Postpartum Depression Treatment

by Jason on September 28, 2009

postpartum depression treatment

Postpartum depression is way more common than you may think. Nearly 85% of women suffer from postpartum depression after giving birth. That’s a pretty huge statistic. If you’re a part of that number, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re about to receive some serious relief.

Here, you’ll learn many natural techniques to incorporate into your overall postpartum treatment. Understand that your feelings are quite normal considering the hormonal changes you’re going though. The danger of postpartum depression is that 10-15% of women who suffer experience abnormally long periods of mood fluctuations before they eventually feel emotionally stable again.

That’s why it’s sooo important you don’t hesitate in addressing this problem right away. Letting it grow out of control can really put a strain on your family and your overall well-being. Make the responsible decision to apply these techniques today.

It’s pretty scary what you’re going through. Your body is completely retracting from its previous 9 month transformation in a matter of weeks and you’re feeling vulnerable, depressed and just generally irritable.

How to Feel Better…

I’ll be helping you get over this rough patch with numerous techniques that are completely proven to work. Although you feel a little nuts right now, you’ll be well on your way back to normality after reading these outlined practices for postpartum depression treatment.

First, let’s just delve a little deeper into what’s happening to you. Once you understand why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, you’ll feel more confident that you WILL feel “normal” again. Let’s get started on making you all better, shall we?

The symptoms of postpartum depression don’t paint the prettiest picture when they’re laid out in front of you. Most often they start to arise 2-3 weeks after giving birth.

The strangest part of the whole experience is how gradually they can progress. At first you may just feel a little “off”.

Perhaps, you’ve got the blues for a day or so and then you’re back to your normal self. A few days later, another episode emerges and you’re sad for a couple of days. Again, afterwards you feel better for a day or so.

As time goes on, these days when you have to blues get closer and closer until eventually, you just feel sad all the time, seemingly for weeks on end.

Most often, the symptoms of postpartum depression include but are not limited to the following…

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

  • Depression or a feeling of having the blues. You just can’t seem to snap out of it and life slowly becomes unenjoyable. You lose interest in things you once loved. Boredom and apathy creep in with every chore and errand.

  • Crying triggered by general day to day activities. You may also cry due to oversensitivity to things on television, things you read or general everday type situations.

  • Feelings of Worthlessness. For 9 months there’s been so much attention focused around you. Now that attention has been shifted to your baby. Oftentimes women may feel like an empty vessel. Feeling like you are no longer useful is quite common.

  • Fatigue. Postpartum depression is very draining. You may sleep to escape the sadness. You may sleep out of sheer physical exhaustion. Your body is catching up with the HUGE task you’ve undergone these past 9 months. You’re getting less sleep with a newborn to care for. Additionally, the fatigue may induce further states of irritability.

  • Generalized Anxiety. You’re oversensitive to just about everything. You feel unsure, indecisive, scared, angry, neurotic, panicked and extremely unsettled. It’s a very unsettling feeling and you just want it to go away.

  • Insomnia. Your mind is filled with worry and doubts about yourself. Random, bothersome questions race through your brain. Am I going crazy? When will I feel good again? How will we stretch our budget to give our baby everything we can? How will I get my body back into shape again? Is what I’m feeling normal? Your own doubts may differ from the examples above, but the result is the same. You toss and turn and feel anxiety tighten up your chest.

  • Guilt. Further mood swings may create tension between you and your husband. A lot has changed and althought it’s pefectly normal to undergo a period of transition, you may feel guilty for neglecting him. You may feel guilty for your anger, for your inability to be as outgoing as your used to be. Perhaps you feel guilty that all this depression has crippled your ability to carry on your normal daily homemaking activities. It is also quite common to have angry feelings towards your new baby. This is why control should be taken immediately.

  • Change in appetite. This symptom will vary from one mother to another. You may eat everything in site. You may get nauseous at the thought of certain foods. Your appetite has become irregular and that throws even more of your day off balance.

  • Poor Concentration. When depression hits, it can be hard to think about anything else. Your negative thoughts creep up in your head and force out any sort of optimism. It can make carrying out the simplest of tasks seem impossible.

  • Suicidal Thoughts. This is of course in the more extreme of cases. If you haven’t experienced the full depth of postpartum depression and you’re reading this, don’t talk yourself into feeling this particular symptoms. It generally skips most people. However, having suicidal thoughts may occur and again, it’s totally normal according to what’s chemically changing in your body. That said, having suicidal thoughts is a huge red flag and you should see a medical professional at once to report your new feelings.

  • Panic Attacks. This a VERY common symptom of postpartum depression. Panic attacks are the result of untreated anxiety built up in a person’s body until it ulitmately manifests itself physically. Symptoms of panic attacks include hyperventilation, dizzyness, chest-pounding heart palpitations , a feeling like you’re going to die, numbness of the extremities and a whole host of other unpleasant sensations.

Not such a great scenario huh? That can be a very frightening list at first glance. The important thing to take away though is that all of the above symptoms happen in one place – your brain. None of them can physically hurt you once you learn to control your thoughts and take positive action to correct the feelings listed above.

I’ll be showing you how to do that in just one second. But, first I want to quickly go over why you’re feeling like you’re feeling. Remember, it’s important you understand the whole scenario in order to see how the solution addresses the root cause.

What Causes Postpartum Depression

The postpartum period is characterized by a huge change in your body’s hormone levels. Within just 48 hours after your baby’s delivery, estrogen and progesterone levels fall dramatically in your system.

These hormones moderate neurotransmitter systems in your brain which regulate your mood, stress levels and general anxiety. The degree to which you’re affected is based on your individual brain chemistry. However, the overall effect is a change in the active level of serotonin relaying signals from one receptor to another in your brain. The result is the depression you’re feeling.

Eventually, over time, your serotonin levels will stabalize and you’ll start to feel better. But how long will that take? It’s different for everyone. That’s why putting the following techniques to use is your best course of action. Applying these strategies will help alleviate your depression and anxiety until your body chemically adjusts.

Treating Postpartum Depression

postpartum depression treatment - getting support

1. Getting Support – having a support system in place during postpartum depression is essential. Surround yourself with family members and friends who can help with caring for the baby.

Have your husband, family and friends give you some help with the housework. Better yet, if you can afford it, now’s the time to start thinking about hiring a bi-weelky housekeeper.

Ensure that your husband provides equal time with caring for the baby as well. Take turns getting up to change and coddle the baby during nighttime wakes. Have a plan in place so your husband and family know what you’ll need help with in childcare. Do NOT bear the burden of feeling like you’re the only one who knows what to do.

Educate your family, husband and friends so they know what you expect from them. It is not your sole responsibilty. Don’t be afraid to delegate to those around you. You’re undergoing a HUGE responsibility and you’ll need help.

postpartum depression treatment - date nights

2. Date Nights – Get friends or family members to babysit your newborn when possible. Postpartum depression can create a feeling of being trapped by your infant. Whenever possible, arrange for a babysitter so you and your husband can have a date night.

There’s nothing wrong with escaping for a night and feeling free for a few hours. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just going out together and seeing a movie can help you feel alive again. You’ve been so engulfed in this new world of parenthood. Take a night to feel yound again. It’s amazing how just a few hours can completely reinvigorate you.

postpartum depression treatment - designated naps

3. Designated Nap Time – I’m talking about YOU here, not the baby. Designate times during the week (or even day if possible) where you can have your husband watch the baby while you take a nap for an hour.

You’re probably exhausted from the circus that’s been going on in your body. Sleep is a great way to recharge your batteries and overcome the next emotion that twirls in your head.

postpartum depression treatment - getting support

4. Try to avoid alone time – during postpartum depression, alone time is usually when your thoughts become overwhelming. Try to surround yourself with friends who can help block out that negative inner voice.

Sometimes just seeing their smiling faces will be enough to cheer you up. Remember, what you’re feeling is temporary. You will feel better again in time.

postpartum depression treatment - look your best

5. Look your best – you probably feel like staying in your pajamas all day but this is a big mistake. Shower everymorning and get dressed early. Dress for an active day. Even if you’re at home all day, it’s important to find balance between comfort and appearance.

By keeping up your appearance, you’ll ward off that “throw in the towel” mentality. Habits like poor eating and gaining weight will be fended off by your love of your self. You’re still so beautiful. Celebrate it every day.

postpartum depression treatment - talk to mothers

6. Talk to other mothers. Learn from their experiences. You’ll feel better as they tell you how hard it was for them and yes, they did eventually get back to normal with the passing of time.

Hearing other mothers’ stories of postpartum depression can be comforting. You know you’re not alone and it creates a bond between you and mothers everywhere. Find out if there are postpartum support groups in your area.

postpartum depression treatment - exercise & eat right

7. Exercise & Eat Healthy. Not only will you start looking and feeling better on the outside, but by taking these positive steps you’ll know you’re improving with results you can both see and feel.

Exercise also releases endorphins which will give you a positive rush during workouts. You’ll feel energized and this will minimize everyday fatigue.

My sister got in the absolute best shape of her life after her baby was delivered. She set the goal to lose nearly 50 pounds and reached it one year after childbirth. She had never looked so wonderful and the feeling of accomplishement glowed on her face with her continuous, proud smile.

The FASTEST Way to Feel Better

One of the most effective ways to move on from feelings of postpartum depression is to gain assurance and support from people who have already been in your shoes. Gaining a sense of normality with your emotions will gently calm your panic by letting you know that what you’re going through is completely normal.

An EXTREMELY popular book for coaching women through postpartum depression can be found right on Amazon here.

It’s called “This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression“. Here’s what one review says about the book…

I love this book! It gave me so much insight on PPD and all the different ways I could help myself and get the professional help I needed. It also helped regain my relationship with my husband! I would reccommend this book to every woman who is pregnant. It’s good to know what to look for as far as symptoms go, that way you can get help sooner. I was in denial for several months thinking I would “snap out of it”. This IS an illness, and can be treated!! I still have bad days, but they are fewer and farther between. On the bad days I just pick up this book and go to one of the earmarked pages on self help therapy and within a few minutes (instead of hours of crying) I’m feeling better. If you even THINK you might have PPD this is the book to read! It’s also great to give to someone who is in denial…they might not appreciate it at the time, but will love you for it later! Good luck to all those women out there going through PPD right now!!!!

You can read more reviews right here.

Take the time to educate yourself. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to rationalize these chaotic feelings and roll witht he punches of postpartum depression until you’re completely back to yourself again. Take care!

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