According to research, 1 out of 5 in women are undergoing postpartum depression. This condition does affect not only the mother herself but also the mental health of their children and their partners.
With a global pandemic happening now, this number is expected to rise in a significant manner. The anxiety of whether mothers and newborns are exposed to COVID-19 combined with the stress of taking care of a newborn and the sadness brought about social distancing may only worsen cases of depression.
Despite these conditions, there are still several things that you can do to manage postpartum depression amid COVID-19. Here are some of it:
Get Enough Sleep
The challenges of being a new mother might be a little overwhelming at first. You wake up whenever your baby cries, you change their nappies, you soothe them before going to sleep, and you breastfeed them. Although these are time-consuming activities, you have to find enough time to rest.
Getting enough sleep is right for your mental health. Allocating time for short naps and long sleep will not only prepare yourself from the difficulties of being a mother but will also improve your happiness and sense of direction.
Utilize Online Resources
As someone with postpartum depression, you may also utilize the power of technology.
For one, there are a lot of therapists and physicians nowadays who are providing online and telephone consultancies. Since their patients cannot go to their offices to avail of their services due to COVID-19, they put it upon themselves to bring the services to their clients. What’s admirable about this is that there are even hospital emergency departments that prioritize women undergoing this condition.
Another beautiful thing about the internet is that there are also various online forums where you can interact with the people who are also in the same situation as you. They will empathize with you since they know what you are going through. Robert Sege, MD, Ph.D., FAAP, suggests joining forums, “New mothers may find it helpful to discuss their experiences with other new mothers.” Once you have recovered, make sure to give back and show your support to them as well.
Lastly, numerous online apps support women like you. These are apps that focus on breathing techniques, time management, mental exercise, and such.
Connect With Others
It is not enough to talk to strangers who are having the same condition as you. You should also try to connect with the people you are closest to – your partner, your family, and some close friends. Yes, the concept of social distancing might hinder this, but there are ways on how to go about this.
In these kinds of situations, you can use social media or any other video chatting platform to connect with the people around you. You may seek comprehensive support from those whom you share the same struggles, fears, and situations.
One way to optimize someone’s mental health experiencing postpartum depression is through lifestyle changes. Its focus is on aspects of self-care such as nutrition, time for self, and exercise. As someone going through a lot, what you can do is to take small steps. Begin with easy tasks such as showering daily, listing down your feelings every day, and exercising every afternoon.
Once you have accomplished all of these, then you can now go to the difficult tasks. One example of this is proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is vital in new mothers because their babies depend on their health. Therefore, make sure to consume three meals a day and have some healthy snacks in between. You also have to keep yourself hydrated to be able to enhance your brain function.
Another thing that you should focus on is exercise. Yes, there are times that you might be a little lazy to get up and stretch your body. However, exercising does not only contribute to physical improvements, but it also gives you higher energy and a good mood.
Since most places are on lockdown and it might be too risky for you to go out and join the gym, the best way to go about this is to exercise at the comforts of your own home. Believe it or not, you do not need fancy equipment to get you going. All you have to do is prepare a set of exercises that fits your condition as a new mother. Before undergoing this, make sure to seek the advice of a professional.
COVID-19 limits the way you handle this situation, but you should make do with what you have right now. Just follow the tips above, and you’ll slowly be able to manage your postpartum depression.