Postpartum depression is no laughing matter. Childbirth is accompanied by healthy servings of stress and anxiety. Some mothers are unwilling to accept that they may be afflicted. But don’t worry, for the new mothers who are feeling stress and depression, there is a simple and wholesome solution.
Focus on your child
Maternal bonding proves to be a significant factor in curbing postpartum depression. Not only is it critical for your child’s well being to develop a close bond with their mother, but this very same link salves the freshly opened emotional wounds caused by giving birth.
Two levels of postpartum can be understood as the acute depression stage and the remission stage. In a 2015 study of postpartum depression, those experiencing acute depression reported lower bonding and higher parenting stress than those in control groups. As reported levels of depression moved into the remission stage, the clinical group reported still lower bonding levels and higher parenting stress than those in control groups. This occurred even though their levels of bonding had increased from the acute stress stage. As new mothers reported less stress, it was observed that this effect was significantly correlated with increasing levels of parental bonding.
New mothers should take as much time as possible to be with their child. Quality time spent with your child will combat the stress of postpartum depression. Establishing a healthy emotional link between mother and child is important. This link will develop even further as your child grows, and will serve as the foundation for their emotional expression.
For any mothers who have experienced postpartum depression, know that there are plenty of channels for help. Use your social network for support. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then try hotlines like these. There’s no sense in being alone with postpartum depression.
Reck, C., Zietlow, A., Müller, M., & Dubber, S. (2015). Perceived parenting stress in the course of postpartum depression: The buffering effect of maternal bonding. Archives Of Women’s Mental Health, doi:10.1007/s00737-015-0590-4