When I had my first child I didn’t experience any kind of postpartum depression. It wasn’t until I had my second baby that I noticed something was not quite right. I cried every day, I felt myself getting more and more angry and I was running off of little to no sleep.
I thought the second time around would be different because I discussed with my husband the possibility of me becoming a stay at home mom this time. Going back to work 3 months after I had my first child was a time full of anxiety and was overwhelmingly hard. My milk supply declined and never really recovered after returning to work.
Surely I thought I wouldn’t experience postpartum depression by staying home after my second son was born. I was wrong. It surprised me that I felt this way. I often wondered what changed this time because I had little to no sleep with my first child as well.
Becoming a stay at home mom was harder than I expected. Sure, I didn’t have the separation anxiety from leaving my baby by returning to work, but this was a whole different set of emotions that I hadn’t experienced before.
I didn’t have a lot of support so I felt more alone. I also didn’t have the adult stimulation that comes from interactions with my co-workers at work.
Here are 5 things that helped me combat postpartum depression:
1. Taking and replenishing vitamins:
Studies show that there is a link between vitamin deficiency and postpartum depression. These vitamins can include vitamin D, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, and copper. Taking a postnatal vitamin especially if breastfeeding can replenish vitamins lost from childbirth and the postpartum period.
2. Postpartum support group
These groups are usually led by a licensed therapist. It’s very helpful to know that you are not alone in your postpartum journey, and more often than not, you will meet other mothers in the group that could be going through the same things emotionally. They gave me lots of tips, tricks and ideas as well as an understanding of postpartum mood, and anxiety disorders.
Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts on paper. It is scientifically, proven, that journaling, can decrease depression, stress and anxiety. This is important in the postpartum period because of fluctuating hormones.
I have created a prompted journal, so you don’t even have to think about what to write. This journal is specifically for the postpartum period and addresses all those emotions, thoughts and feelings that are most common during this time. You can check it out HERE.
4. Finding a mom group
It’s so nice to know that you are not alone! Nine times out of ten, another mom has been through this journey or is currently going through this journey. It’s important to have someone you can relate to that is going to cheer you on and encourage you instead of being judgmental. There are lots of mom groups that are local and can find with a quick Google search. There are also ones that are virtual. Be careful of groups that are “mom shaming,” or giving unsolicited or unhelpful advice.