5 Ways to Fight Postpartum Depression

5 ways to fight post-partum depression5 ways to fight post-partum depressionIt was about four months after my third pregnancy when I knew things were not "okay" with me. I was extremely anxious all day long, wandering around from room to room, never getting anything done. I perpetually had a lump in my throat that would never go away, and that only got bigger as the day went on. I longed for laying around in my dark bedroom, not because I was tired, but because I wanted to tune out my life and my children.

After long discussions with my husband, friends and health professionals, it was determined that I had postpartum depression and anxiety. I then went on an antidepressant, and stayed on it until I found out I was pregnant again. During my first trimester, I went cold turkey off the medication (something I wouldn't recommend under most circumstances).

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I'm current seven weeks postpartum and unmedicated. I would be lying to you if I said I that I wasn't worried about suffering from PPD again. But I'm a fighter, and I won't go down easy. Here are 5 healthy measures I'm taking to fight postpartum depression.

Connecting with my husband Connecting with my husband
1. Connecting with my husband
Last year I went on exactly two dates with my husband. This year, I've vowed that we will do something without our children (even for an hour) once a month. It does wonders for my mood, helps our marriage tremendously, and I very much look forward to spending time alone with him.

Relaxing with a bath Relaxing with a bath
2. Relaxing with a bath
I used to wind down at night with a glass of red wine, but I've determined that this messes with my sleep (especially if one glass turns into two). Now, after the kids are tucked in, I substitute my glass of wine for a hot bath and a paperback book. I still relaxed, but now it's without the use of a stimulant.

Eating breakfast Eating breakfast
3. Eating breakfast
I went probably 15 years without eating breakfast on a consistent basis. I'm now starting my day out with a smoothie that contains greens (such as beet greens, spinach, or kale), frozen fruit, raw honey, probiotic yogurt, and even a high-quality, locally-farmed raw egg. This on-the-go breakfast gives me the energy I need and keeps me from drinking extreme amounts of caffeine.

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Limiting caffeine and alcohol Limiting caffeine and alcohol
4. Limiting caffeine and alcohol
I'm not completely cutting out both caffeine and alcohol, but I'm consuming them sparingly and thoughtfully. I found that I used coffee as an "upper" in the morning, and then wine as a "downer" in the evening. Having finally broken my routine, I can tell a big difference with how I handle anxiety.

Actually sleeping Actually sleeping
5. Actually sleeping
I'll never get enough sleep, and I'm a night owl by heart, but I've found that getting as much sleep as possible really plays a large part in how I handle and deal with my young children. I'm much more attentive on 7 hours than on 4.

- By Emily Elling

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