Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finally, Postpartum Depressions Has Lifted

Today, I realized that the postpartum depression seems to be completely gone! And I'm happy to say that I got through it without increasing my medication. I decided that since I was starting to feel better when I talked to my doctor that we would try to get through this without increasing my Lamictal.

So, I did the following things which I think helped:
1. Increased the amount of Omega-3. While pregnant I was taking 8 500mg capsules of OmegaBrite. At some point after the pregnancy I went down to 4 pills. So I went back up. I take it two times a day.

2. Increased the amount of exercise. Whenever I start feeling bad, stressed, busy I cut back on exercise, which only makes me feel worse. So I am now recomitted to weight training a minimum of twice a week and cardio 4-5 days a week.

3. Better food choices. When I'm not feeling well I start not eating as well. I start skipping meals and start eating more prepared foods. I'm not sure why this happens since I strongly believe you put junk in your mouth you begin to feel like junk. I think it is becuase when I'm depressed I'm tired and the last thing I am looking forward to is spending time in the kitchen at the end of the day. So I'm now back to cooking every meal at home pretty much from scratch.

4. I reached out and started talking about it. I have been amazed at how many women I know have been through postpartum depression and many have no history of prior depressions. Talking about it has helped me feel less alone and less like a failure as a mother (which I was feeling like since to me motherhood is supposed to be joyful so the unhappy feelings I had made me feel very guilty).

5. I accepted that this is what it is. And that it's okay to be depressed - it is something that I cannot control. I can certainly try to change the duration and depth -- however having bipolar disorder means I am not ever going to be 100% in control. Oddly enough there was a huge feeling of release from the acceptance.

6. I got out of the house. Sometimes I don't leave the house for days. Not because I'm depressed just becuase I don't need to. I work from home as an IT consultant so the majority of my contact with clients is by phone and email. I visit clients in person maybe once a month. So some days the only people I saw all day were my baby and husband and my babysitter. I have decided this is not healthy. I need more interaction. So now I have to get out of the house at least 6 days a week - even if it is just going to the park with my daughter or going to the store.

I joined a local moms group and am now taking Leila to one to two playdates a week - some are at the park, some are at other mom's houses. I am finally getting to know other moms who live near by which is wonderful. Almost all of my friends currently live on the east coast of florida where I used to live. So they are two hours away - which isn't so convenient for a visit especially now that I have a baby.

Looking back now that I realize I had started to underestimate just how bad I was feeling. There were times when I didn't want to be around my baby in the evening - mainly because I didn't want to have her see me upset or cry. Luckily she is only 9 months old so she probably wouldn't know what was wrong - but babies do know when mommy or daddy doesn't feel well.


Anonymous said...

How do you deal with it when you feel down and you need to take care of your baby? I know sometimes it is hard to get out of bed, let alone help your baby.

Mrs_Scotsman said...

Great news!

Your list is so good. I actually put this post on my 'get back to it' because I know that what you did/are doing will help me out too. I'm not familiar with the Omega 3s. Is that something I need to consult my doctor before I start taking?


Unknown said...

Mrs scotsman -- I like to tell my doctor about anything I am taking including all vitamins and supplements just in case their is a possibility of drug interactions.

That being said, Omega3s are really just like eating LOTS of salmon or flaxseed.

Unknown said...


I have to rely on my husband and other family. I am really lucky to have a supportive husband and extended in-laws who steps in when I need them.