Suffering from postpartum depression while in quarantine is tough but there is help! Check out these seven tips to keep you feeling great!
As the world embarks on social distancing measures to contain the coronavirus spread, the responsibilities of parenthood weigh heavily on mothers, particularly new moms. During this time, they would expect to have a support system with loved ones and relatives, lending a hand in taking care of the kids. Due to the pandemic, however, things have changed.
The transition into motherhood is overwhelming, and studies have shown that women are at a higher risk of experiencing anxiety and depression during pregnancy due to new challenges. Plus, the quarantine measures make it harder to move freely and live a healthy life.
Being a mother is a demanding and exhausting task, especially when you need to care and love children with special needs, including autism. But, just like any other role, moms reap the rewards by seeing their kids grow up healthy and strong. Maintaining good mental health is essential to perform the tasks of motherhood properly.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition that mixes physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that occur in a woman after giving birth. PPD is a form of major depression, which may happen within four weeks after delivery.
Also known as baby blues, the mother may feel sad or empty. Most women may have baby blues, but it goes away within three to five days. If the symptoms do not go away, it can become PPD. The common signs and symptoms include feeling empty, hopeless, restless, crying a lot, having no energy and motivation, and having problems focusing or making decisions, among others.
An estimated 70 to 80 percent of women will experience baby blues. However, clinical postpartum depression occurs in about 10 to 20 percent of new mothers. A recent study found that about one in 7 mothers may experience PPD in the year after childbirth.
Amplified risk factors of PPD
The common risk factors linked to postpartum depression include physical and emotional changes, a history of depression, and other mental health disorders, family history of PPD, and stressful life events, to name a few.
Currently, the Coronavirus pandemic is adding to the risk factors for depression in new mothers. The lack of social and emotional support from loved ones and friends make it harder for new mothers to cope with the challenges of taking care of a newborn.
The social distancing measures, including isolating inside the home for those who are at high risk of infection, including new mothers, make it hard to cope with the situation. Further, new mothers do not have the chance to go out and enjoy outdoors, making them feel frustrated and lonely. New mothers are also stressed because they want their family to be safe from the threat of the virus.
Managing postpartum depression amid the Coronavirus pandemic
There are many ways for new mothers to cope with a stressful situation and ward off postpartum depression while in quarantine.
1. Have more baby cuddles
Hugs are therapeutic and heartwarming. By cuddling more, you’re boosting not only the right hormones in your body but also you strengthen your mommy-baby bond.
Hugs can boost the level of oxytocin in the body, a chemical that is also called the “cuddle hormone.” The chemical is tied to happiness and less stress. In mothers, it also helps reduce the blood pressure, as well as the stress hormone called norepinephrine.
2. Prioritize self-care
As a mom, you might spend all your time taking care of the new baby or your kids. Raising babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is draining and exhausting. You need to save time to spend on yourself, such as having a beauty rest, doing exercises, or preparing to pamper yourself.
Promise yourself that as soon as the restrictions are lifted, you will spend more time taking care of yourself. Get a facial treatment, a weight loss procedure, a vaginal rejuvenation, or a cosmetic procedure to make you feel good about yourself. This way, you will not drown in self-pity, and you will learn to love yourself more.
3. Limit media exposure
The stress of using social medial and other media platforms may make PPD or depression worse. It is crucial to make sure you filter what you read online.
There are legit sites where you can find important information about the pandemic and the global situation. Being bombarded by negative news, debates, and updates about the situation may make you feel more anxious.
If you can subscribe to just one site that provides essential information, do so. This way, you will reduce the number of information you’re getting about the pandemic that may spark panic and anxiety.
4. Staying connected with family and friends
Raising an infant while struggling with postpartum depression can be very overwhelming. The isolation from family and friends may make it worse. Good thing there are innovative ways to stay connected with your loved ones. You can use telephone calls and videoconferencing to make the most of your social time.
Make sure you have an hour each day or more to talk with your family and friends. This way, you can release your stress and frustrations. Bottling up your emotions by yourself may make it harder for you to cope with motherhood.
5. Find virtual support
During Quarantine, new mothers should find virtual support to help keep Postpartum Depression at bay. Aside from talking regularly to fa
mily and friends via social media and messenger applications, there is a range of online resources that provide support for women with postpartum depression.
They also provide support for mothers who are experiencing the symptoms of baby blues. The people who provide support may be contacted through telephone, text, or various apps. There are also online consultations with local psychologists to help you cope with the stressful situation amid the coronavirus pandemic. Further, behavioral therapy programs are also available online.
6. Eat healthily and sleep well
Quarantine or not, Postpartum depression may take a toll on your eating and sleeping patterns. Make sure you still eat healthy and nutritious food. You should also have about six to eight hours of sleep every day. This way, you’ll have a sound mind and body to go on with your life as a mother.
Sleep is also crucial in the battle against postpartum depression. When you sleep, your brain and body rejuvenate, making it easier for you to perform your role as a mother. Proper sleep and diet boost your energy levels so you can tend to the needs of your baby efficiently.
7. Start a new ritual or hobby
During the lockdown, you may spend all your time taking care of your baby. Have some time to have a new hobby or ritual in the house. You can join webinars and workshops online, do crafts and arts, or redesign your home. All these can help you become preoccupied with positive thoughts.
Fight postpartum depression
Fighting postpartum depression is not as easy as it seems, but with the help of your loved ones and partner, it is doable. Spend more time with your baby, but don’t forget yourself!