I had a baby about a year ago and have struggled with terrible PPD (albeit undiagnosed by a medical professional). At times, I was borderline suicidal. Although I never sought formal treatment, I would still encourage others to seek help (and early) on to avoid the suffering I had.
Through much trial and error, and time I suppose, I have developed a protocol that has helped me tremendously.
One issue I encountered was that although I lost most of the baby weight after my pregnancy within about 6 months, I gained back about 20 lbs because I was so down all I wanted to do was eat.
Now I track my calories in an online app and have cut out soft drinks and most junk foods. I try to eat fresh foods and whole grains and cook at home.
What has made the biggest difference in my weight loss effort has been implementing an eating schedule. In the fitness community, it is known as "Intermittent Fasting". Basically, I eat only between the hours of noon and 8PM. It sounds extreme, but believe me, it has significantly reduced my cravings for bad foods and it has helped me to get my appetite under control. I have lost 11 lbs this month just from these changes and it doesn't feel that bad at all. I feel satisfied when I eat. This food schedule may not work for all women so if you start feeling super sluggish, very cold, or overly hungry you might need a bigger window to eat while trying out this way of eating.
If you have a super sweet tooth like I did, you have to cut out the sugar nearly cold turkey to reduce the cravings. I find that the more sugar I eat, the more I want and crave it. Natural sugars found in fruits are fine and have not impeded my progress. Stay away from sweeteners I.e. Stevia, sucralose, aspartame, etc. I still use one tsp of sugar in my coffee because every other sweetener has affected me negatively. Stevia caused my periods to stop and sucralose gave me hives for the two years when I used it!!!! Not even the allergist could figure out that sucralose was making me itch and breakout!!!
I tried Ashwaghanda to balance my adrenals and calm my anxiety but found it made me angry and gave me daytime sleepiness, though many others say it helps them. Although I do not take this anymore, I thought it was worth mentioning.
Coffee no more than once a day!!! Believe me, I LOVE coffee but too much makes your body feel like it is in flight or fight mode which is not good while tackling postpartum hormones and nerves!
I currently take about 2,000 mg in Vitamin D daily;
A hair skin and nails formulation with biotin and msm to counteract the hair loss;
A high quality fish oil 1400 mg;
Magnesium 250 mg to help me relax and sleep at night. They say Magnesium is depleted in new moms and I have found that I sleep like a log when I take it.
When I remember I throw in a little B-Complex too.
I credit the Fish Oil and Magnesium for making the biggest difference in how I feel.
Alternating warm and very cold water at the end of your showers helps to tone up your problem areas, along with using a coffee ground salt scrub on your tummy, thighs, etc.
It is not easy being a new mom, especially if you are a stay at home mom and it is just you and baby. Physically and mentally you are beat up and I think the key to living to fight another day is to ask your creator to give you patience and strength, not only for yourself, but for your little one. Take a moment each day to get out in nature (with your baby if possible) and reflect on the positives you have in your life while getting a bit of exercise in the form of an easy walk.
Warm hugs to all moms struggling! You too can get through this!