can be a sign of something more serious. While giving birth naturally triggers all kinds of emotions, some new mothers find themselves experiencing a lingering sadness that just won’t go away.

Tips to cope with postpartum depression

“Read our blog post Mental health postpartum for a discussion on postpartum depression from the doctors at Samitivej Hospital”

If you find yourself feeling down weeks or months after the end of your pregnancy, consider seeking professional help. Postpartum depression is not something you should have to tackle alone. In the meantime, consider a few of these steps. They may not solve the problem, but they can help.

  1. Get out of the house. Take a deep breath and put your baby in a stroller. Bangkok’s heat can be miserable, but try to go somewhere where you can get at least a little sunshine.
  2. Talk to someone. Whether it’s a friend, neighbor, relative or counselor, find someone who will genuinely listen to you and be nice to you.
  3. Make your partner part of this. If you have a partner, try to explain to them how you’re feeling and what’s going on. They’ll usually realize something is wrong whether you choose to talk about it or not.
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember: no mother is perfect. Even if your baby seems to cry nonstop or things don’t work quite the way you expect, it doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job. Cut yourself a little slack.
  5. Don’t blame yourself for feeling this way. One of the worst things about postpartum depression is that it comes at a time when everyone else tells you that you should be happy. Remind yourself that this is not a sign of weakness or failure on your part.
  6. Take care of your appearance. With a little one to care for, it’s far too easy to forget about little things like hair and makeup. That being said, if you ignore your outsides, your insides tend to suffer. We’re not saying you need to get all glammed up, but make an effort. It will help you feel a bit more connected.
  7. Hit the gym. We all know that exercise raises endorphin levels, and you need them now more than ever. The important thing is not so much what type of exercise you do, but that you find one that you enjoy. Not a pilates or a spinning fan? Now is not the time to start. Whether it’s burning off some frustration with Muay Thai or remembering to breathe with yoga, do something that you’ll stick with.
  8. Take it easy. What relaxes you? A book? A movie? A cup of coffee alone? A magazine? Take a minute to list some of the simple things you enjoy, particularly the ones you feel like you never have time for anymore. Then make the time. They may not seem important, but they are.
  9. Look for a support group. Sometimes it helps just to know that you aren’t the only one going through this. Postpartum Support International (http://www.postpartum.net) offers more information and online support groups.
  10. Get some sleep. We know this is easier said than done with a newborn, but really do what you can to rest. When you’re up at 2am every night changing diapers, it’s hard for anyone to stay sane. Set designated nap times for yourself during the day when someone else is watching the baby.

Photo Credit: James Burrell via Compfight cc

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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