How I conquered Postpartum Depression
I always think it’s unfair for my baby who depends his life on me if I’m not head-over-heels in love with him. There’s always mom-guilt every single time. And being a mom is not all rainbows and unicorns and butterflies. A lot of moms have been suffering from Postpartum Depression but people think it isn’t real.
Imagine being in pain for 12 hours with no one around you, you’re crying for help screaming to get this little human in your tummy out. And once it comes out, feed the baby with your own breasts draining the energy out of you. And still, people around us think its easy. It’s the most tiring, and stressful job of all time.
It’s not. You feel every single bone in your body breaking just to push your baby out and then they grow up not following you? How’s that fair? (Just kidding!)
If you’re reading this and recognized that you have Postpartum Depression. Congratulations! (whut?) Having Postpartum Depression is a roller coaster of hormones and if you know you have it, then you are strong enough to analyze what’s going on within your new self.
Many who don’t recognize Postpartum Depression ended up hurting the baby or themselves and doing some other horrifying things. We can’t just make it better on our own. If you suffer from it, I urge you to go to your doctor for a consultation.
Nonetheless, the reality in the Philippines is that if we don’t have at-least ₱20,000, we cannot go through therapy. That’s how costly medical health care is in our country. I tried having a consultation but it’s an amount I can’t afford.
I will help you understand yourself and hopefully, these tips in coping with Postpartum Depression will help you to overcome it.
I am not a specialist or a doctor, but I’m a mom who suffered from Postpartum Depression as well, whom, with the help and support of my family, fighting through it and moving headfirst in life so I can enjoy every single day with my little bub.
Ask help in getting things done
As the “Ilaw ng Tahanan,” our family depends on us for food, laundry, and cleaning. Or it’s in our maternal instinct to take care of our home. It’s okay, Mom. It’s okay to leave the room messy, or the clothes unfolded. Talk to your partner in distributing chores at home. That way, it’s equal and the expectation is real and won’t pressure either of you. Postpartum Depression draws messy things in your mind and you feel like you’re not a good mom if you’re not doing it all. That’s wrong! It’s okay to ask for help.
I cried every night screaming at the top of my heart while my baby’s asleep and my partner’s at work. I feel lonely and sad but I don’t know what’s wrong. Writing it on my diary isn’t enough. When I realized that I am suffering from Postpartum Depression. I decided to open up to the person who would understand me – my partner. Talk to your husband or your mom about what’s going on with you. Avoid suffering in silence. Opening up to my partner is one of the best things I did during the time. If he won’t believe you, cite online medical articles and facts. Tell him to imagine who you were before the baby if he can see a big difference then that should be enough to persuade him to help you.
I breastfeed my baby 24/7 during his first year. It’s not just exhausting, it’s draining and it takes away all our time. But I comprehended that I have to take care of myself so I can take care of my baby. So always! Always add self-care in your daily routine. A 10-minute shower and makeup won’t hurt. Do it while your baby’s asleep.
We know the old adage “You are what you eat.” Avoid junk foods to avoid junk emotions. I try to eat superfoods such as egg, oats and skinless chicken breast as much as possible so I would stop craving junk foods. I also switched from white rice to red rice and I also try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our food as much as possible. Hydrate! Drink 8 glasses of water every day! Planning your weekly meal will not just help you to eat healthily, you can get rid of instant foods, plus it will also lessen the stress of day to day meal.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins – a happy hormone produced by your brain, thus helps boost your mood. Try to look on YouTube for some Zumba videos. Just sweating it out is not just fun but helpful as well. Btw, breastfeeding releases happy hormones as well so cheers BF mommas!
I mean, really, get out! Do things you loved pre-baby. I usually ask my partner to be with the baby for an hour or two while I have my nails done at a salon or while I do my leisurely grocery shopping. It always made me feel better.
take it slow
Do not expect too much from yourself. Take it little by little, slowly incorporating self-care in your routine and you will adapt. Our relationship with our baby is precious. As hard as it may seem, I always remind myself what would happen to this little man if I let Postpartum Depression rule over me. I know I have to fight and accept help when I needed it. I also cry when I need to. It helps me gain strength for the days, weeks and years to come with my precious one.
if you are suffering from Postpartum Depression, it is a challenge to put yourself first, NOW. That may mean baby comes second and daddy comes third (TELL HIM TO GROW UP!)
Sometimes, we feel like Postpartum Depression doesn’t go away, but let’s help ourselves. Note these tips. It may not heal you but it will surely help you. Give yourself a chance and eventually, everything will fall into place.
PS. I never hurt my child when I had PPD. But hey, I got lucky!