Becoming a new mother can be an emotional rollercoaster ride from the word go. This makes perfect sense when you think of the hormonal changes taking place in your body and the arrival of a new tiny person into your family.

A lot of mothers feel that their previous identity is somewhat stripped away from them and they are instead left with a foreboding responsibility of looking after a young baby. Although many mothers who develop signs of postnatal depression can feel hopeless and dejected, you are not alone. As many as 1 in 6 women have to deal with postnatal depression in the aftermath of childbirth.

The first signs of postnatal depression can vary from feeling low, sad and inadequate to an inability to cope with what used to be the usual. Postnatal depression can range from the baby blues which usually begins 2-4 days after your baby is born and can pass quickly within a few weeks to postnatal depression which affects 1 in 6 new mothers and becomes evident at a later stage when the baby is 4-6 months old.

The best tips to deal with signs of postnatal depression include:

– Be open about your feelings and worries with your partner, a sister, your mother or a friend you trust.

– Choosing nutritious foods that don’t need a huge amount of cooking. Avoiding high sugar snacks as they tend to increase irritability and reduce energy.

– Try and get physical exercise at least 3 times a week as it is a great stress buster.

– Organize a date night once every fortnight with your partner or a night out with friends.

– Make time for yourself – either indulge in a spa treatment or even have a quiet bath. Quiet time to reenergise and reboot is crucial in the weeks after you give birth.

– Organize regular treats whether that means having a cappuccino or buying a good book, go for it, you deserve it!

Finally, if you feel the black cloud isn’t lifting, there is no harm in seeking professional help. There are a lot of amazing support groups that specialize in dealing with postnatal depression and sometimes all it takes is simply another person to confide in!

For some more information visit www.pnd.ie or https://www.facebook.com/pnd.ireland