Postpartum depression can be a pretty serious problem. The depression that often follows a mother who gives birth can be debilitating, and can interfere with the quality of their life – and their ability to be a good parent.
There are a number of warning signs that can let you know postpartum depression is on the way, but not everyone manages to catch the problem before it’s too late.
These issues can create more problems if the postpartum depression isn’t dealt with – but it’s important to make sure that it’s dealt with properly. Postpartum depression is a fairly common problem, and as such, it’s discussed quite often – but unfortunately, that also means that a number of myths and rumors have sprung up regarding postpartum depression.
If you want to know how to most effectively prepare for and manage postpartum depression, then you need to know about how it actually works. You need to separate the facts from fiction. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the biggest postpartum depression myths.
Biggest Postpartum Depression Myths
Just because you’ve heard something about postpartum depression doesn’t mean that it’s true. Though there are others, these are some of the most common, debunked myths associated with postpartum depression:
It Happens Immediately
Many people assume that postpartum depression happens immediately after childbirth, but this certainly isn’t the case. Postpartum depression can happen right after childbirth, certainly, btu it’s just as likely to happen several months afterwards.
It’s the Same as the Baby Blues
This simply isn’t the case. The baby blues is a condition that many moms experience shortly after giving birth – a feeling of sadness or depression related to the birth. This is fairly normal, but most moms are able to get over this within a few days. If it persists for weeks months, then you’re probably dealing with postpartum depression.
Mothers with Postpartum Depression Hurt Their Children
Another rumor. The news and media sometimes portrays stories about mothers who hurt their children and blame it on postpartum depression, but the reality here is that these parents are likely struggling with a condition much more serious than simple postpartum depression.
Another reason that people might think this is because some mothers with postpartum depression experience scary thoughts about harming their children. This is actually a mental health issue related to OCD that causes intrusive thoughts – thoughts that are generally horrific and unpleasant, but really indicate the exact opposite of what you’d want to do to your child.
Postpartum Depression Discriminates
Postpartum depression can strike anyone, even women who are otherwise completely mentally stable. It has been known to affect a number of celebrities and well-off women, such as Brooke Shields, who would otherwise not be suspected to be struggling with depressive issues.
Postpartum depression can strike women of any age, ethnicity, and life’s history. Heck, even men can experience symptoms similar to postpartum depression after their partner gives birth.
Conclusion & Advice
As you can see, postpartum depression is not as serious or crazy as some of the myths and rumors would suggest. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s any less of a problem for the women who have it. It should still be acknowledged as a serious problem and treated accordingly.
One of the first things that you should do if you’re struggling with postpartum depression is to seek help from a counselor or therapist. They will help you work through some of the difficult parts of the problem.
Drag Your Kids Into Nature. It’s Good For Health and Wellbeing
Studies show that spending two hours a week in nature is good for the health and wellbeing of adults and children. In contrast, spending too much time in front of a screen surrounded by the proverbial concrete jungle is detrimental to psychological and physical wellbeing. Sitting for long periods with no exercise has been linked to debilitating diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Experts also conclude that too much screen time causes, near-sightedness, insufficient sleep, headaches and obesity – all of which can have a negative effect on the psychological maturity of children. If your kids are devouring too much screen and not enough green, its high time you dragged them into nature. The short-term and long-term health depends on it. Connecting with Nature Connects You With People Several studies have shown that connecting with nature is therapeutic. The Japanese understand this so well that ‘forest bathing’ or shinrin-yoku is deeply ingrained in their culture. Although scientists are not sure how or why, but it appears humans have an intrinsic connection with the natural environment. You probably know from experience that being in the great outdoors restores your energy and vitality. If you can’t escape the concrete jungle by heading out into the countryside or mountains, take advantage of green spaces near your home. Even playing in the park gives you children an opportunity to connect and socialise with other kids in your neighbourhood – and any type of non-internet related connection is good for their development. Nature Reduces Stress and Anxiety Researchers have discovered that being around nature reduces stress, fear and anger. Living in these unprecedented times, children probably feel more emotional and afraid than they might ordinarily. During the lockdown and school closures, there is also more of a tendency for your children to watch TV more often, playing computer games, or spending more time on social media and the internet. More screen time is potentially damaging to their wellbeing. Heading out into nature will help to distract their minds from the concerns they have about Covid-19. Being outdoors feels more natural to children, and psychologists recommend that you should try to make life as normal as possible. Encourages Children To Develop A Healthy Lifestyle We often take the experiences and habits we develop as children into adulthood. By nature, we are habitual creatures and reenact similar behaviours throughout life. Teaching the little ones positive and healthy behaviours from an early age stands them in good stead when they get older. Show your children the benefits of being in nature now and they are more likely to make an effort to head for the hills when they are older. They will also be a better influence on their children – your grandchildren. I appreciate nature walks may not be all that appealing to kids. However, I have a cunning plan. Why not introduce a variety of games to play that are fun, help to educate your kids and give them plenty of exercise. If you need some ideas of fun games to play with children in nature, check out this awesome list.
Baby Shower Ideas: What’s a Sip and See?
Baby showers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes these days. You have parties that are all about revealing the gender of a new baby, and traditional parties where men aren’t allowed to attend. One of the more interesting options to emerge in recent months is the Sip and See party. Essentially, this is a chance to have family members and friends over for a lighthearted party, where they get to meet the new baby or child soon after they’ve been welcomed into the world. These parties are also excellent for welcoming newly adopted children to the family. A sip and see can be an excellent way for exhausted parents to introduce their new child to everyone at once, rather than arranging multiple visits.
What Should a Sip and See Be Like?
It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between a baby shower and a sip and see. While the typical baby shower happens before the baby arrives, sip and see events happen afterwards. The sip and see needs to be a very casual and quiet event, as you won’t want to upset the new baby. The chances are that there won’t be as many decorations, but there should still be plenty of food and maybe some soft music to enjoy. Rather than having a venue for this party, you invite everyone to your own house, which means that you don’t have to rush around getting things ready for a party when you have a new baby to look after. One thing to keep in mind with a Sip and See, is that it’s less likely to have presents or gifts at this event. However, if your mom and dad to be didn’t have a baby shower for any reason, this is a great chance to give them the gifts that you haven’t had chance to get to them before.
What to Consider When Hosting a Sip and See
If you decide to host a sip and see, then there are a lot of things to consider. These parties are often hosted by new parents themselves. However, if you’re a close friend or family member, then your loved one might ask them to host the event on their behalf – particularly if they’re too tired to work out an invite list and catering on their own. The invite list will usually be down to the parents, and who needs to see the baby most. However, if you’re inviting people on behalf of the parents, you can always ask them if someone enquires about an invitation. Other things to consider while you’re planning are:
- Refreshments: The word “sip” indicates that there’s going to be some kind of refreshments. Think afternoon tea, rather than elaborate meals and lots of alcohol.
- Time frame: Make sure that people know exactly when the party is going to start, and when they’ll need to leave. Don’t leave it to the new parents to usher people out of the door when the new baby needs to go to sleep.
- Decorations: It’s fun to have decorations at any party, but you’ll want to keep these to a minimum in this case. Guests will be coming to see the baby, and the parents won’t want to have to spend forever cleaning up once people have gone.
- Games and entertainment: If you don’t want everyone to be waiting in a line to hold the baby or see the new arrival, you can introduce some games. People who are waiting around for their chance to see the new child could simply chat over some finger foods, however
Enjoying your Sip and See Party
A sip and see party is a fantastic chance to take some pressure off new parents, who are often expected to parade their child around and show them off to countless people. With this kind of party, you can take the pressure off the parents, and invite people to come and visit on a specific day and time. If you’re helping parents that you’re close to with this party, one of the best things that you can do is assist with the tidying up portion of the event before and after the party. The mom and dad are going to be looking after the baby, so they’ll definitely want some help making sure that everything looks spic and span. It’s also helpful to have some hand sanitiser at the door, so that visitors can get their hands clean before touching the child.
How Parents Can Look After Themselves Too!
Parents are, understandably, focused most on the well-being of their children most of the time. That’s in the job description, after all. Yet, this doesn’t mean that moms and dads should neglect their own health, wellness, and/or happiness. On the contrary, no one can do their best parenting work if they feel tired, sore, or even depressed or anxious. With that in mind, today we’ll list a few excellent ways that parents can look after themselves to ensure they’re firing on all cylinders. Check them out here: Speak to Your Doctor Obvious? Yes. Effective? Absolutely. Visiting the doctor is far from a novel concept, but it’s very important for parents of all ages to speak with a medical professional on a regular basis –– particularly if they have a specific health concern. On a very basic level, doctors will be able to answer any questions you have about common issues. Can bunions go away on their own? When should I have a prostate exam? How much sleep should I get per night? A regular physician will be able to answer all of these questions and more –– so book an appointment ASAP. Communicate People don’t suddenly stop having needs and wants just because they become parents. Indeed, though parents spend a lot of time thinking and acting on behalf of others, they also need to express themselves. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, frustrations, desires, and goals. Doing so is healthy, and communication is key to strong familial relationships. Prioritize Health & Fitness It’s easy to fall into some bad personal health and fitness habits if you’re spending most of your time and energy looking after children. Fast food, skipping gym sessions, and other bad choices are hard to avoid, but detrimental all the same. That’s why parents need to prioritize their own health and well-being. Schedule time during the day for preparing healthy meals for yourself and your family and get creative about finding new ways to exercise. You don’t actually have to leave your living room to squeeze in a great workout session. “You Time” At the end of the day, it’s important for parents to allow themselves to relax and spend some time alone. Blocking out “me time” doesn’t make you a bad parent or a selfish person. Rather, getting out of the house for a while to engage in an activity you enjoy all on your own will help you recharge your batteries and come back refreshed. If you’ve been feeling cramped during lockdown, then do your best to find a day where you can kick back and unwind for a few hours outside of the house. It’ll do you a world of good!