According to CDC research, about 1 in 8 women experience postpartum depression each year. However, these estimates vary by state, so it can reach 1 in 5 women. Common symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms of regular depression, but can also include:
- Crying more often than usual.
- Feelings of anger
- Get away from your loved ones.
- Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
- Worrying about hurting the baby.
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mother or doubting your ability to care for your baby.
According to the American Psychological Association, risk factors for postpartum depression include:
- A change in hormone levels after childbirth.
- Previous experience of depression or anxiety.
- Family history of depression or mental illness
- Stress related to caring for a newborn and managing new life changes.
- Having a defiant baby who cries more than usual, is difficult to comfort, or whose sleep and hunger needs are irregular and difficult to predict.
- Having a baby with special needs (premature birth, medical complications, illness)
- First-time motherhood, very young motherhood, or older motherhood
- Other emotional stressors, such as the death of a loved one or family problems
- Economic or labor problems
- Isolation and lack of social support
Some people may need therapy or medications to relieve symptoms of postpartum depression. For others, lifestyle changes can help correct hormonal and chemical imbalances that contribute to depression. This is exactly what Keerti Garg, a new mother, did to overcome her postpartum depression. This is his story.
“After the birth, it was a completely unexpected experience for me,” Keerti said. “I lost interest in everything, I felt completely unworthy. I constantly feel like I’m out of my body and watch someone else do everything. “
Keerti exercises in hopes of curing her postpartum depression.
These are undoubtedly painful and even terrifying feelings, and Keerti didn’t know how to deal with them at first. Then she decided to turn to fitness in hopes that it would help her feel better.
“I started my fitness journey for the third time in September 2017; ten weeks after my cesarean section. I realized that there were two things in my control that I could do every day, ”Keerti said. “One was some kind of movement every day and it changed my nutrition, and I did both.”
She started to follow 30 minute walks every day and also doing yoga or other exercises at home. You have never actually stepped into a gym throughout your fitness journey. As a stay-at-home mom, she had to think of ways to exercise while keeping an eye on her baby. So for her, home workouts were the best option.
She incorporates weight training, resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, and yoga into her exercise routine.
Even though she had started a healthier lifestyle, the postpartum depression lingered for a while. For any depression, it takes time to correct chemical imbalances and start feeling better again. So Keerti stayed with her training regimen and diet because intuitively she knew that this path would help her immensely.
“Postpartum depression didn’t suddenly go away in a day or two. It took me two whole years to get over it completely and feel like I used to. But, every day, I felt a little better. I feel like discipline equals freedom, and I feel so confident and happy in my skin for the first time in my life, and now I’m alive. “
Keerti says she believes him new life style It will positively impact your daughter as well. He even joins her in some of her exercise routines!
“I feel that with my daily actions, I am teaching my daughter, my little girl who is three and a half years old at the moment, something that no book or anyone else in the world can teach her. So I’m just teaching him by doing it myself, and this is the most important thing to me, of my fitness journey. “
Keerti’s advice for anyone looking to start their own health journey
“Let today be your first day and remember that you already have all the positive energy you need within you. You just need to dig deep and take advantage of it. “
For Keerti, a combination of self-love, movement, and healthy eating helped her overcome postpartum depression. It took a few years of consistency, but Keerti never gave up. She also started running again, something she had loved for years before giving birth. Through this, he found renewed joy and determination to continue on this path.
Whether you suffer from postpartum depression or any other disorder, exercising can serve as a wonderful outlet. Not only does it keep your mind busy, but it also changes your brain in tangible ways. Exercise helps release endorphins and balance neurotransmitters. It also increases oxygen in the brain, giving you more energy.
A healthy lifestyle offers many benefits, but it doesn’t seem easy to get started. A support system can help you take responsibility and offer support when you feel unmotivated. Also, stick with the routine even if you don’t always feel like it will benefit you in the long run. On those days, just remember your “why” and carry on no matter what.
Final thoughts: postpartum depression affects millions of women, but a healthy lifestyle can help
Postpartum depression affects about 1 in 8 women each year. The symptoms are similar to those of normal depression, but can also include doubts about one’s ability to care for a baby. It can also present itself as a concern for the baby or feeling disconnected from him or her. This type of depression can be isolated, scary, and confusing.
However, Keerti shows that depression can be overcome with a healthy lifestyle, incorporating exercise and proper nutrition. Of course, don’t hesitate to consult a licensed therapist or consider medication if it seems appropriate to you. Above all, listen to your intuition and know that painful feelings will not last forever.