Unfortunately, postpartum depression cannot be prevented, but being prepared and planning ahead can help. Here are some steps to take that may reduce your symptoms or lower your risk for postpartum depression.
- Eat a balanced diet, exercise when possible and try to get adequate sleep.
- Share your feelings with someone close to you. Don’t isolate yourself at home.
- Don’t try to do everything for everyone. You do not need to be superwoman!
- Set realistic expectations for yourself.
- Don’t be ashamed of having emotional changes after your baby is born. It is very common.
Being tired is a big problem for most new moms. It can make you lose confidence in yourself and make you resent those you love. As long as your baby still needs to be fed during the night, you should try to rest an extra two hours each day, sleep when your baby sleeps and go to bed early.
Do not be afraid to ask for help before you become overly tired. And, when help is offered, accept it without feeling guilty.
Attending support group meetings with other moms who are in the same situation is also a way to understand your feelings and share your thoughts. For more information about support groups, call Social Services at 225-924-8456.
If you need immediate assistance: