Postpartum Depression Help: Stopping It Before It Starts
Postpartum Depression Help
Sure, “baby blues” are normal, but is there any way to prevent postpartum depression? Get postpartum depression help before you even experience symptoms.
Postpartum depression. It’s the big, scary unknown as we start moving from pregnancy to delivery to new-momhood. Will we be one of the sufferers? Is there any way to know or predict the condition? In reality, Postpartum depression is entirely case-by-case. While there are some factors that may make it more likely, it’s not something that can be predicted with any certainty. However, since we know what makes it worse, there are a few steps we can take to help mediate the symptoms and effects.
- Be aware of your mental health prior to pregnancy and delivery
What we know is this: women who struggle with depression and anxiety pre-pregnancy are statistically more likely to deal with either or both conditions postpartum. That means that awareness is key. Too many women aren’t expecting the not-so-pleasant feelings (babies are all unicorns and rainbows, aren’t they?) and thus take longer than they need to in recognizing the problem and getting help.
A history of depression and/or anxiety doesn’t mean you’re doomed for postpartum mood disorders. It does mean you should be aware of how your history may come into play when your hormones go bonkers and start mixing with your sleepless nights. Postpartum anxiety support does exist, and you should always seek help if you are struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Make sure your partner understands what it looks like
Partners often feel helpless when things go beyond the baby blues. By talking with your partner about postpartum mood disorders, they’ll be better able to support you should you start to develop symptoms later. Make it an open, family conversation. No shame necessary.
- Set up adequate help in advance, that includes the night shift
When we feel overwhelmed and unsupported, we get desperate and emotional, which sets off a vicious domino effect. Postpartum depression help may be as easy as making sure you have someone to cover the night shift once a week, or guaranteeing you have an appointment with the lactation consultant the first week home so you don’t have to stress about breastfeeding. Maybe for a baby shower gift you ask for a couple of doula day shifts so you can ease into your role with a guide at your side.
Everyone needs help when they have a baby and no one’s giving out medals for going it solo. It takes a village. Start populating the village.
- Remember, women aren’t the only ones who suffer from PPD
Men can get it too, so keep an eye on Dad.
- Put some healthy habits in place
The same things that lift your mood prior to Newborn City actually serve as good self-care measures once you’ve boarded that one-way train. We’re talking about an anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise (even a walk around the neighborhood can help), plenty of sunshine and pregnancy/nursing-safe supplements.
When we fly by the seat of our pants we can end up crashing into a brick wall. Put some healthy routines in place before Baby comes so that it will feel like second nature once she’s here.
- Sleep Sleep Sleep
Sleep deprivation equals emotional chaos. Do WHATEVER you need to do to sleep as much as you can. Period. Sleep counseling services are out there, get help when needed.
- Don’t make this personal
Following the birth of a child, a lot of things go haywire in the body, mind and spirit. Some women get mastitis, others pee themselves every time they sneeze, there are stretch marks. But we don’t equate these with being a “bad mom” or being deficient in love for your baby. So we don’t need to do that with postpartum mood disorders either.
Here’s the truth: even if you don’t feel like it sometimes, you’re hardwired to love your baby and you’re doing the best you can. Suffering postpartum depression is no more about your value as a mother than your varicose veins. Your safest and best route is to acknowledge that you’re struggling, and get help. Promise yourself before baby comes that if you start to tank, you’re going to have someone (ideally a professional) that you can reach out to.
Postpartum Depression Help is Here
If things are feeling a little (or a lot) out of control, remember, there is a way through this. For postpartum depression help and postpartum anxiety support, help is just a phone call away. Call Welcome Baby Care today to speak to a certified postpartum doula.