In the days and weeks following childbirth, it is completely normal to experience a wide variety of emotions. Hormonal shifts and sleep deprivation, as well as adjustment to the new responsibilities and role changes and social isolation required of new parents can be quite overwhelming. A mixture of joy, heartbreaking love, sheer terror, overwhelm at the enormity of your new responsibilities, and that tendency to cry at the slightest provocation (like the commercials on TV), is very common.
Social isolation may play a part in these feelings so if you have friends or family, especially ones who have little ones of their own and may be familiar with the challenges of early parenthood, have them spend some time helping around your house. It is nice to have another adult around and they can help by cooking a meal, running the vacuum, doing the dishes or washing and folding a load of laundry. Or they can do baby care while you shower and nap for an hour or two.
You can also set up a Meal Registry. Find a service like Take Them a Meal and set this up. It’s free and easy and your friends will love you because they want to help, but just don’t know how! Set up a schedule and post it on your FB page or email it to your friends who are asking to help. They can visit with you for a little while when they drop off dinner, and the adult interaction will do you good. Just make sure you don’t feel like you have to be the perfect hostess and wait on them while they are there.
Another great suggestion is to order up a movie that you know will make you cry and watch it on the fourth day after your baby is born. It might sound crazy, but this works to help release your feelings of being overwhelmed in a way that is normal to others, so you don’t have to explain them. My go-to emotional release is The Notebook or A Walk to Remember, or pretty much anything by Nicholas Sparks will probably do the trick!
According to an article on universityhealthnews.com, “Postpartum depression is the most common medical complication that occurs after giving birth, occurring in up to 13% of new mothers. Fatigue, sadness, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are just a few of the negative symptoms associated with this disorder, and studies suggest that postpartum depression in the mother can negatively affect a child’s development and behavior later on. Because of these potentially harmful effects on both mother and child, finding a treatment plan that works is essential for those experiencing postpartum depression. Natural postpartum depression treatment is a safe and effective approach.”
Please take note, if the feelings become all-encompassing, or if a desire to hurt yourself or someone else, including your baby, is present then immediate help from trained medical professionals should be sought. Sometimes, in this state, a new mother helping herself and it is important for those around her to be able to recognize the signs and seek help for her.
Due to concerns about the effects of Pharmacological treatment options during breastfeeding many mothers seek natural solutions. Effective natural solutions may include
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Bright Light Therapy, Aromatherapy, Massage Therapy, and Exercise.
”A pilot study in 2012 concluded that there were positive effects of using aromatherapy as an adjunctive treatment for postpartum anxiety and depression. The essential oils most commonly used for anxiety and depression are Lavender, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Sandalwood, Bergamot, and Rose.”
You can read the rest of the article here. http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/5-natural-postpartum-depression-treatment-options/
Other essential oils that may be helpful are Elevation, Balance, Serenity, Lemon, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Frankincense, Geranium, Clary Sage, Cypress, and Roman Chamomile. Use the oils ad lib or follow a routine like the following. Try using Balance on the back of your neck and bottom of your feet at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bed time. Layer with Frankincense and Elevation in the morning and use citrus oils like Lemon and Wild Orange as a pick me up throughout the day, or Elevation which contains both of those oils. In the afternoon choose Elevation or Serenity, depending if you need a pick me up or to calm down. For bedtime add Frankincense and Serenity to sleep. You can also diffuse these oils into the air and breathe deeply. You can apply 1-2 drops to temples or forehead, or the back of your neck. You can also add them to bath water for a nice, relaxing, uplifting and healing bath.