Houston Placenta Encapsulation

Postpartum Mood Disorders

Our B.I.R.T.H series stands for Bringing In Resources To Help. We touch on common things you wonder about during pregnancy, labor, your time with a new baby, and your parenting adventure. 

Postpartum Challenges:

Symptoms and Encouragement

Each type of postpartum challenge has mental, physical, and emotional roots and stressors.

Baby Blues

60-80% of women experience the occurrence of baby blues
Baby Blues usually peaks at three to five days postpartum, lasts for several hours, or even several days, and passes on its own.

Symptoms: 

Temporary moodiness

Crying
Irritability

Frustration

Postpartum Depression

Usually occurs one to three months after childbirth and can last until baby’s first year

Symptoms:

Insomnia

Weight Loss

Extreme Fatigue

Difficulty Getting Out of Bed

Genetic Predisposition Hormonal Changes

Absence of Support/Isolation

Postpartum Psychosis

Appears in 1 or 2 cases per 1000 births

Symptoms:

Suicidal ideations to escape your pain

Afraid that you may intentionally hurt your baby

Hearing sounds and voices when you are alone

Thoughts don’t feel like you’re the owner

You feel out of control or like someone else is controlling you

You haven’t slept in days (48 hours or longer)

Rapid weight loss without trying

 

Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/ Postpartum Anxiety

Affects about 2% of the population

About 1 in 5 women that experience postpartum depression also experience some form of postpartum anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Symptoms:

Feeling not able to breathe

Pounding heart beat

Shaking or trembling

Hot flashes and chills
Dizziness/lightheadedness

Numbness and tingling

Afraid to be alone.

Fear of having an emergency and not being able to get help

The belief that something terrible is about to happen
Repeated negative thoughts

Excessive worry over causing harm to self or baby

Fear of germs and illness.

Habitual patterns that detract from your daily life such as washing bedding every day, bleaching toys daily, etc.

Doing things a certain way

Coping With A Postpartum Mood Disorder:

Evaluate your own limits and needs.

Know that you are not alone! This isn’t your fault, something you chose, or something you have to be stuck with!

Get some sleep. No one can think clearly or make rational decisions if they are sleep deprived. Work with your partner to establish a time where each of you can get several hours of sleep in a row. Or ask a friend or relative that you trust with the baby to come over sit with baby so you can sleep. Sometimes it’s hard to trust anyone with your new baby, especially if you feel like you are the only one who can provide for your baby. You can have someone sit in the same room with the baby while you sleep.
Be honest with yourself, your family, and your provider. It’s easier for others to understand you and ways to help if you can try to communicate.

Reevaluate your expectations and goals. Your sanity and peace is always number one. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. The housework or your social life can wait while you sleep, shower, and take care of your baby. You can tell your friends, “I’m having a harder time than I expected with having a new baby. I know I said I would do, X, Y, Z but I don’t have time/energy to focus on that right now.” The people who love you and wish the best for you will completely understand.

If you’re home alone with a fussy baby and you know that the baby is in a safe place such as a crib or bassinet and has been fed, is clean, and isn’t sick, you don’t have to “fix” the baby. It’s okay to walk away for a couple of minutes and gather your thoughts, take a breath, and calm your frustrations.

Avoid the opinions and judgments of other people. The only people responsible for your parenting choices are you and your partner. Trust your intuition and do what is best for you and your baby.

Don’t give on yourself. Postpartum mood disorders can be terrifying and you may feel like you’ll never come out of it. When you come out of the fog, you’ll be so glad you did. Take as much time as you need.

If you feel like you’ve done everything in your power to shake your postpartum challenge, its ok for you to seek the help of a therapist, support group, medication, or time in a hospital. It’s scary to accept you need time in a hospital. You’ll likely feel ashamed and judged. Professionals are only going to admire your courage in seeking help. Call your insurance carrier to learn about postpartum services that are covered. If you don’t have transportation, some postpartum counselors have virtual sessions.

You may feel very alone. You will be surprised how many people come from the woodwork to help you if they learn you are struggling. It’s okay to accept help.

You can hire a postpartum doula to assist you with baby care, get some rest or self-care, or to help you if you feel overwhelmed with housework or meal preparation.

There are many books on the market about postpartum challenges. You can order one online so it shows up on your doorstep. Sometimes it’s hard to make time and focus for reading if you’re sleep deprived and adjusting to motherhood. Many of them have chapter summaries and resource lists in the back to minimize having to read them word for word.

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