postpartum, postpartum depression, postpartum support, postpartum doula

Postpartum ≠ Depression

Your postpartum time doesn’t have to be one of sadness.

Postpartum, that time period after you have given birth. Some say it can be as little as 3 months or up to a year (I prefer a year to settle in because it easily too that long with each of my kids).

I surveyed several women and asked the question, “When I say postpartum, what is the first word that pops into your mind?”

100% responded, “Depression.”

That doesn’t have to be the case. You can have a wonderful, enjoyable, happy postpartum period. You can grow, learn, and bond with your baby without experiencing symptoms of hormone-induced mood disorders.

How?

By surrounding yourself with a solid support system.

Studies have shown that the #1 key to prevention of postpartum mood disorders is a strong support network.

Whether you have family who are nearby, willing to pitch in, and supportive of your parenting decisions; or if you hire a postpartum doula to help you through the days and/or nights; or you simply join a support group for new parents, having that support system in place is going to help you make it through those first months of parenthood.

Surrounding yourself with people who love and respect you as you are. Who have been there or are currently there. Who honor your parenting decisions rather than casting judgment for making a decision different from ones they would make (we guilt ourselves enough without letting others do it too). This will help make the days and nights easier.

Also, remember to cut yourself a little slack. You are a new parent. Your house, your social schedule, and your body are not going to look the same immediately after birth. It’s okay to take time to enjoy your new baby and worry about those things later. Laundry, dishes, and dust bunnies will keep, but your baby is only this small for a little while. Enjoy those days while you can.

 

About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, "Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice."

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