As a new mum, your life may be going through many changes. From getting used to living with a newborn to dealing with lack of sleep, and even latching issues, among other things. Most of you may also be experiencing mood swings, cravings, and anxiety. But when all these symptoms become severe, they generally point to postpartum depression (PPD).
Approximately 21 percent of women experience major or minor depression following childbirth. But according to this study PPD is dependent on the season of your child’s birth.
PPD Depends On The Season Of Your Child’s Birth: Study
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Researchers reviewed the medical records of over 20,000 mothers, between June 2015 to August 2017. Their findings revealed that women who delivered in winter or spring were less likely to suffer from PPD.
This is in comparison to those who delivered in summer or fall.
That’s because there is a proven link between vitamin D deficiency and depression.
Here’s why seasons matter
The research highlights that if you are giving birth in summer or fall, you are more likely to suffer from PPD. That’s because as a new mum, you may stay at home to take care of your newborn. This may give make you feel isolated from your social circles. You may also miss going out with your friends and family.
Plus, you may be suffering from low levels of vitamin D, due to lack of exposure to sunlight. The amount of sun exposure you need will depend on your climate, the time of day, and the time of year. Thus, low Vitamin D in your body can make you feel depressed after you deliver.
The researchers, however, clarified that the season of the birth of the baby was not the only thing that determines the risk of PPD. Other factors like maternal weight, race, epidural use also play a significant role.
They also added that it wasn’t something to be ashamed of or hide. Instead, you need to address the issue, to help you bond better with your child. If you are sailing in the same boat, here are some practical and helpful tips on how to deal with postpartum depression.
How To Deal With Postpartum Depression: 5 Helpful Suggestions
1. Rely on your ‘female’ support network
As a new mum, it is natural to feel lonely and crave time with your friends. You may not have had a chance to meet them in person ever since your little one was born. You may want a break from all the ‘nappy conversations’ and would want to engage in some banter with your friends. Don’t wait, go ahead.
Call your friends and share your feelings with them. If it’s safe to call them over to your place, do that. You can always ask your parter or your family to take care of the baby for few hours. This will help you to de-stress and divert your attention from the feeling of despair.
2. Exercise and eat healthy
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Needless to say but exercise can bolster your mood. Physical activity increase endorphins or the happy hormones, pepping your mood instantly.
Start slow and increase the intensity a little each day. Don’t stress yourself at any point. Remember, to not engage yourself in any heavy exercises. Instead, opt for a light jog or walk or as advised by your doctor.
During your lactating phase, you may feel very hungry. Remember to eat healthy and don’t starve yourself. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins in your diet. Plus, include foods that are rich in the natural source of Vitamin D, for instance, salmon, mackerel, fish liver oils, and animal fats.
3. Don’t forget to love yourself
Infuse positive thoughts and belief and you will find them working wonders for your self-confidence. Don’t belittle your body or your mind or blame the baby for any changes. Instead, focus on the positives. Look for ways in which you can relax yourself.
4. Try bonding exercises with your baby
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At this time, you may find yourself having difficulty in bonding with your baby. But, there are simple bonding exercises that can help. You can make skin-to-skin contact, hold your baby’s hand, look into their eyes when you talk to them, and smile at them often.
In fact, the latter is a helpful bonding exercise. According to research, when a mother sees her baby smiling, areas of her brain that are associated with reward light up.
5. Opt for counselling
Proper consultation by the doctor will help you recover faster. They will diagnose your symptoms, recommend medication, and can advise on any additional precaution you may need to take.
While these may seem trivial, recovery is an important part of the healing process. The faster you recover, the greater your bond with your baby. So share your feelings with those close, try to find happiness, and seek help when needed.
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