For over half of mothers-to-be, there’s the stressful and horrifying possibility of postpartum depression. However, you can prepare your mind and body for these possibilities with the following tips to consider before, throughout, and after pregnancy.
Strive to Get Your Mental Health in Order Before Becoming Pregnant
If your pregnancy is planned, strive to ensure positive mental health before you become pregnant. If you have tendencies towards anxieties and depression, seek treatment and help to better your mental state before you add the strain of pregnancy.
Note: Clinical research in psychiatry suggests that if your pregnancy was unexpected, you can/should start seeing a therapist at the beginning to help you cope with the impending stresses and hormonal shifts.
Try to Avoid High Stress Scenarios, People, and Places
Some people, places, and scenarios are toxic and stressful. Your aim throughout pregnancy, and beyond, should be to stress less and steer clear of stress triggers that could harm you and/or your baby. Cut ties with toxic people, don’t put yourself in knowingly stressful situations, and avoid high stress places.
Be Honest About Your Feelings with Your Doctors
If you feel blue at anytime throughout or beyond your pregnancy, you should absolutely be honest with your doctor. They can help you—either by assigning you medication or putting you in touch with someone that can mediate your feelings and help you plot the best course of action. Never, ever lie about how you feel—that gets you nowhere.
Surround Yourself with a Strong Support System
Do you have family in the area? Do you have a few close friends and loved ones? Do you know of pregnancy or mommy groups in your community? Surround yourself with these kinds of people, make friends, and ask for support from your loved ones. Build a support system that you can turn to and talk to when you need to.
Take 15 Minutes to Yourself, Every Day, Even After Baby is Born
After baby is born, there will likely be days where you skip showers, fall into bed exhausted, and feel like your life is one big cycle of feedings and diaper changes. However, use your support system for at least 15 minutes every single day. Take time to shower, nap, or simply relax before jumping back into the role of mom.