Tips For Navigating Postpartum Depression

Tips For Navigating Postpartum Depression

This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Welcoming a new baby into the world can be incredibly exciting, but it can also come with hesitancy and even fear. Sometimes, as smoothly as the birthing experience goes, so much has changed that some have difficulty adjusting to the new normal. Not only can one’s physical health take a toll, but their mental well-being may also be at stake. In this article, we’ll discuss postpartum depression, one of the most common mental health disorders people experience after birth. Then, we’ll offer some tips for managing and overcoming its symptoms.  

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mental health condition that occurs after childbirth. Both men and women can be affected, as the arrival of a new baby can bring lots of unexpected situations and feelings with it. Some individuals have traumatic birth experiences, causing them to intrusively replay the birth over and over again in their minds.

The symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from mild to severe and may include:

  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Anxiety
  • A persistent sad mood
  • Crying spells
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Apathy
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Feelings of worthlessness

Experiencing one or more of these symptoms could indicate the presence of PPD, making it crucial to connect with a doctor or other professional right away.

How To Navigate Postpartum Depression

Every person’s experience with PPD varies, meaning that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming its symptoms. However, the following tips may be helpful:

  • Therapy: Participating in therapy can help you get to the root of your feelings and learn new coping skills for overcoming your symptoms. You can even speak with a therapist from the comfort of your home, meaning that you don’t have to leave your baby or worry about a commute. The type of therapy you need can depend on your situation. For example, if your birth experience was traumatic, you could benefit from an approach like EMDR. If you’re having trouble accepting help from other people or struggling to breastfeed even though that’s what you planned to do, motivational interviewing could be more effective in helping you get to a healthier place.
  • Rest: It can be a struggle to get enough rest as a new parent, but not getting the shut-eye you need may only exacerbate your symptoms. Do your best to take breaks, whether that means handing off your baby to your significant other or having a parent watch them for a bit while you sleep. Even a quick nap can make a huge difference in your ability to cope with everything going on.
  • Accept help: Having a strong support network can be instrumental when welcoming a new baby into your life. If people offer to cook meals for you, clean your house, or take care of chores, let them. Further, if people you trust and love offer to watch the baby while you get some rest, take them up on it. Being able to lean on people during this time can take away some of the burden you might be feeling.
  • Practice self-care: Self-care refers to everything from eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, making time for physical activity, and visiting with friends and family members. Keeping up with all of this can be challenging with a new baby, so try to give it your best effort. Remember to take time for yourself when you can, even if it’s just 15 minutes in a hot bubble bath while your baby sleeps.
  • Connect with other new parents: Other new parents may be the only ones who seem to understand what you’re going through. Even if you have other parents in your life, their children may be grown, and they may have forgotten much of what it was like when they first brought their baby home. You can connect with new parents in online groups and forums or speak with them on the phone whenever you need a bit of encouragement or advice.

Struggling with postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad parent; it simply makes you human. Know that while PPD can feel overwhelming, there are plenty of tools you can utilize to overcome it.


Becoming a new parent can be one of life’s most rewarding and memorable moments, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Knowing what to expect and understanding how to cope when things get tough can be critical to working through every obstacle with patience and resilience. Life may feel hard right now, but this season is sure to pass. Remember to praise yourself for all the effort you’re putting in for your baby, and don’t forget to give yourself grace. No one is perfect, and you’re doing the best you can.