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How Depression Impacts Motherhood

depressed women with child

Motherhood is usually portrayed as a period of immense joy and happiness for the to-be mother. When it is completely true in most cases, a few women also go on a roller-coaster ride of emotions which could also take them through sadness, tiredness, anxiety, and even depression (also called postpartum depression). A study shows that nearly 50 to 70 percent of new moms go through these anxious or depressed baby blues. While it is usually a bubble that lasts for about a week or two in most new moms, it lasts longer in a few other women. When the symptoms of depression after giving birth get a lot more serious and last longer than 2 weeks, it is clinically diagnosed as ‘postpartum depression.

What Causes Postpartum Depression in Most New Mothers?

Hormonal changes are the main cause of a new mother’s mood swings. During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body go up.  But when you give birth, the levels of those and other hormones change. It’s also true that women who have been depressed in the past are more likely to be depressed when they become mothers. This huge drop in hormones, as well as the start of breastfeeding, interrupted sleep and adapting to motherhood, all raise the risk of depression.

Symptoms of Depression in Motherhood

Symptoms of postpartum depression can be different for each person, but some of the commonly seen ones are –

  • Having a lot of anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depressed mood or a lot of mood swings
  • Fear of not being a good mother
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or a lot of sleep, can happen.
  • Changes in appetite (hardly eating or eating much more than usual)
  • Suicidal or death thoughts all the time
  • Hard time bonding with the baby, thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby, or a lack of energy
  • The ability to think clearly, concentrate, or make decisions is lessened.
  • A sense of guilt, shame, or worthlessness.
  • Hopelessness
  • Crying too much

Symptoms usually start to show up in the first few weeks after a woman gives birth, but they can start even earlier.

The Impact of Depression on Motherhood

When the new mother is depressed, it just doesn’t impact her body and mind. As a wave ripples, it causes commotion in the entire family. Some of the possible  things that can happen when a new mother goes through postpartum depression are

  • The depression of one parent puts the other parent and caretakers at home at risk for depression as well.
  • It has a big effect on the child’s well-being if the mother is depressed.
  • If a woman experiences severe depression during her pregnancy, it can lead to miscarriage, giving birth early (preterm), or having a small baby with low birth weight.
  • If you have older children at home, worse is the case as the impacts of postpartum depression extends to them as well. They might get scared, feel left alone, or even become more stubborn and anguished.

Home Remedies that can Help Deal with Postpartum Depression

While it is highly recommended that you visit a trained psychologist to overcome depression, here are a few home remedies that can help you overcome postpartum depression without any side effects –

Exercise

Getting out of bed and moving about is the most effective home remedy for depression and anxiety. Exercising causes the release of happy hormones such as serotonin. While new mothers should refrain from engaging in heavy activities after giving birth, simple activities such as taking a brief stroll in the fresh air can be quite beneficial in overcoming depression. The consumption of foods such as eggs, cheese, almonds, salmon, tofu, and pineapple all aid in the creation of serotonin.

Mediate

Even just 10 minutes of meditation a day can make a significant difference in your ability to overcome depression. Sit in a quiet area and focus on maintaining even breathing. You will notice a substantial improvement in the clarity of your thought patterns, as well as a rejuvenation of your inner self, and a reduction in your depression. However, consistency is essential in this situation. While your child is sleeping, try to take care of your own emotional well-being for the sake of the whole family.

Consume adequate quantities of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids

To effectively treat depression, your body requires proper levels of Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids. You can increase your intake of dairy products, meats, walnuts, sardines, salmon, and Brussel sprouts to ensure that your body is adequately restocked with Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis.

Incorporate herbs in your diet

Herbs such as ashwagandha, saffron, and Brahmi are extremely effective for calming a person’s mind and promoting relaxation. Among the most beneficial aspects of herbs is that they have no negative side effects and are perfectly safe to be ingested by anyone, including breastfeeding mothers. These days, there are many delicious gummies that are made with these herbs. Choose a vegan, non-GMO stress-free gummy and have one a day to keep your mood swings under control.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things to a stress-free life. However, as a new mother, you might not be able to get enough restful sleep. We understand that you will have to nurse your baby every couple of hours and that your baby refuses to go to sleep at your preferred time. The trick here is to catch up on sleep every time your baby sleeps. Many mothers just can’t sleep due to stress. This is where sleep gummies that are made with the goodness of ashwagandha can help you.

Related Post: Insomnia: Causes and 5 Best Herbal Remedies for Insomnia

Open up to your near and dear ones

While it might feel weird to open up your feelings to someone, it definitely helps. It could be your husband, parents, or friends. Talk to them about what is going through your mind and how you feel. Seek help and accept it when they give. After all, families are there to help us stay calm amidst the chaos!

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About the author

Monika SIngh

Monika is an accidental software engineer and fitness enthusiast by heart, She is also a co-founder of "We Are Fitness Freak", and she loves to help people with her knowledge & expertise.

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