5 Coping Skills for New Moms With Postpartum Depression
If you’re like me, then bringing home your new baby was one of the happiest moments of your life. If you’re like me, then that happiness was stripped away by a postpartum depression (PPD) diagnosis, and was hard to get back.
After I was diagnosed with PPD, I taught myself five ways to cope that didn’t involve being away from my new bundle of joy.
1. Take a walk with your baby.
Wear her or push her in the stroller. She’ll be in awe of her new world, and each step will help you feel more alive. Take in and be mindful of your surroundings and appreciate what you see.
2. Work on the baby book.
Put your baby in the bouncer and as you talk to her, put together the pages in her baby book. Looking at the pictures will bring back a little bit of the happiness you have lost, and you will feel accomplished when you have completed a page.
3. Get down on your baby’s level.
Watch her explore the floor, the coffee table and the cat. Look at things from her perspective and see why she finds wonder in what you see from a regular view every day. A fresh perspective on something small will serve as a big distraction from your negative thoughts.
4. Write baby letters for the future.
As you watch your baby sleep and note how peaceful she looks, think about what you would like to tell her as she grows older. Write her a letter for her first day of kindergarten, for her first prom, for her sixteenth birthday and for her wedding. Your negative thoughts will be replaced by sweet sentiments addressed to your new baby.
5. Sing to your baby.
Music is therapeutic and is proven to be effective in helping with depression. Sing your baby your favorite songs, focus on your voice and let your baby hear you. You’ll stop feeling anxious as you focus on the lyrics and look tenderly at your baby as she discovers the different levels of your voice.
There are ways to cope without your baby nearby, like reading, exercising or taking a nap. PPD caused me to have an aversion to my baby. Hence, I wanted to combat that, as I coped with my symptoms. Our new babies need us to effectively cope with our PPD. They need happy, healthy mothers to take care of them, and we need that for ourselves, too.