You may have heard of the “baby blues” after having a baby. As your body readjusts to not being pregnant there are huge hormonal shifts that occur and can make you feel like you’re riding a roller coaster. This means you might just find yourself crying for no reason! These feelings are normal and expected to some extent. However, “baby blues” can progress to postpartum depression (PPD).
As midwives we love prevention. While we can’t guarantee you won’t have depression when following these ideas but they may give you a little advantage!
Iron- Make sure you are not anemic! Moms who are anemic are more prone to PPD. If you are keeping your iron levels normal with just food that’s perfect! Just keep it up!
Vitamin D- Almost every mom who comes into our office is deficient in Vitamin D. Especially living in Alaska our vitamin D needs are very high! Most people need at least 5,000iu a day.
Exercise- Getting regular exercise can both help prevent and treat PPD. Of course the first few weeks after birth this is much harder as you heal. But focusing on walks or Pilates before you have a baby and once you are ready to start activities again is very helpful.
Time Alone- A warm bath, a chapter of a new book, coffee with a friend. These are all still important parts of you life even when you have a new baby.
Getting outside- This can be hard during our long winters but spending a few minutes each day outside can do wonders for your mood! Perhaps in the winter taking a drive up to Hatcher Pass may do the trick.
Be Social- At least a little…. Hiding away in your house for forever can make you feel isolated and alone. Find ways to get out for short amounts of time!
Did you struggle with postpartum depression? What helped you through?