Written by Skylan Abraham of www.skysartbucket.com

Click here to read part one: Living with Postpartum Depression

Battling the war known as Postpartum Depression and coming out on top is no easy feat.

Take it from me, mother to 3 boys, who’s been battling with postpartum since my firstborn. I suppose after a certain point, it’s no longer called postpartum; I often wonder if it simply enhanced an already underlying condition I was unaware of–  depression perhaps, social anxiety maybe? 

I grew up in a household that believed in more natural solutions [not to say seeing a professional is abnormal, but rather, as my family felt it– unnecessary [a belief I feel should be reevaluated].

We can use these same solutions and apply them to your battle with Postpartum. Here are the necessary steps to overcoming this hardship:

1.Make Time For Yourself

In the gull of everyday life, especially as a new mother, we can often forget that our lives revolve more than around the baby. We must take the time to step aside and find a chance to breathe. They often say the best thing to do as a new mother is to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” and although there is merit to this piece of advice, doing so can often leave us feeling as though our lives are slipping by. 

By no means am I saying never to sleep when the baby sleeps, as sleep is what allows for a more stable mindset, but if you personally feel like doing something else, consider reading, taking a bath, or perhaps even engage in some exercise. 

  • Stress is often a big factor in Postpartum. Reading reduces stress by 68% according to a University of Minnesota study
  •  “Stress causes the muscles of the body to contract,” says Dr. Mark Khorsandi, a migraine surgeon in Houston, Texas. “A hot bath can relieve those symptoms and keep the muscles loose.”
  • Exercise, of course, releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals of the brain. 

Engaging in any three will surely help you win this standoff. Other activities to consider: hobbies, meditation, music. 

2. Remind Yourself That It’s Okay to Deal with Postpartum

This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you as a fellow struggler. I can’t recall how many times my internal, moody dialogue made me feel as though I was failing as a mother. I was ecstatic to have children, so why did I feel the way I did? 

  • Consider your hormones; they don’t return to baseline until about 6 months after baby is born. The fluctuations within our bodies (i.e. our estrogen and progesterone levels) can be the root cause of our emotional tendencies: feeling hopeless, irritable, suicidal. 
  • You are not a bad mom, you are simply adjusting. Learn as much as you can from others while you journey through motherhood. Many women have been through what you have, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice if you feel comfortable. 

It’s okay to not be okay; you’re trying your best, and that’s all that matters. With that notion in mind, allow yourself to wallow in your emotions; denying their existence often made things worse for me. Feeling them at full force, however,  allowed me to be vulnerable and honest with my husband, and he did his best to comfort me, and I found it easier to forgive myself.

Raising a child is a team effort, although if it’s just you and the baby, it’s a luxury not granted to you– but surely there is someone in your life that you can rely on – if not, find strength within and rely on yourself, for you are your biggest supporter, and I’ll be rooting for you; I admire your prowess. 

3. Take it One Day at A Time

  Sometimes that’s all we can do. Surely, time will improve all things. We just have to practice patience and have faith that time is on our side. 

Until then: take a breather, cut yourself some slack, find time for yourself, seek comfort in friendships, and never give up. I promise, you will feel okay again. 


Photo by Pixabay

Leave a Reply