I Think I Have Postpartum Depression, What Now?

You’ve Just Had Your Baby, Do You Need Postpartum Therapy?

This article cites a 2019 evidence report by the US Preventative Services Task Force

 

First, the Postpartum Therapy Facts

Why am I not bonding with my baby?

Women receiving even just one form of postpartum therapy are 40 percent less likely than those who didn’t to develop perinatal depression. One approach involves cognitive behavioral therapy – helping women navigate their feelings and expectations to create healthy, supportive environments for their children.

The other approach is interpersonal therapy. This entails developing coping skills and role-playing exercises to help manage stress and relationship conflicts. Both types of therapy are something Simple Modern has great experience in

Mother of Experience

Here are some general tips to help with day-to-day anxiety:

There’s plenty to discuss around Postpartum Therapy, but it’s important to cover the facts first. Often referred to as Postpartum Depression (PPD), mental illness can also occur with women during pregnancy.

Perinatal depression (a really useful term) as a whole is estimated to affect at least 800,000 American mothers each year and 13 percent of women worldwide. More importantly, the condition increases a woman’s risk of becoming suicidal or harming her infant.

PPD also increases the likelihood that babies will be born premature or have low birth weight. Also, it can impair a mother’s ability to bond with or care for her child. Children of mothers who had perinatal depression have more behavior problems, cognitive difficulties and mental illness.

1. Self Care Tips

  • Skip housework. Period
  • To feel calmer and more energized try mindful meditation.
  • Settle back into exercise, even if it’s only for 15-30 minutes a day.
  • Sleep. Put your partner, family members or friends to work so you can catch a nap.
  • It’s essential that you make quality time for your. Take breaks and pamper yourself.
  • Depression and anxiety can mean a lapse in nutrition and mood. Prioritize meals.
  • Get some sun: 15-30 minutes a day.

2. Relationship Tips

  • Stronger together: often times your partner is usually the first person to be your emotional punching bag. Turn towards each other and always remember you’re a team. Parent together.
  • Communication lines: so many issues can bubble up with a newborn in the home. Don’t let these fester, talk through them. Don’t assume your partner knows what you’re thinking or feeling.
  • Role changes: with the arrival of any baby be prepared to take on whatever new role/task may come your way.
  • State of the union: while difficult, it’s important to set aside time as a couple. This doesn’t have to be romance and adventure, it can look like anything. Even spending 15-30 minutes together, focused only on each other can make a difference.

So, What Next?

We recommend counseling for women with one or more of a broad range of risk factors, including a personal or family history of depression; recent stresses like divorce or economic strain; traumatic experiences like domestic violence; or depressive symptoms that don’t constitute a full-blown diagnosis. Others include being a single mother, a teenager, low-income, lacking a high school diploma, or having an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

The success of a relationship between mother and child hinges on the emotional bonding process: this is known as attachment. Fruitful bonding enables a child to feel secure enough to develop fully. Moreover, it affects how he or she will interact, communicate, and form relationships throughout life.

Bonding is created when the mother consistently responds warmly to the baby’s emotional needs. Your baby cries – you quickly soothe them. Your baby laughs or smiles – you respond in kind. Essentially, mother and child are in sync. 

For any mother this task can certainly feel daunting, but we’re here to help you through it.

Postpartum depression can interrupt this bonding. Depressed or anxious mothers can be loving and attentive at times, but at other times may react negatively or not respond at all. Mothers with Postpartum depression tend to interact less with their babies, and are less likely to breastfeed, play with, and read to their children. This may sound surprising, but taking care of yourself will in turn take care of your baby.

Meghan Hutten
Couples & Postpartum Expert + LMFT

Give us a call to make an appointment. Meghan would love to see you.

(801) 920-7112

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