Being a new mom is hard, you will experience some stress and some anxiety. But if you are experiencing depression or anxiousness to the point that it’s making it hard for you to live your everyday life, and you have had a baby within the last twelve months, you more than likely have PPD.
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What is Postpartum Depression and Anxiety?
Postpartum depression occurs in approximately 1 out of 7 women. A lot of mother’s struggle to tell anyone about their symptoms because they worry people will assume the worst, that they’re not ready to have a baby, that they don’t love their baby, etc. But that’s not the case. Please don’t be afraid to tell your doctor about your symptoms. And if you are against taking medications, your doctor can help you find postpartum treatment without medication!
First and foremost, you need to know which form of postpartum depression you are dealing with.
Some of the different postpartum mental health struggles are:
- postpartum anxiety
- postpartum depression
- postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder
- postpartum psychosis
The best way to decide which one(s) you could be suffering with is to see a medical professional. But until then, here is a list of symptoms pertaining to each form.
Postpartum Anxiety (PPA):
- Changes in eating and/or sleeping
- Racing thoughts Always worrying
- Struggle to stay focused
- Constant fear something bad is going to happen
If you’re looking for ways to naturally manage postpartum anxiety, check out this article on NAC for Anxiety.
Postpartum Depression (PPD):
- A lot of sadness or guilt
- Struggle to make decisions
- Trouble sleeping (other than because you’re up with your newborn)
- Mood swings
- Feeling of overwhelm
- Changes in eating
- Withdrawing yourself from family and friends
- No interest in your baby
- You think about hurting yourself or your baby
Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PPTSD):
- Anxiety/Panic Attacks
- Avoiding reality
- Easily startled
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the traumatic experience
Postpartum Psychosis (PPP):
- Bizarre thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts
- Delusional Thoughts of hurting the baby
- Rapid mood swings
- Irrational speech
(If you believe you are suffering from any form of postpartum depression or anxiety, it is a good idea to see a doctor, but if you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum psychosis you need to see a doctor immediately, as it is the most severe form of PPD.)
4 Healthy Ways to Manage Your Postpartum Depression If You Do Not Want to Take Medication or Medication Isn’t Helping
1. Exercise Daily
The most important thing I did to improve my postpartum depression was to exercise every day. This seriously changed my whole life. Exercise is the perfect anti-depressant! It releases feel-good chemicals in the brain and reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression. Exercising helps you have more energy throughout your day, and it makes you feel so good about yourself. A lot of mothers have issues with their self-image, which worsens depression, so exercise will help with that too!
I recently discovered a seriously amazing program designed for postpartum moms who want to look and feel healthy once again, it’s called the Postpartum Cure! This super affordable, all-inclusive course is like something I’ve never seen before.
Here’s what it includes:
- Meal plans
- Grocery lists
- Snack ideas that are designed to replace your favorite comfort foods
- Supplement information for increasing breast milk supply
- Workout plans with video tutorials
- Plans designed to heal your abs (diastasis recti) and your pelvic floor and the rest of your body
- A Facebook group to keep you accountable
- And so much more!
Why should you take this course?
Katie, the creator of this course, is the perfect person to teach this course. She is very into fitness, went to college to study nutrition, and all of her pregnancies have taken a huge toll on her and she had to work to find the best ways to heal her diastasis recti, and her pelvic floor. So, she’s a pro.
When I was going through this course, I was blown away by how much work she put into this. For being as cheap as it is, it has SO much helpful info. Not going to lie, I would’ve paid more! (;
Also, exercise and healthy eating so good for postpartum depression and anxiety. This program is designed to help you heal your body AND your mind. I think every new mom should take this course!
Check out the Postpartum Recovery course HERE!
2. Leave the House
Another thing I did that drastically improved my depression was to make sure I was getting out of the house at least once a day. Whether it be the gym, or the store, or even just for a drive! If I didn’t leave the house at all, I wouldn’t accomplish anything. I would lay around all day and watch tv.
But if I forced myself out of the house in the mornings, I gave myself a to-do list for when I got home. Before I had the chance to sit down, I hurried and started getting everything done that needed to be, once I was done I would allow myself some t.v. or a nap with the baby.
Getting out of the house is SO important to someone feeling depressed, it sets the pace for your whole day!
3. Find a Friend Who Likes to Be Busy
Find a close friend who can be there when you need them. My sister-in-law was a lifesaver! She always invited me to lunch, or came over just to say hi, which was so nice! It’s very important to have adult interaction every day, or else you’ll start to go crazy.
It was also nice having her around so much because she was able to see exactly what treatment my daughter gets, so she is one of the very few people I trust to babysit for us when we need a date night because she knows how high my standards are.
4. Find Some Hobbies
Lastly, I made sure to have hobbies to keep me busy. I love to read, so I read a lot! I also enjoy crafting, so I would do that pretty often. Since I had a new baby, finding projects was easy. There were so many things I wanted to do and try.
One thing I started that helped me stay busy was a bullet journal. It helped keep me organized, and accountable. I kept track of my goals, meals, exercise, schedule, and much more!
The best thing you can do is to get on Pinterest and find yourself some projects or hobbies you are excited about, and you can even set dates to do them on to keep yourself accountable!
What other ways have you found to get rid of postpartum depression and/or anxiety?
Have you heard of any other ways of treating PPD without medication? Let us know in the comments!
**Remember– Postpartum depression and/or anxiety is serious, if you are experiencing any symptoms you should consult your doctor. ** It’s okay to not be okay!