Postpartum Depression: 9 Ways to Get through the Day - dummies

Postpartum Depression: 9 Ways to Get through the Day

By Shoshana S. Bennett, Mary Jo Codey

Part of Postpartum Depression For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Pull yourself out of the deep pit of postpartum depression (PPD) and get back to normal with these essential tips, including some ideas to help you take care of yourself. Sometimes new moms think that they should be plopped at the bottom of the list as if their own needs don’t matter, and when PPD is added to the mix, a mom often feels unworthy and unimportant.

Use these ideas to help you simplify your day and ease the overwhelming feelings you’re probably experiencing:

  • Make a short list of three tasks to accomplish each day. For instance, set out to feed the baby, take a shower, and eat lunch.

  • Lower your expectations to a realistic level. For example, use paper plates, order dinner out, and forget about sending baby announcements.

  • Ask for help. Odds are that people around you are politely waiting for you to call on them for help and who would be delighted to, for example, pick something up at the store, babysit, make lunch, or fold your laundry for you.

  • Accept help that’s offered. When your neighbor, friend, relative, or other kind soul asks if he or she can do anything for you, practice saying, “yes!” and give them a specific task that would help you.

  • Gather the clutter (toys, baby blankets, and so on) into laundry baskets instead of putting it all away, since it will all be on the floor again tomorrow.

  • Take breaks from tasks (including taking care of your baby) when someone else is in charge.

  • Take your baby for a 15-minute walk outside during the day (more than once if you’re up to it) to help clear your head. Be sure to focus on breathing in lots of fresh air.

  • Set your alarm to go off with your favorite music 15 minutes before your baby usually wakes up (it’s worth it) so you can stretch your muscles, shower, and start your day in a peaceful way.

  • Drink lots of water and nibble high-quality protein such as turkey, chicken, fish, or eggs throughout the day.