Giving birth is not called “being in labour” for nothing.  Even in the midst of huge advances in medical science and technology, even if you may have been heavily sedated during the birthing process, the fact remains that pregnancy and the consequent delivery of a newborn take a major toll on your body.

A Whole Range of Emotions

This toll is not just in the physical sense, although the physical changes are the ones that are more apparent, and thus more readily remembered. Pregnancy and child delivery, however, also affect the state of a woman’s mind and emotions. When this happens, postpartum depression may occur.

Hormone imbalance is among the primary reasons for postnatal depression. Its symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • extreme mood swings, covering a range of emotions
  • anxiety
  • crankiness/irritability
  • sadness with no immediate, discernible cause
  • apathy, often manifested by a prolonged lack of interest in things that were found interesting before
  • lethargy
  • crying jags
  • inability or unwillingness to state what is going on – the woman herself, does not usually understand what she feels

Signs of postpartum depression may also be seen during pregnancy, but for the most part, it is often post pregnancy that this condition occurs.

Body Image

A woman who gains a lot of extra weight during pregnancy will often find her self-confidence eroded once she looks at the state of her body after she gives birth. If she was slender before, the change may come as a shock, worsening her depression. On the other hand, if she had a poor body image in her mind to begin with, even before getting pregnant, then what she sees in the mirror may drive her self-confidence lower.

However, the heavy post pregnancy emotional state of new moms doesn’t have to be wrestled with in silence. There are many ways to address their condition.

Professional Counselling

There are many highly qualified psychotherapists in Singapore who can help a new mother process her situation and emotion. The best time to go for professional counselling is when the new mother starts to feel overwhelmed by her emotions and the demands of her baby.

Proper Nutrition

Having a balanced and nutritionally appropriate diet can also work wonders for having a faster recovery time for new mothers. Remember that the stresses of pregnancy and child delivery can last long after the child has been born. Fatigue can lead to depression so it’s best to consult your doctor about your nutritional needs. That way, any lack of nutrients which are contributory to your fatigue, may immediately be addressed.

Fitness Training

While it may seem unusual for some, getting the services of a personal trainer can be a very helpful solution in the management of postnatal depression, particularly since it can address the situation from several angles. For example, for women who have body image issues brought about by excess weight, a personal training program for weight loss can stimulate optimism in a new mother, and boost her confidence level.

In Singapore, a personal trainer can help in:

  • the faster physical healing and recovery of a woman from childbirth
  • the swifter return to a woman’s weight, body shape, and fitness before pregnancy (if the woman had no outstanding fitness issues before)
  • sensibly helping a new mother achieve a desirable and healthy weight, body shape, and fitness level (assuming that there were outstanding fitness issues before pregnancy)
  • gaining more energy to enable the new mother to handle the demands of her baby better
  • reducing the feeling of being stressed and depressed

A Will to Succeed

But of course, a fitness trainer, no matter how experienced or qualified, is not a miracle worker. For that matter, the success of any fitness program, especially the ones that are primarily for weight loss, requires the dedicated cooperation of the person being trained, whether she is a mother of a newborn or not. There must be a will to succeed, a strong desire to cooperate with the fitness trainer  during the personal training sessions to lose weight.

Keep in mind that developing a good, open, and professional relationship with your trainer will not only help you to lose weight, other benefits can be gained, as well. The training program that your trainer develops for you can even stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin, both of which will make you feel better about yourself, your baby, and your new role as a mother.

Yours in health,

Sharm, MSc

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