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.
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
After the baby comes, women are often overwhelmed with many feelings. A mother may feel tired, happy, anxious, frustrated, in love, and blue. Sometimes all at once! A breast feeding specialist once told me, when the milk comes in, so to the tears. So many feelings! However, PPD steps these feelings up a notch. Signs that you may be experiencing PPD are:
- Feeling depressed most of the day every day
- Feeling shame, guilt, or like a failure
- Feeling anxious or scared all the time
- Severe mood swings
Changes in daily habits are to be expected with a newborn. However, signs that you may have PPD are:
- Having little or no interest in things you normally like to do
- Feeling tired all the time
- Changes in eating habits
- Gaining or losing weight (not justified by the fact that you just had a baby)
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much (not justified by the fact that you are up at strange hours tending to your baby)
- Having trouble concentrating or making decisions (not justified by the fact that you just had a baby and have little sleep)
An important sign that you need to pay attention to is how you feel about yourself or your baby.
- Are you having trouble bonding with your baby?
- Do you think of hurting yourself or your baby?
- Do you think about killing yourself?
Can having PPD affect your baby? Yes! If you are suffering from untreated PPD your baby may:
- Have trouble bonding with you
- Cry a lot
- Be delayed in development
- Show behavior problems
If you feel you may have PPD, call your health care provider right away. There are medical interventions and therapies that can help. If you are feeling suicidal or like you will harm your baby, please call 911 immediately.
Please come back tomorrow as Natalie discussed treatment options for PPD. As always, thanks for stopping by!
*Source: March of Dimes “Postpartum Feelings” from www.marchofdimes.com
Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT
Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield
There's not an exact answer to this question. We do know that women who are younger (early 20's) and who have experienced depression prior to having a baby or during their pregnancy are at higher risk. You're also at risk if your family has a history of depression or other mood disorders (even if they were not treated for these disorders). Most importantly, a woman will be high risk for PPD if she's recently had stressful events occur in her life. These can include:
- health problems during pregnancy, a difficult pregnancy, or if the baby was born with health concerns
- A death of a loved one
- If a loved one has been diagnosed with an illness
- Relationship issues with your significant other - including but not limited to infidelity, abuse, addiction, job loss, etc.
- Decreased support during the pregnancy from family or friends
- Financial issues
- If the pregnancy was unplanned
- Trouble adjusting to motherhood
- You yourself struggling with addiction (alcohol, smoking, pills, etc...)
After childbirth, a woman's body goes through a lot of changes in hormones. This too can cause PPD. 24 hours after childbirth a woman's hormones quickly go back to their normal levels, but this quick drop in hormones can lead to PPD.
For first-time parents, it's natural to question your abilities. However, if you're having negative thoughts and feelings about being a mom, this can lead to PPD and you need to speak to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor if:
- you doubt you'll be a good mom
- you put pressure on yourself to be the perfect mom
- you believe you'll "lose" the person you were before the baby came along
- you believe you're less attractive than you were before
- you have no free time for yourself
- you are not getting enough sleep or quality sleep
Your doctor, family, friends and loved ones are there to help you. PPD is not to be taken lightly and you are not alone. If you are currently having any of these thoughts, or recognize these statements in anyone you love, please talk to your doctor, or ask your loved one to speak to a professional.
We have lots more information to share with you about PPD. Please check back in as we cover this very important topic.
*Source: March of Dimes “Postpartum Feelings” from www.marchofdimes.com
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.