Postpartum Depression can really be a struggle for many new mom's. It's often not diagnosed because of the shame that comes from within the mom. Many times they don't get help because of the shame they feel. This week we want everyone to understand PPD and take away the shame so the mom's will get the proper treatment. Be sure and catch the previous 3 days blogs as well. We are working on an-acronym A.W.A.R.E.N.E.S.S.
Postpartum depression is one of the most severe complications of childbirth, yet so many new moms, partners, family, friends, and even healthcare providers do not recognize the symptoms that are associated with the adjustment to becoming a new mother. Today, I will continue our discussion to raise A.W.A.R.E.N.E.S.S. about PPD, focusing today's topic on a mother's ATTITUDE toward her new baby and the importance of taking time for personal RECREATION in helping women better cope with PPD.
To help the treatment from your provider work better, there are several things that you can do on your own: Stay healthy and fit:
Do somthing active every day. Try to take walks or when cleared by your health care provider, go back to the gym or get back into your regular exercise regimin.
Eat healthy food and snacks. Try to make food choices that include balanced foods, instead of junk foods, sweets and salty foods.
Get as much rest as you can. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
Do not consume alcohol. This includes beer, wine coolers, hard liquor, or other types of alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, which slows down your body and makes you feel more depressed in the long run. Alcohol will also interfere with any medications you might be taking for Postpartum depression.
Lower your stress:
Make sure to do recreational activities that you enjoyed before pregnancy and birth. Take a class, listen to your favorite music, meet friends out, or read a good book. Even when your time is very limited, it's important to incorporate old hobbies and activities back into your life when you can.
Do not make any major life changes right after having a baby. These include job changes, re-locations or changing homes, etc. These kinds of changes can add more stress that is unnecessary. Having a baby is a big life change in itself, and it's better to allow your life to resume with some sense of normalcy before introducing further changes.
Talk to your boss about going back to work. Discuss the possibility of working from home or working part-time when you first go back, which can lower stress and help you cope better with the postpartum depression.
Ask for and ACCEPT help:
Let others help around the house. This might include laundry, cleaning bathrooms, cooking meals, grocery shopping, running errands, or asking friends and family to help with the baby. Don't feel like you need to do everything on your own to be a "good parent". Don't be afraid to tell people what you are needing.
Keep in touch with the people who are important to you in life and try not to isolate. Tell your partner, friends and family how you are feeling.
Take time for yourself. Along with old hobbies and recreational things, it's important to have alone time whenever possible. This could be used for self-care (manicure, pedicure, haircut and style, reading or journaling, exercise, yoga, etc.) or for fun. Becoming a parent means constant demands for time and attention, and self-care is vital to having enough energy and motivation in your "tank" to be able to provide for a little one when needed.
Have you recognized any tips for postpartum depression that might apply to you or be helpful in your recovery process?
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.
There are many ways to treat Postpartum Depression. It is important to understand with PPD, the sooner you get help, the easier it is to treat and the less problems or complications you may have with your treatment. The first thing to do is to decide who you will go to treat it. Here are some qualified professionals:
1. Your OBGYN* 2. Your primary care physician 3. Certified nurse-midwife 4. Your baby's provider 5. Mental Health professional such as a counselor who specializes in PPD *Usually your OBGYN is the one who will be the most familiar with this area and know the best recommendations.
Next, you can decide how you will treat it based on their recommendations. Some of their recommendations may include the following:
1. Support groups- This is an excellent way to treat PPD. You will meet other people who are feeling the exact way you are. Additionally, you will gain support and ideas for how to treat it outside of the group.
2. Counseling- Having someone who can be objective is priceless. They can listen to you, give recommendations about what else you can be doing, and to help with any road blocks that you may come to.
3. Medicine- Some doctors will recommend an antidepressant to get you through this time. Additionally, sometimes PPD can be caused from low Estrogen. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend taking additional estrogen to increase your levels until they begin increasing on their own.
It is very important to not stop taking medications your doctor prescribes for PPD until you speak with your doctor. Also, some medications that are recommended for PPD are not safe for breastfeeding mothers. This is why it is so important to talk to a doctor before taking anything over the counter for PPD if you are nursing.
Remember, the sooner you get help, the better you will feel. Tomorrow Joleen will give you things you can do to help you feel better. Thank you for reading!
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville