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Postnatal depression: step by step approach to positive maternal mental health

  • By Newmi
  • •  Jun 30, 2022

When pregnancy hormones suddenly swerve and swoop low, you become puddle of emotions. The blend of emotions taking you for a roller-coaster ride is difficult to manage. At one point you will be soaring at the dizziest heights and other times you might be curling up in a corner shedding bucket of tears. This extreme state right after delivery is what in scientific terms called as postnatal depression or postpartum depression (PPD). Being aware of what postpartum depression is and what sort of coping mechanism to follow is vital. 

In this article:

  • What is postnatal depression? 
  • Early symptoms of postnatal depression 
  • Ways to avail postpartum care and satisfy postpartum needs 
  • Postpartum recovery plan 
  • Tips to manage postnatal depression 
  • Summary

What is postnatal depression? 

    Emotional turbulence happens post giving birth to a baby due to many factors. The excitement, bliss, apprehension, anxiety and fear; all these emotions do not settle in one place but move in circles, causing you to feel both great and hollow inside. Post pregnancy depression generally stays for 2 to 3 weeks but if your symptoms persist for longer duration, it is a clear sign of postnatal depression. Postpartum anxiety and depression is difficult to identify and easy to miss but remember that it happens to most of the women. Sometimes it can start after 2 or 3 months after delivery. Better to watch out for early postpartum symptoms so that you can seek professional help and avail right postpartum care plan. 

    Early symptoms of postnatal depression 

    Recognising PPD is first step to avail postnatal care. Postnatal depression overlaps with baby blue symptoms but latter’s symptoms last for a shorter duration. The most common of postnatal depression are: 

    • Unfounded fear, anxiety and panic attacks 
    • Lack of focus and shifty eyes 
    • Irritability or anger 
    • Lack of interest in holding or taking care of baby 
    • Headache and loss of appetite
    • Reduced interest in self and the environment around you
    • Restlessness and being fidgety
    • Being sad, excessive worry or postpartum hypertension
    • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts on harming your baby
    • Being resentful and non-participative
    • Intense fatigue and sleeping issues
    • Sense of guilt and shame 

    Ways to avail postpartum care and satisfy postpartum needs:

    • Postpartum yoga and exercise – While prenatal yoga is much talked about, it is not right to ignore postpartum exercise and yoga. Infact, postpartum recovery module glorifies the importance of yoga in postpartum care plan. A daily dose of walk, yoga and practicing different postpartum related asanas is necessary to navigate negative emotions and dispelling dark thoughts. When you practice movements in yoga asanas, you release different feel-good hormones in the process, which calms your senses and erases self-doubts, fears and anxiety which, collectively, are significant symptoms of postnatal depression. 
    • Postpartum therapy – Postnatal depression is caused by many factors like lack of support system, hormonal changes, sleep issues, low confidence levels, body image issues etc. Many women experience incomprehensible feelings after giving birth. While that is so, society may also gaslight you to believe that the mental trauma you are going through is not a big deal and even worse, some will emerge out of nowhere to give you false advice and thrust their airbrushed notions. Do not fall under the trap of their misleading words. Once you have managed to recognise the symptoms, try talking to a counsellor or postpartum therapist who is qualified enough to educate you about postpartum care. There are psychological therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy which acts as postpartum anxiety treatments and comes as a relief to alleviate postnatal depression symptoms. Your therapist will evaluate and prescribe a remedial treatment depending on the diagnosis. 

    Postpartum recovery plan 

    • Postpartum recovery plan is specially designed to treat postnatal depression. The salient features of the modules enlist every minute detail of postpartum care. Enrol for a comprehensive postpartum care plan and say bye to your depressed mind.  

      • Mother and baby connect – This module strengthens bond between you and your baby. It will teach you how to handle your baby, focussing on breastfeeding and latching techniques and massaging techniques. It will connect you with lactation specialist and massage expert who will raise awareness and solve even smallest of doubts. Child health care and personalised diet plan are an added bonus in this program which will supply all that you need to know about your and your baby’s nutrition and lifestyle management.  
      • Safe/unsafe postpartum products – You chance upon so many products from different companies but when it comes to skin, hair or any health-related product, you should make an informed choice. This postpartum recovery module will inform you about safe products to use in your postpartum, be it massage oil, face cream or hair serum.  
      • Realign yourself through Yoga – To tackle your weight issues and rebuild your posture, power yoga comes to rescue. This program will introduce you to meditation sessions and will help you build pelvic and stomach muscles through yoga and breathing techniques 
      • Community-connect – Postnatal depression requires talking therapy which becomes a catalyst to improve your mental health and reduce anxiety related disorders. Speaking out your problems and struggles to someone who is in your league will bring you up from downward spiral and give you hope.  This module will put you in touch with community of moms where you can share your conflicts, discuss your symptoms and seek postpartum depression help. Not only that, professional mentors will have a one-to-one session with you to guide you towards recovery process.  
      • Family counselling – Talking to immediate family is very vital to educate and raise awareness of PPD. Not every family is supportive and considerate towards new moms. So, breaking the barrier of ignorance about postnatal depression is essential. Involving them in the process of postnatal recovery, making them aware about consequences of postnatal depression and how their support matters is covered in this module. Mentors not only connect with you but also to your family, directing their focus not only to your baby but also towards your wellbeing. 

    Tips to manage postnatal depression: 

    • Don’t go overboard and overwhelm yourself with lot of unnecessary chores during postpartum days. Be mindful on the task at hand and centre your attention towards you and your baby 
    • Ask for help. Your family might not be available at all times so talking to someone you trust helps. In severe cases, please don’t hesitate to take professional help
    • You don’t have to be extra productive on all days. Instead take some time off and engage with your self
    • Remember, you are learning about your baby and its needs so be realistic and don’t fret about something going wrong. Everybody falls in postpartum journey. Try rising after every fall or hold someone who will help you rise. 
    • Your partner is very important in parenting journey. Ask for your partner’s help and delegate few tasks to reduce your stress. 
    • Follow postpartum diet and make healthy food choices as directed by your health care provider
    • Move your feet whenever its possible. Go for a walk or stretch yourself for few minutes. Do not practice any fitness routine without the help of expert or trainer. Every movement should be carefully guided by a fitness expert.
    • Lastly, even though it sounds cliché, sleep whenever your baby sleeps as sleep helps in treating mental health issues like no other medicine 


    PPD or postnatal depression is not uncommon but happens to many women post-delivery. It is not your fault or nothing to be ashamed of. There are myriad coping mechanisms to deal with PPD. Talk to your doctor, try out different methods and choose the best one that works for you.   

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