How to Avoid Getting Postpartum Depression

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How to Limit Your Chances of Developing Postpartum Depression

how to prevent postpartum depression and avoid it

Having a baby is a joyous time but, for moms who develop postpartum depression, sometimes the joy is harder to find. Hormone levels fluctuate radically after childbirth and for some, this can mean an alteration to your mood for days or even weeks.

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There may also be mild anxiety, a general feeling of sadness, difficulty concentrating, lack of appetite, and/or trouble sleeping. These feelings are relatively common but if they start to occur more frequently and get progressively worse: such as having a hard time bonding with your newborn, feelings of worthlessness, panic attacks, and/or thoughts of hurting your baby or yourself, that is usually a telltale sign that postpartum depression is developing and professional help should be sought immediately.

Postpartum depression is a condition that affect 15 to 20 percent of women after giving birth and can occur whether or not you’ve given birth before. It is also a condition where the old adage that “prevention is better than cure” rings true because once it develops, PPD can be hard to overcome and unfortunately for some women, it may take years to fully recover. Learn exactly what is postpartum depression, then come back here to learn how to prevent it!

repair after all they’ve been through!

Postpartum Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

There is one struggle that so many moms have postpartum, knowing how to lose the baby weight safely while breastfeeding. Can you even do that? How can you diet and breastfeed? How can you lose the excess weight and not lose your milk supply?

For years I’ve been asked by my mom clients these same questions in different ways again and again. So as a certified online health coach, fitness trainer, maternal nutrition specialist, and mom of 3, I decided to compile the proven successful postpartum diet and exercise plan that I created for my breastfeeding mom clients into a program that now anyone can have access to!

It’s called the Milky Mama’s Postpartum Plan and it is built for you! To teach you everything you need to know to be successful at postpartum weight loss while breastfeeding!

Check out my 28 day plan now to help you regain strength postpartum with short effective workouts, increase your milk supply with loads of delicious recipes, and finally lose that excess baby weight at the same time!

What To Do to Prevent Postpartum Depression

Remarkably, making changes to your lifestyle and diet during pregnancy can go a long way in keeping you in balance after the baby is born. By employing certain habits and avoiding others, you can prepare your body and mind for the rush of emotions that could potentially develop after giving birth. 


how to avoid postpartum depression with rest

Getting adequate rest during pregnancy is extremely important for preparing your body for the postpartum period. However, the standard 6 to 8 hours you slept before being pregnant isn’t ideal; You should also try to take regular naps during the days. This is not only for rest, but to train your brain to continue this practice after baby is born.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “sleep when the baby sleeps.” A mom who doesn’t practice napping during pregnancy might have a hard time getting used to it during the postpartum months. It is not required to sleep to gain the positive effects of learning to rest. For pregnant woman rest may come very easy as exhaustion ensues; or it may be impossible as pain and restlessness are constantly present. Resting is more than sleeping; it means lying down, listening to your body, doing yoga, and being positive and calm.

If this is not your first baby, there’s a good chance napping is completely out of question. Resting and listening to your body are still extremely vital in this time and there are multiple ways to include health, fitness, and rest into your day even if only minutes at a time.

RELATED: All Encompassing Beginners Guide to Healthy Living


how to avoid postpartum depression with exercise and yoga

It is equally hard to get into an exercise routine after baby arrives. Getting into the habit during pregnancy will set you up for success. One Norwegian study found that women who were physically active during their pregnancy had noticeably lower depression scores at 6 weeks post delivery (1).

Go ahead and join a gym if that is where you feel most comfortable. Doing yoga at home or going for a daily walk will do just fine to keep you active.


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how to prevent postpartum depression with diet

Consuming a healthy, balanced diet is probably the most important lifestyle change for limiting your chances of developing PPD. One study found that a health conscious diet rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, dairy products, fish and olive oil was strongly associated with a lowered risk of developing PPD (2).

In the study, women who adhered to a health conscious diet were 50% less likely to have high levels of PPD symptoms compared to those who had inferior diets. This doesn’t mean you have to throw all your cravings to the wind; it is actually recommended to satisfy them from time to time but if possible in a healthy way. 

The Milky Mama’s Postpartum Plan is perfect for these last two tips. The diet plan is whole food based, rich in nutrients, and includes snacks and desserts daily! How perfect!


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In another study it was found that a diet high in seafood was linked to a reduced risk of PPD (3). This is because docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is transferred to the fetus during pregnancy to aid neurological development. The depleted levels of DHA increase the risk of depression. To counter the loss of DHA, pregnant and lactating moms should increase their consumption of fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon and tuna.

If that is not to your liking, (or you simply want to be on the safe side) definitely include a high quality prenatal vitamin rich in DHA into your daily regime. It is worth noting that it is important to continue taking this supplement during breastfeeding as well.


how to treat postpartum depression and stress before it starts

High levels of stress during pregnancy is one of the leading causes of PPD. In order to protect yourself, you must attempt to eliminate all potential stress triggers from your life. Attempt to be in a constant state of calm and contentment.

Stress during pregnancy is constant and intense. Perhaps the pregnancy is unplanned and major life changes must be made. Maybe an underlying autoimmune disease or illness makes for an extremely troublesome pregnancy. Perhaps your finances are not where you feel they should be to bring a new human into your family.

Stress during pregnancy is an enormous factor in developing PPD. Please review the best ways to eliminate stress during pregnancy to eliminate this factor.

Do not ignore or underestimate the prospect PPD can cause.  It’s one of those things that can happen to anyone, no matter how physically or emotionally healthy you are before childbirth.

Talk to your spouse, your family, and your friends and let them know it’s a very real concern for you and make a plan.

Listing some things that might trigger you emotionally can help your support system understand when they should take notice and jump in. For example, if laundry stresses you out, ask a friend or family member to help you keep up with it during the first couple of weeks home. Attack the problem before it becomes a problem and you’ll feel more in control.

If you need some more help with managing stress, essential oils are a proven and affordable option for individuals looking to reduce their stress levels. In fact, studies have even been completed specifically on women during the postpartum period, revealing extremely positive results (4) (5).

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Know your risk factors.

A 2017 study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that the highest risk factor, by far, was a history of depression (6). The study also identified gestational and pregestational diabetes as contributing factors for developing PPD.

Among women with no history of depression, those who were between the ages of 15 and 24, and those over 35 showed an increased risk of developing PPD. The risk was highest among those 15 to 19 age bracket, followed by individuals who were over 40.

Other risk factors identified were: instrument-assisted or cesarean delivery, premature birth, a poor support system and low socioeconomic status.

Studies mentioned:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11961973/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21477412/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12103448/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27095995
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789792
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5462547/

trysh sutton pure path

About the Author: 

I’m so excited to be welcoming Trysh Sutton for a guest post here on Vigor it Out!

Trysh is the owner of Pure Path, which is a website that is primarily focused on teaching individuals how to harness the power of essential oils for a variety of health and home uses.

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