How Can You Help With Your Treatment of Postpartum Depression?

To help the treatment from your provider work better, there are several things that you can do on your own: Stay healthy and fit:

Do somthing active every day.  Try to take walks or when cleared by your health care provider, go back to the gym or get back into your regular exercise regimin.

Eat healthy food and snacks.  Try to make food choices that include balanced foods, instead of junk foods, sweets and salty foods.

Get as much rest as you can. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.

Do not consume alcohol.  This includes beer, wine coolers, hard liquor, or other types of alcohol.  Alcohol is a depressant, which slows down your body and makes you feel more depressed in the long run.  Alcohol will also interfere with any medications you might be taking for Postpartum depression.

Lower your stress:

Make sure to do recreational activities that you enjoyed before pregnancy and birth.  Take a class, listen to your favorite music, meet friends out, or read a good book.  Even when your time is very limited, it's important to incorporate old hobbies and activities back into your life when you can.

Do not make any major life changes right after having a baby.  These include job changes, re-locations or changing homes, etc.  These kinds of changes can add more stress that is unnecessary.  Having  a baby is a big life change in itself, and it's better to allow your life to resume with some sense of normalcy before introducing further changes.

Talk to your boss about going back to work.  Discuss the possibility of working from home or working part-time when you first go back, which can lower stress and help you cope better with the postpartum depression.

Ask for and ACCEPT help:

Let others help around the house.  This might include laundry, cleaning bathrooms, cooking meals, grocery shopping, running errands, or asking friends and family to help with the baby.  Don't feel like you need to do everything on your own to be a "good parent".  Don't be afraid to tell people what you are needing.

Keep in touch with the people who are important to you in life and try not to isolate.  Tell your partner, friends and family how you are feeling.

Take time for yourself.  Along with old hobbies and recreational things, it's important to have alone time whenever possible.  This could be used for self-care (manicure, pedicure, haircut and style, reading or journaling, exercise, yoga, etc.) or for fun.  Becoming a parent means constant demands for time and attention, and self-care is vital to having enough energy and motivation in your "tank" to be able to provide for a little one when needed.

Have you recognized any tips for postpartum depression that might apply to you or be helpful in your recovery process?

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.