You can make a difference..
Postnatal (or postpartum) depression is a serious condition that can affect new mothers after giving birth. It can interfere with your ability to bond with your baby and enjoy motherhood.
However, there are some steps you can take before and after having the baby to lower the chances of developing postnatal depression.
Here are some steps that you can take DURING YOUR PREGNANCY:
- Manage your stress and anxiety levels. Stress and anxiety can trigger or worsen pregnancy and postnatal depression. Find healthy ways to cope with your emotions, such as talking to someone you trust, practicing relaxation or hypnobirthing techniques, or doing something you enjoy.
- Prepare yourself mentally and physically for birth. Having realistic expectations and a positive attitude can help you cope better with the challenges of labour and birth. But learning about how birth works, the mind and body connection, and strategies to help you cope with contractions will have a huge difference. When you have a straightforward birth with few or no interventions, and you are the person in control in the birth room, studies show that you are less likely to experience postnatal depression.
- Make a postnatal plan for yourself. After giving birth, you will need time to rest and recover. Plan ahead for how you will take care of yourself and your baby, such as arranging for help from family or friends, setting up a comfortable and safe environment, and stocking up on essentials.
- Educate those around you. Postnatal depression is not a sign of weakness or failure. It is a common and treatable condition that can affect anyone. Let your partner, family, friends, and health care providers know about the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression, and how they can support you if you experience it.
- Spend time focusing on yourself and your baby. Bonding with your baby can help you feel more connected to the huge transformation that is starting to happen. Try to spend some quality time with your unborn baby every day, sing or talk to your baby, or simply hold/stroke your bump and take some slow deep breaths, visualising yourself holding your baby after the birth.
Debbie Willis, Better Birth & Baby