Five Ways to Keep Your Relationship Healthy During Postpartum Depression
After your baby arrives and you're struggling to remember how to take care of yourself in the midst of caring for your new little one, postpartum depression is the last thing you want to think about. Unfortunately, it affects more women than actually realize it.
If you are fighting with postpartum depression, you may need to see a doctor for coping mechanisms, therapy, or prescription medications. Often, though, a little work and active thoughtfulness can help mitigate postpartum depression symptoms.
Both you and your partner can take small steps to fight this issue and, together, you can make big gains in restoring yourself to full health.
Here are five tips to help fight postpartum depression:
The first, and biggest step, to fighting postpartum depression is having open communication. It is important for you to be able to share your thoughts, feelings and ideas without fear of your partner's reaction.
Both you and your partner will need to work on this, and a very big part of this is using the right tone when speaking to one another. A loving tone is the most likely to engender a loving tone in return.
Set the Right Tone
Using the right tone doesn't just refer to your tone of voice, though that is a factor. Setting the right tone includes the words you use and the time you choose to talk about a subject, as well as the tone of your voice.
Having a serious conversation about something that is bothering you while the baby is screaming or your partner has had an exceptionally trying day does not set the proper tone for you or your partner to be open minded and thoughtful.
Have Proper Expectations
Life will change after the baby comes, so expecting that things will magically go back to they way they were before you got pregnant is not a reasonable expectation. Life will change for both the mother and the father. While this might seem like it shouldn't need to be said, it is one of the most important things that needs to be remembered.
Stop Being Critical
This step isn't just about your partner, though not being critical of your partner will go a long way towards helping you cope with your postpartum depression. Your partner will be struggling to cope with the lifestyle changes as well, often in many of the same ways you are. But don't just stop with your partner – stop being critical of yourself.
It is okay to not know all the answers or make all the right choices! Forgive your partner for mistakes, and forgive yourself as well.
Give Yourself a Time Out
Kids aren't the only ones who need time-outs. When you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or unable to cope, give yourself a much-needed break. That break could be a few hours of relaxing with your friends, a few hours of pampering at the salon or spa, or just a few minutes hiding in the closet with a bar of chocolate.
Taking the occasional time to allow yourself to re-set can be the difference between coping and giving in to depression.
At SwedishAmerican Hospital, we are dedicated to the ongoing health of all our patients. If you have any questions about postpartum depression or any other medical issue, please contact us today.