After 6 years of struggle, bad health, emotional let downs & failures. After going trough every pin & needle in this world i had my baby. Words cant express my enthusiasm to finally have become a MOM, it was like a dream come true. But Wait why was i not happy?
I should have been the most happiest person ever, i was happy but what was that feeling?
” Yes! i was suffering from POST PAR-TUM DEPRESSION! And just by writing this i have tears in my eyes “
Just when i lost hope on having a baby and started focusing on my health & life in general, i had my baby ! It was nothing but a miracle to finally conceive when i was least expecting it. But that’s not all. I always had problems in carrying pregnancy, each pregnancy got me gestational hypertension. Its a condition where the BP raises and fluctuates which affects the baby, and the flow of nutrients to the baby which leads to miscarriages. And this time was no different. But my health care providers, understood my case after so many mishaps & took very good care of me.
Believe it or not i got injected every single day until i popped this baby, I had major diet restrictions & by 7th month to add to my misery i was also diagnosed by gestational diabetes, again major food restrictions here. Haven’t forgotten those jabs i use to give my self. Clearly from all this you can gather i have gone through hell & back to get this baby.
So Finally it was THE DAY that i had my little angel in my hands,something that i longed for years. Had gone through every pin & needle to get this baby. BUT i was not as happy as i imagined.I was irritable, had emotional outbursts, sleeplessness, pain ( as i had a c sec) , first 2 days i was worried if i will lactate. I had put so much pressure on myself from the moment i held him in my hands. I was absolutely geared to be a mother but some how i was not as happy as i should have been.
Finally 3rd day i started lactating, so one stress was off my head. But being a new mom Anxieties kicked in, would start crying any minute, i used to feel lonely, even with many people around.
I was a mix ball of emotions – Depressed, low, rude, Also i remember being very possessive about my baby as i had him after so many struggles, i didn’t like people playing with him or holding him, i was very rude to people around me especially my mom & my husband. I knew what i was doing is not right but i had no control over me. A ridiculous fact, when my husband would give my baby all the attention which is bound to happen, i felt insecure, i would think that his love for me is dead, or he doesn’t care about me.And it occurred to me after months that I WAS GOING THROUGH POST PAR TUM DEPRESSION (PPD) its a clinical depression which hits most women after delivery. Hormonal change is hypothesised to contribute as one cause of postpartum depression. And i am not ashamed of sharing this, as this is very common and natural after having a bay. I am sure a lot of you may feel like reading your own story.
I knew about this before having a baby, but i was so overwhelmed in bringing this baby to this world that i didn’t bother about life after it.
So here are some tips on how can you cope with PPD –
- Pre-natal classes – Join a Pre-natal class, where you and your husband will be educated about delivery, postpartum, breast feeding , basically life after having a baby.also while you are pregnant it helps couples to get connected to the baby involving different activities.
- Make husbands aware about this condition – Its important to make husbands aware about this condition so they can emotionally support their wives. give her your shoulder to cry. take out some time for her. Take her out for small drives and quick dinners. perhaps get her a glass of wine, Which wont hurt a breast feeding mom or the baby.
- Join a counselling class, where experts talk to you, and help you over come this depression.
- Be vocal about your feelings , We often don’t express what we feel. Especially such emotions. But it is very important to communicate what you feel. Let your husband, mom, relatives, friends know what you feel. Letting it out always helps.
- Change in environment – I got over this with time, I came to my moms place, i actually needed a break from my surrounding. So plan a little getaway or go stay at a friends place or perhaps a resort.
- Catch up on some sleep & me time – in between feeding times, try and catch up on some sleep .if you have help, express your milk ( there is no harm in doing this sometime) You have to also thing about yourself along with your baby. Or read a book, watch a movie, listen to some good music when the baby is napping. Do things that you like. this will definitely make you feel better.
Postpartum is not all about feeding the baby, changing nappies,sleeplessness only. This is the time you need to also take care of yourself.
Make sure you have your mom or someone who can take care of the baby and you.So you can have some time to yourself and not feel drained out & forget about yourself. This is the time you need to focus on your health as you have given a birth to a human, it takes a whole village to do that. You need to focus to get enough nutrients to get your strength back. Also this is time to take baby steps towards achieving your pre-pregnancy shape, remember this needs to be done very slowly and at a steady pace.
Since you have given birth and you are breast feeding you need about 2000 calories a day. But don’t ever count calories and eat. Eat when your hungry.
Try to get a balanced diet.
What can you do to get a good & healthy diet & aim to steady weight reduction.
1. Starchy food, like breads, rice etc.
2. Lots of fruits & green vegetables.
3. Protein, like pulses, fish , egg etc avoid high protein food as this can cause gas to you and end up having a colicky baby.
4. Dairy produce like Milk, yogurt, fruit smoothies etc.
5. Try and avoid deep fried food, stale , junk , fast food.
6. Nuts ( these are good source of energy, ) Good to have them in between meals when you get hungry because of breast feeding.
7. Soups – Have a soup every day , this use to be my evening snack. spinach & tomato, carrots & pumpkin. etc.
8. Avoid having fatty foods like butter,cheese, deep fried. it wont do any good to you or your baby, and in fact will add extra lbs to your weight.
9. Avoid having those ladoos your mom, or mom in-law will make for you saying it will help you gain strength.There is a truth to it but without GHEE OR BUTTER. i had all the incidents that go in that ladoo separately like thymol seeds ( AJWAIN) this helps in digestion as your digestion is week after delivery. DRY FENUGREEK SEEDS (METHI), This helps in building strength. powder both these ingredients and have a spoonful every day. have nuts which is part of it any time during the day. don’t eat too much. I basically had all the ingredients of that ladoo except sugar & ghee which would have added extra lbs.
Do’s & don’t while Breast feeding
1. Drink plenty of water while Breast feeding, As you loose a lot of water from your body during milk production. its good to keep yourself hydrated.
2. Remember to avoid, fatty food, deep fried, junk food, restrict your intake of caffeine & an absolute no for alcohol. while breastfeeding. occasionally a glass of wine will be fine, but keep a gap of 3 hrs in feeding after having wine.
3. Eat food which is easy on the stomach & nutritious, like green leafy veggies, soups, juices, fruits, etc.
4. Aniseed ( Sauf) is a good source for milk production. So mix a spoon of these seeds in glass of water and have it after couple of hrs. Try and have 3-4 such glasses during the day.
5. Mix some saffron in your milk, It good for skin, will help you & your baby to look bright & shinny 🙂
6. oatmeal porridge is also great for milk production. You can mix it with milk & dates (instead of sugar) or you can make it with veggies. This mostly use to be my breakfast along with fruits while breastfeeding.
Eating healthy during postpartum is very important as you are recovering, you are breast feeding & you want to want to aim towards gradual weight reduction. So during hunger panks eat smartly. My idea behind eating healthy was not just to weight Loss, i knew what ever i am eating i will be passed on to my baby. Also since i was diagnosed by Gestational diabetes, i had to watch what i was eating to normalise my sugar levels. My sugar levels were back to normal right after delivery however, since diabetes is a family history i didn’t wanted this to last,. My health care providers told me to keep a check on weight. if i put on i am not on the right track.This is the story behind a FIT MOM. I had gone through a lot & learned that healthy way of living is way to go!
Now what can you do to loose weight during postpartum –
1. For all the expecting moms, please watch what you are eating. Apparently pregnancy gives us license to eat anything, right! One should not put on more then 12- 13 kg during pregnancy. Its not only difficult to loose that weight later it also creates lot of compilations in the pregnancy.
2. Eat right during postpartum & breast feeding. Avoid sugar, ghee, butter etc. Try & have a balance diet. Read above.
3. Breast feeding definitely helps in losing weight. but along with a good balanced diet. You cant expect to eat anything & think i am BF and still not losing weight. BF is the best thing you can do for your baby. its best both for mom & the baby. So please BF your baby as long as you can. It helps build immunity & prevent babies from infections.
4. Please don’t be bed ridden, listen to your body. if you are feeling better after 10-15 days of delivery, start moving around the house. Don’t do anything strenuous, do not lift weights. just be mobile in the house. Go down for walks.
5. Do little exercises that your health care providers recommend. I remember i was told to do back strengthening & pelvis exercises as i had a c sec.
These exercises were advised & demonstrated by my heath care providers. So ask yours before doing this.
6. At around 4th month i started doing little stretches at home. You can do yoga or brisk walks.At around 6th month i started running. only cardio. no weights.
Working out can be in any form – climbing stairs, to doing house chores, some stretches at home, brisk walks, running, skipping etc.
7. Don’t go all out start slowly but be steady – You can choose to do 10 push ups 2-3 mins of planks, 20 squats, 20 triceps,10 surya namaskar. If you cant step out of the house, think out of the box, do these exercises with your baby, and perhaps steal some kisses while doing it 🙂 I do it even now when cant find time to hit the gym.
8. I always say this, working out should not be only to reduce weight, it should become part of your life. its a fact if you workout, your body releases DOPAMINE, also called as HAPPY HORMONE, Its a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s necessary for feelings of happiness.
I will conclude this article by saying, Healthy living is a key to a happy lifestyle. And its important as mothers we take out time for our selves EVERYDAY.
Even if it is for half an hr, but give your self preference for that half hr. do things that you like, workout. Stop worrying about your baby & family during that hr or one hr. You need to be mentally & physically fit to be able to serve your family better. You are special as you are a MOTHER. Love yourself 🙂
Disclaimer – I have shared my experience here , speak to your Health care providers.As every body is different.
I would love to hear what you think about this article, your question are more then welcome 🙂
L O V E,