Tuesday, October 3, 2023
HomeHealth & FitnessHow to prepare for the emotional, physical, and social realities of postpartum...

How to prepare for the emotional, physical, and social realities of postpartum life

“You may experience some crying, but it’s mild and starts to go away in about two weeks, if not sooner,” Dr. Kaeni said.

However, if your symptoms are more severe, such as a lack of interest in your baby, feeling hopeless or ashamed, and thoughts of hurting your baby or yourself, these are more serious postpartum mood disorders ( PPMD) such as postpartum depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Postpartum depression can make your symptoms stronger and longer. For example, you may feel hopeless, have low energy, and cry a lot, says Dr. Kaeni. If you have postpartum anxiety, you may have general worries or specific worries that are difficult to manage. You may also have intrusive thoughts that come from nowhere.

“For example, some people may worry that they will abandon the baby. If you keep thinking about it, it may take on an obsessive quality,” explains Dr. Kaeni. “They may stop holding the baby because they are so worried that they are going to do something to hurt the child, not because they really want to hurt the child. It is the fear that is debilitating.”

Postpartum depression can also develop in the postpartum period, when people return to work or stop breastfeeding, Dr. Vernon said.

If you need mental health support, whether or not you think you have a perinatal mood disorder, check out Postpartum Support International for mothers, fathers, partners and families, gay and transgender Parents, as well as military members, help families. There is also a 24/7 National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS; and a 24/7 National Mental Health and Substance Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP. It’s worth adding these numbers to your phone before you need them, so they’re already there when you need to get in touch.

8. Surround yourself with a like-minded community.

The pressure to be the “perfect parent” is common as we are often surrounded by heartwarming pictures of parents and newborns on social media. But in reality, it’s the most spiritually challenging One of those times when many parents – if not all – struggle at some point. You can help reduce this stress by filtering your social media feed to only include accounts that resonate with your experience, says Dr. Kaeni.

You can also seek out a local mom or parent support group where you can meet other parents who are dealing with the same issues. Sometimes it just takes someone else to say they can connect.

For example, Dr. Vernon is a consultant for Hey Jane, a postpartum family digital community, and runs a support group for pregnant women and postpartum parents. She also recommended Peanut, an app that helps connect people with fertility, pregnancy, motherhood and menopause. Love also hosts support groups, Mother Connection, and Toddler Time at Indiana University Health, which are done via Zoom and are open to anyone, no matter where they live. Dear Sunday Motherhood is another organization that offers virtual mom groups where people across the country can connect and get advice from perinatal experts.

Queer and LGBTQIA+ parents and families can also find resources and support through Soon-To-Be Gay Parents, Men Who Have Children and Rainbow Families.

Finally, Dr. Vernon reminds parents to be their own best advocates. “Regardless of your birth experience, or your postpartum recovery, you’re still a great parent,” Dr. Vernon said. “You will never be alone.”


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