7 Ways To Help You Recover From Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression usually occurs during the first few weeks after birth. However it can appear for up to a year afterwards.
It is different for everyone in regards to their symptoms, treatments and of course recovery. There is no set time that you will make a recovery from postpartum depression.
Some peoples journeys are short, some are long. But with some help you can recover from postpartum depression.
Factors That Affect Your Postpartum Depression Recovery
There are many different factors that can affect your postpartum depression recovery. This is why everyone recovery takes a different amount of time.
There is no set time limit to the question of how long does postpartum depression last.
Some of the factors that can affect how quickly you’ll recover from postpartum depression are as follows:
- how bad your postpartum depression is – the worse your postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety is, the longer it takes to get better
- how long you left it before you got treatment – the longer you left it to get help and treatment the longer your recovery will be
- how well your medication and other treatment is working – how well your anti-depressants and other treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy are working will affect your recovery time
- past mental health issues
- stop trying to be perfect – the good enough mum is perfect enough, so give yourself a break
Your recovery is personal to you and it’s important to not compare yours to some-one else’s.
It does not help you putting unrealistic pressure on yourself to reach someone else’s goals. Do what’s right for you and don’t worry about anyone else. A fully recovery is possible.
Your recovery from your postpartum depression symptoms will need on-going treatment, support and self-care.
It can be lonely and at times you might feel like you’re never going to get better.
You Will Get Better
You will get better though. How do I know? Because I have been you.
I’ve sat alone crying so hard I’ve ran out of tears. I’ve had the thoughts that my baby would be better without me.
I’ve wished for my old life back because I can’t cope with the pressure of motherhood.
Trust me when I say it does get easier. I know it’s hard to believe right now.
While it’s true that everyone’s recovery is different there are something that we can all do to help with the process.
Here are some ways to help with your postpartum depression recovery.
1. Take Breaks From Being ‘Mum’
Yes you are a Mum. But you are also YOU.
Get someone to watch the kids for you so you can take a break from being Mum.
The key is to do something you want to do.
I know that you’ve probably got a list of things you need to do such as cleaning, washing, ironing etc etc…but none of those are things for you.
Do you have a hobby that you’ve not had a chance to do for a while?
A book you’d like to read an extra few pages of? A box set you’d like to watch an episode of in piece and quiet?
I spend my none ‘Mum’ time right here on my blog. It’s gives me something to focus on that’s just all mine plus I enjoy it and get to learn lots of new cool things.
Whatever you do make sure it’s really for you.
2. Write Down Your Thoughts & Feelings
This has helped me so much. It’s great just to do a brain dump and unload all the negative thoughts and all your fears that are whizzing around your head.
I’d find that after when I read them back to myself I’d realise actually it’s not so bad.
Writing it down and reading it back seems to help with seeing things in a logical way.
As you know I also blog about my postpartum depression recovery. This helps to as it’s good to get it all out.
It’s also a massive comfort meeting others through the blog who have been where you are now and understand how you feel.
It’s good to know it not just you and you’re not alone.
3. Tell People You Have Postpartum Depression
I know, I know it’s not easy to go around telling people you are suffering with a mental illness, but hear me out.
I found that by actually telling people it meant everyday life became a little easier.
I told my closest friends and family. It’s so nice to not have to pretend to be happy around everyone. It’s exhausting trying to keep that front on. Plus having the additional support from people is a big help.
I told my boss and other closest co-workers and it made work easier to deal with. They understood if I was having a rubbish day and didn’t finish something.
It’s much easier when people know you have postnatal depression and you can just be you, in what every mood or way you want to be without pretending.
4. Have An Honest Conversation With Your Partner
Talking to your partner or husband about how you are feeling after having your baby isn’t always easy.
He may not understand why you are feeling the way you do about your baby and also he may not understand why you have been different towards him after the birth.
Still, honesty is still the best option. Just tell him about all the thoughts and feelings you have going around in your head.
Explain that you know you need some help and that you need his help to.
If he needs some help with knowing what how to help check out my post on how to help someone with postpartum depression.
You’ll probably find he is grateful for your honesty as he probably thought it was some he had done that had caused some distance between the two of you.
I still find having conversations difficult even five years postpartum. I don’t like people to think that I can’t cope.
But the truth is we all need a little help sometimes – this is true for everyone, not just those of us with postpartum depression.
5. Let People Help You
Don’t be afraid to let people help you. It does not mean you are a bad mum. Far from it.
It takes a strong mumma to acknowledge that she could do with a little help. Plus, it’s also great for kids to see you asking for help when you need it.
It teaches them a valuable life lesson – that you should never be afraid to ask for help.
So if someone wants to cook you a meal, do your washing and ironing or offers to watch the little one whilst you have a shower – take them up in the offer.
6. Keep Up With Your Doctors Appointments
During your recovery, and even if you think you’re doing OK it’s vital to keep attending your medical appointments.
These could be with your doctor and or mental health specialist.
On going contact with your care team is important because as you recover your postpartum depression treatment plan may need to change to suit your needs.
Your medication and other treatments may not work throughout your recovery so you might need to switch them up every now and then.
It also gives you a chance for you to talk to someone about any concerns you have and is a good source of support.
7. Practise Some Self-Care
Self-care can be done in many ways. You could try some gentle exercise, a healthy diet or some relaxation and mindfulness.
You can even do a mixture of all the available options.
It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, just a walk around the block to get some fresh air and get you out of the house will do you the world of good.
Read More : 11 Simple Yet Amazing Self Care Tips For Mums
Don’t forget to also concentrate on your sleep. Sleep is so important in helping in your recovery as sleep deprivation is a massive contributor to making your symptoms worse.
I know it can be difficult with a small baby, and I know you’ve heard it a million times, but it really is best to sleep when the baby sleeps.
How Will I Know When I’m Recovering From Postpartum Depression
Here are some of the signs you should look out for that will show you have started to recover from postpartum depression.
- Your dreams and ambitions return – as you recover you will start to dream about your future again and make plans. You may find your ambition for your work or a once loved hobby will return.
- You find happiness in the small things – the small things will bring you joy again. It could be a warm spring day, the smile of your baby, or finding your favourite chocolate bar in the fridge.
- Your concentration will improve – you’ll be able to think clearer again and tackle those negative thoughts easier. The fog will lift so thinking won’t be such hard work.
- Your personality will come back – you’ll start to do the things you once loved again, be able to laugh and enjoy time with your loved ones.
It’s not impossible to recover from postpartum depression. However, it is super important to have a treatment plan and somethings you can do to aid your recovery.
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