7. Bright Light Therapy
The use of bright light therapy as a treatment for depression has become popular in recent times.
In fact, this therapy is effective in treating mental problems where dysfunction of serotonin and/or melatonin regulation mechanisms is thought to be operative, such as in seasonal affective disorder (SAD), premenstrual disorder and postpartum depression.
In this therapy, the patient’s eyes are exposed to intense but safe amounts of light for a specific and regular length of time. The light may correct a problem with the inner biological clock, called the circadian rhythm. Also, it affects neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine, which are important in treating depression.
A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry highlights the positive effect of bright light therapy on postpartum depression.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry also reports bright light therapy to be a promising treatment for depression during pregnancy.
8. Mindfulness Meditation
By practicing mindfulness meditation, you can make labor easy and even control your emotions effectively. This will make you peaceful and controlled and even reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Mindfulness means the awareness that emerges when you learn to pay deliberate and open-hearted attention to the moment-by-moment unfolding of the external and internal world.
In fact, mindfulness meditation can make you feel calmer and more energized. These factors are needed for the new role of parenthood.
A 2009 study published in the British Journal of Midwifery reports that mindfulness practices help participants to see more clearly the patterns of the mind. It helps both to halt the escalation of negative thinking that might compound pain or a depressed mood and to deal with the tendency to be on ‘autopilot’.
Initially, make it a daily habit of spending at least 5 minutes intentionally practicing deep relaxation. Then, gradually increase the time.