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Can You Prevent Postpartum Depression?

Here we share a list of prevention tips you can follow to reduce your risk of postpartum depression.

Can You Prevent Postpartum Depression?

Early detection and treatment can prevent PPD from worsening and improve recovery outcomes

Postpartum refers to the period following childbirth when the mother's body, mind, and emotions undergo significant changes as they adjust to life after pregnancy. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mental health condition that can occur during this time, characterised by feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, fatigue, and difficulty bonding with the baby. Early recognition is crucial for managing postpartum depression and ensuring the well-being of both mother and child. In this article, we share a list of prevention tips you can follow to reduce your risk of postpartum depression.

Here are some preventive tips:

1. Regular prenatal care

Ensures that both the mother and the baby are healthy, provides opportunities to discuss mental health concerns, and prepares the mother for childbirth and postpartum changes. Attend all scheduled prenatal appointments and actively participate in prenatal classes. Discuss any concerns or mental health history with your healthcare provider.

2. Maintain a balanced diet

Good nutrition supports overall health and can influence mood and energy levels. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive caffeine and sugar.

3. Engage in regular exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, and help reduce stress. Consult with your healthcare provider for safe exercise guidelines. Aim for moderate activities like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga most days of the week

4. Get adequate sleep & rest

Proper rest is crucial for mental and physical recovery postpartum. Prioritise sleep by napping when the baby sleeps and creating a restful bedtime routine. Accept help from others to get more rest.

5. Build a strong support network

Emotional support from family, friends, and community can reduce feelings of isolation and stress. Stay connected with loved ones, join a new mothers' group, and don't hesitate to ask for help when needed.

6. Seek counselling or therapy

Professional support can provide strategies to cope with stress and emotional changes. Consider seeing a therapist or counsellor during pregnancy, especially if you have a history of depression or anxiety.

7. Learn stress management

Reducing stress can lower the risk of developing PPD. Practice mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation regularly.

8. Plan for postpartum support

Knowing that help is available can ease anxiety and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. Arrange for family or friends to assist with household tasks, meals, and childcare after the baby is born.

9. Set realistic expectations

Reducing pressure on yourself can decrease feelings of inadequacy and stress. Understand that it's normal for new mothers to face challenges. Focus on small, manageable tasks and celebrate small victories.

10. Monitor mental health

Early detection and treatment can prevent PPD from worsening and improve recovery outcomes. Be aware of the signs of PPD (such as persistent sadness, withdrawal, or difficulty bonding with the baby). If symptoms appear, consult your healthcare provider immediately for advice and possible treatment options.

By following these tips, new mothers can create a supportive environment that promotes physical and emotional well-being, thereby reducing the risk of postpartum depression.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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