WORTH A SHOT?
An epidural dulls physical discomfort during childbirth – and maybe mental distress afterwards, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. It found that women who received epidural anaesthesia had fewer depressive symptoms post-birth. The authors say the psychological trauma of going through extreme pain may contribute to depression, which could explain the connection. But there’s hope beyond that ginormous needle:
TAKE A WALK
Exercise is a good way for new mothers to prevent post-partum depression (PPD) and a little sunlight will give you a dose of vitamin D, which can also boost your mood.
ASK FOR HELP
Support from friends and family has been shown to ward off PPD, so if you need something (laundry help, a warm meal, 15 minutes to yourself), say something.
GO TO BED
Adequate sleep is another proven depression reducer. A relaxing bedtime ritual, like a chilled playlist or back rub from your mate, may help you snooze more soundly.