By Julie Leonard
I remember clearly the first couple of weeks after my son was born. My hormones were all over the place, I was exhausted, I was SO emotional and I felt overwhelmed, uncertain and scared. Even though I knew that this was normal I really struggled and it was such a hard time which thankfully passed within a few weeks.
However for many women, around 1 in 4 or probably higher, the ‘baby blues’ continue for many weeks and develops in to PND. Symptoms can include:
Emotional – Feeling listless, crying all the time or wanting to cry, feeling worthless, low self esteem, fluctuating moods, lack of interest (in everything including the baby), negative, anxiety.
Physical – Feeling exhausted, low libido, change in appetite, insomnia.
Behaviour – Introverted, withdrawn from activities, indecisive, lose temper, yelling and screaming, indifference.
If you have some of these symptoms lasting for more than a few weeks it’s time to seek help. You are not alone. And it is temporary. There are ways of reducing and eventually getting rid of PND.
I have worked with many women over the past 25 years and I want to share with you what I have found to help women with PND.
1. Understand it. Read up on what it is and how it affects you. Once you understand it you can begin to work on it.
2. Don’t bottle it up. Talk to your partner, your family and your friends about how you are feeling. Get their emotional support and practical help.
3. Delegate. Get help with practical tasks like cooking, cleaning, laundry, and babysitting.
4. Go outside. A little bit of fresh air, vitamin D and some exercise releases mood enhancing endorphins.
5. Find a mommy group. Peer support from other moms and those in a similar situation is vital for reducing PND. There are many groups in Meetup, on Facebook and locally. I loved Lynn Darbyshire’s classes. Find out more at www.pippagina.com
6. Make some Me Time. Self care is essential. Prioritise sleep. Book a massage or a facial or some kind of pampering. Meet a friend for coffee. Plan a date night. Exercise and eat well. Make sure you get some time every day for yourself.
7. Use essential oils. I love these powerful wee bottles! Use them in a diffuser, in a dry inhalation, in massage or in your bath. Essential oils of Lavender, Sweet Orange, Mandarin, Bergamot, Geranium and Ylang Ylang are calming, soothing, balancing and uplifting.
8. Ask for professional help. Don’t be scared to seek out professional help. Sometimes medication can be prescribed by your doctor. But more often emotional support from your midwife or a Psychologist will be effective. And so too can talking to a Life Coach who can offer time and space to talk and tools to overcome your depression. (See my details at the end).
Having a baby should be a time of joy but can often be a time of struggle for many mothers. You are not alone. There are many people who care and want to help you. It will get better.
Über Moms get 10% off all coaching sessions as well as a FREE discovery call. To book a Coaching session or an Aromatherapy massage find details at www.potentiacentre.com