Coping with postnatal depression isn't easy. It's the last thing you want or expect to happen when you want to be enjoying your new baby. Most women won't develop PND, so don't worry too much about your chances of getting it. But if you do, it's important to seek help. Here are some tips on coping with postnatal depression …
The most important thing for coping with postnatal depression is to seek help. Always speak to your doctor, midwife or health visitor. They're there to help. Mothers with PND sometimes fear that their baby will be taken away. That's not the case. You won't be considered an inadequate mother and people won't assume that your baby's at risk.
It's also essential to talk to your partner about how you're feeling. They'll be able to support you and do what they can to alleviate your symptoms. Also tell your family and friends; they too will help you. It will also stop you feeling that you are alone.
Women with PND may think they are a failure as a mother, because they can't cope. That's absolutely not true. Having PND doesn't mean you're a bad mother. It's a medical condition that you have through no fault of your own. Nor will anyone else assume that you're a bad mom because you have PND. You won't be judged.
It's not automatic that you'll suffer from PND. But if you do, it's perfectly natural and understandable. You've just brought a new life into the world, and your own life will change. It's a huge responsibility. Hormones may also be a factor. But you will learn to cope with parenthood, and be a great mom.
It probably seems that you don't have time to look after yourself when you have a new baby, especially if you have other children as well. But try to take a little time for yourself. Maybe someone can mind the baby while you take a nap or read. Do also eat a healthy diet, and try to get enough rest (not the easiest thing, but helpful for your well-being).
Don't feel alone if you have PND - there is help out there. There are lots of ways that postnatal depression can be treated. Your doctor may recommend talking therapies, antidepressants, or both (do tell your doctor if you intend to breast feed). Don't try to struggle through or assume that it will just get better.
Getting to know other parents can help alleviate any feelings of anxiety or loneliness. If you've given up work to be a full-time mom, the change in your situation can make you feel isolated. And that's without all the changes that a baby brings to your life. Other parents can offer friendship and support - you'll also realise that you're not alone in experiencing PND.
If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of depression after having a baby, always talk to your doctor or health visitor. Don't try to soldier on or assume that it'll get better by itself. It can also happen several months after the birth, which can catch you by surprise. But if you've suffered from PND before, that doesn't mean that you'll get it with your younger babies. What do you think will help a mom with PND?
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