POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: How to love yourself after childbirth

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Postpartum depression affects some women after giving birth to an infant. It is linked to chemical, social and psychological changes associated with having a baby, according to www.webmd.com. Quite a number of women go through Postpartum Depression. 

Women after childbirth may suffer mood swings like anger, anxiety, intense irritability, fear, insomnia, inability to bond with the baby among others. 

The good news is, Postpartum Depression is curable through counseling and self-care techniques.

How do you love yourself and your body after childbirth? A lot of women go through the difficult question of how to bounce back after childbirth. It’s a difficult thing to see your body go through nine long months of pregnancy and finally childbirth. It doesn’t only end at childbirth; you also have to go through the arduous task of feeding, clothing, protecting and nurturing your baby, which can take a toll on your physical and mental state of your being.

Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of your new motherhood journey:

1. ACCEPT YOU ARE A DIFFERENT PERSON NOW

Having a baby is a big deal. A baby coming into your life is going to change everything about you. From your body, to your decision making, to your lifestyle among others. Everything changes. A baby did not just happen. It took you nine months of pregnancy to birth your beautiful baby. It is no need trying to fit your baby into your old lifestyle. Accept the fact that you are on a new journey now. You need to re-strategize your plans to include the baby. Accepting the fact is the first key to being happy after childbirth.

2. IGNORE THE MEDIA

If there’s a better time to go on a media strike then after having a baby is a good time. Not to say ignore the media totally, but be circumspect in what you read online. You are likely to find women celebrities who have bounced back a month or less after birth and have everything under control while you are still trying to figure out the best way and time to feed your baby. This can be depressing. Don’t dwell on them, some of them are not even real. Concentrate on yourself and your baby and everything around you will fall in place.

3. DWELL ON THE PRESENT

Inasmuch as it’s easier to look at your body before you had a baby, it’s really depressing to look back and realize you don’t have it all together. Like your body isn’t banging like before. Your breasts are probably heavy from breastfeeding. Focusing on the past is going to depress you. Rather, be loving, kind and patient with yourself and trust that you’ll get your body and every other thing back and under control.

4. BE GRATEFUL

Your body did an amazing job by birthing a whole human being. Relax. Look at your baby and be grateful. Be grateful for the body that produced your baby. Be grateful to be the mother of your baby. Recognize it as a gift as many women are still praying to experience the joys of motherhood. Be grateful you were chosen out of the many women to be a mother.

5. POSITIVE AFFIRMATION

Affirm positivity into your life. Don’t get caught up in making disparaging statements about your body. Remind yourself constantly of the miracle you have. Your body changes do not compare to the healthy baby you have. Give yourself positive affirmations like, “I’m a great Mom, I have an amazing body and I rock!” Yes, rock your body Mama! Think positive thoughts.

6. DON’T LOSE YOUR SEX DRIVE 

After all the stress it takes to handle a new baby, the diaper change, midnight feedings amidst all the other chaos of being a new mother, it’s easy to lose your sex drive. As soon as your body and mind is ready, don’t be afraid to start having sex. Sex relaxes your body and mind. And after going through all the struggles of taking care of the baby, you’ll need to connect with your partner too. And there’s no better connection with your partner than sex. Get your game on!

7. ENGAGE IN SELF CARE

Self-care means a lot to different people. What excites you and makes you feel good? For some it is reading a book, for others it is to get uninterrupted sleep, exercise, get relaxed at the spa, have good conversations, to dress well among others. Whatever self-care means to you, discover it and find time to engage with it. It’s going to bring you some happiness. Take care of your physical well being. Be conscious of how you look. Be intentional about looking good. Wake up, dress up. Not to go out, but to have a good feeling of yourself. It’s going to bring you some joy. 

8. HANGOUT WITH FRIENDS

Who doesn’t like the idea of going out to have a nice time with friends? Everyone loves to be surrounded by people they love. With all the chaos of nurturing your baby, it’s a great idea to take time out. Plan a fun day with your friends and have a great time. You can either take baby out or get your partner or a trusted person take care of baby while you are away with your friends.

9. KEEP A JOURNAL

To keep track of yourself and all that’s happening around you and in your life, you can start to write down your thoughts, ideas, feelings which will help you stay connected with yourself and the whole new journey of motherhood. 

In a nutshell, focus on yourself and your baby and you’ll be fine.

Featured image: https://www.pinterest.com/