When to Seek Help for Postpartum Depression – Identifying and Tips for managing Postpartum Depression. Knowing when to seek Postpartum Depression Help
Postpartum Depression Help – By Laurette Lipman, MA, LLPC, NCC of Embracing Life Counseling, LLC and Oakland County Moms.
So, what are normal feelings after pregnancy and how can you distinguish those from a clinical diagnosis of Postpartum Depression? Below, I’ll discuss normal feelings after pregnancy, discuss some tips on how to manage PostPartum Depression and talk about when you or someone you know should seek Postpartum Depression Help.
Postpartum Depression Help – Tips
- Accept that your life will not be normal for at least the first couple of weeks and maybe even the first couple of months. After a while things will start to adjust, you will develop a flow in your daily routine, and your life will begin to feel normal again. Your priorities will change and you will have to decide what things are most important that you want to get done. The more you are able to let go and not worry about keeping the house clean, making dinner, hosting for company etc. the easier it will be to focus on the little baby and yourself. Accept that in the beginning, instead of fitting the baby into your life, you will be fitting your life into the baby’s. Eventually things will shift back and the baby will be a part of your life, on your schedule.
- Listen to your body. Make sure you eat when you can, keep hydrated (especially if nursing), and sleep or at least rest when you are able to. Enjoy foods that you couldn’t have while you were pregnant! Unless a doctor tells you otherwise, mostly anything in moderation is okay. Enjoy your coffee in the morning, your feta cheese or deli sandwiches. Remember to keep active even if just around the house. Movement is good for your body and your mind!
- Try to continue doing little things for yourself that remind you of who you are. Listen to your favorite cd, or watch your favorite show or movie while you are feeding your baby. Paint your nails, read a magazine or your favorite book when you are able to sneak it in. Eventually little things will be easier to find time for without disrupting your whole day, or making you feel guilty about taking time from the baby. Most of the time these things won’t even require you to take time from the baby, but even if they do, don’t feel guilty. You need to feel good too, because your life has changed completely. Your life will forever be different, but it is a good different, that will just take a little time adjusting to and it doesn’t have to take away from who you are.
- Let people help you. As a new mom you want to do it all yourself. It is normal to feel that way (at least in the beginning or when it is your first baby), but after a while let your significant other share some of the parenting tasks. Allow other family members to help you such as; grandparents or aunts and uncles. Family members often come to visit when a new baby arrives, and they are there because they want to help you. If you aren’t being offered the specific help you need, do not be afraid to ask. Sometimes people aren’t sure how to help or they are afraid they are overstepping boundaries. They might not realize that you want the help and once again, don’t feel guilty for asking. You will be this baby’s mom for a very long time, and a little break here and there will not be able to take anything away from that bond.
- Do what you think is best for your baby and for you. People will offer up many different opinions and although some may help, some may not. You don’t have to listen to anyone else because you are the parent now, and the same thing does not work for everyone. For example, it is your decision how you prefer to feed your baby. If one way is simply not working that well for you, there are often other solutions if you think outside of the box. You can nurse exclusively, nurse and supplement, nurse and pump, you can exclusively pump, or use formula. There are many options to choose from in this example as well as in a variety of other situations, so ultimately you have to do what works best for you and your baby. Sometimes things may not work exactly the way we intended, but we can still be just as good of a mom as we hoped to be!
- Remind yourself that things will get better. After pregnancy, you are so busy with the baby that days blur together and it is hard to grasp the concept of time. The first couple of days will feel much longer than days, and weeks will feel like months. There are challenges you face with every baby from getting him/her to nurse, getting him/her to sleep, determining what cries mean and how to calm your baby, and more. Once you get through the tough adjustment periods, you will realize it was just a small snapshot of time in comparison to how it felt. Sometimes things will take time! Don’t rush it. The tough adjustment periods will be over soon enough.
Postpartum Depression Help – Identifying Symptoms
- All of the feelings you experience after pregnancy are common, even though they may not always feel right when they are so intense. Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize when extreme feelings are too much, and if outside help is needed. Please seek help for the following:
- Uncontrollable crying that will not go away after a period of time.
- Lack of interest in any hobbies or activities you used to enjoy.
- Feeling like you are in a “funk” that you can’t get out of.
- No appetite or not eating at all.
- Not able to sleep at all or sleeping too much.
- Feelings of not wanting your baby or not connecting to your baby after a significant period of time.
- Feelings of harming yourself or your baby.
When in doubt, if the above Postpartum Depression symptoms apply to you – seek Postpartum Depression Help.
For more Postpartum Depression Help tips, visit www.embracinglifecounseling.com