Postpartum Depression – Understanding Postpartum Mental Health

postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a term you have probably heard, but may not fully understand. For a long time, there was an unspoken rule that postpartum depression was an off-limits topic. Thankfully, times are changing!

The expectation is that when you have a baby, you are full of blissful happiness and overwhelming love. While that is the ideal scenario, each woman experiences different postpartum emotions following their baby’s birth. Most women experience a mix of positive and negative feelings about the life-altering change of having a new baby.

However, overwhelmingly negative thoughts can be a warning sign of postpartum depression. Whether it’s feeling stressed, anxious, lonely or sad — hormonal changes paired with such a huge life transition can take time to adjust to.

Did you know that according to the American Psychological Association up to 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression? We wanted to dedicate some space on our blog to addressing postpartum depression and removing some of the taboo surrounding the topic.

What is postpartum depression? First, let’s address the fact that “postpartum depression” encompasses much more than just feeling depressed. This phrase really captures so much more than depression – anxiety, sadness, fear, and inability to sleep or function on a daily basis.

When do the changes begin? Many people see postpartum depression and think that “post” means after, so the depression must begin following the baby’s birth. Disorders like depression don’t just occur postpartum. Women can begin to feel mood changes throughout pregnancy as hormones begin changing and the body prepares for delivery.

The reason it’s called postpartum depression is because of the significantly increased risk of the disorder in the period following a baby’s delivery. While you’re pregnant, it’s easier to cope with your symptoms because your overall routine isn’t changed. But once the baby arrives you have the added strain of adjusting to life as a parent and the changes in your relationship with your significant other.

Who does it affect? Unfortunately, depression does not discriminate. Anyone can suffer from this emotional disorder. However, personal and family history can be an indication of what you’ll experience. If a woman suffers from anxiety, depression or another mood disorder, she is much more likely to experience an increase in those feelings during and after pregnancy. You can think about the micro-changes that occur in your mood during your monthly period as these can be amplified during and after pregnancy.

How can I tell if I may have this disorder? A great “test” is to have someone you trust watch your baby. Are you able to lie down and take a nap, knowing that your little one is well cared for? If not, there is a good chance you are suffering in some way. If you think you may be suffering – even a little bit – don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your doctor, your partner or someone else you trust.

Many women who have suffered with infertility or struggled to conceive feel like they don’t have permission to be sad. Life is such a gift, but having a baby is a huge task and can be very overwhelming. It’s OK not to be happy all of the time. Allowing yourself to feel these negative feelings can help you move past them.

What can I do to help my friend or loved one who may be suffering? First of all, understand that there is an underlying factor that contributes to postpartum depression. During pregnancy, all of the focus is on mom. Once the baby has arrived, all of that attention shifts to the baby and many people “forget” about mom.

If you know your friend is struggling, reach out frequently. Let her know you’re there for her. Before stopping by for a visit, give mom a call and make sure it’s a good time. When you arrive, come with food! Chances are she may forget to eat because she’s so tired and busy. Offer to hold the baby while mom takes a nap or does something for herself. Ask how she is doing and be sure to let HER talk. Sometimes, just venting and talking to a close friend can do wonders for our wellbeing.

Postpartum depression deserves meaningful attention. If you or someone you love may be suffering, reach out to someone for help and don’t be ashamed!

Why Fathers Are Important

why fathers are important

Fathers Day was earlier this month and we want to take some time to appreciate all the dads out there. This year more than $23 billion was spent on Mother’s Day, compared to only $15 billion on Father’s Day. Dad, we want you to know that you’re important, too. Little ones need their fathers just as much as they need their mothers, and here’s why:

Dads are the yin to mom’s yang. There is a reason that there are two parents. Moms and dads naturally balance one another out. We’re not just talking about traditional gender roles since both parents can essentially “do” all of the same things. We tend to be attracted to a mate who provides balance to our own lives, and this extends to our children as well. One parent may be more organized and the other may be more free-spirited. Parenting takes teamwork. By maximizing one another’s strengths, you can both parent more effectively.

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Postpartum Apps You Will Love

postpartum apps you will love

When you are postpartum staying organized with a new baby is a top priority, but you may feel overwhelmed trying to accomplish everything. Your baby has his days and nights mixed up and you’re running on fewer hours of sleep than you thought was possible. The pediatrician probably expects you to track your little one’s feedings and wet/dirty diapers.

You’re also trying to eat healthily and stay active. And don’t even mention managing activities with your older kids, grocery shopping, paying bills along with all of the other responsibilities you have in addition to a new baby. You probably feel overwhelmed just thinking about it all! Thank goodness for technology to keep you on track and help you save money. These five apps are some of our favorites for new moms and will help you stay organized, maintain your health and even save money.

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Co-Sleeping the Safe Way

safe co-sleeping

After spending nine months inside your belly, your little one will need lots of your love and attention once she’s born. After all, you’re all she’s ever known! The sound of your voice and familiar feeling you provide will be all your little one wants. It may seem like she never wants to be put down and may even fuss when anyone else holds her.

Since she wants to be held 24/7 (and rightfully so!) she may not even want to be put down when you’re ready to go to sleep at night. Since it isn’t safe to fall asleep holding your baby, we have some great ways to safely co-sleep. These tips and products will ensure you both get a restful night’s sleep.

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Mother’s Day Musts

mother's day musts

As a mom (or mom-to-be), you deserve the best! After all, you are constantly busy taking care of everyone and everything in your homestead. Now, it’s time to take care of you! Here are some awesome Mother’s Day ideas (or hints to drop) that include some major pampering and lots of luxury for the expecting mother in your life.

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Spring Cleaning: A “Nesting” Mommy’s Dream

spring cleaning

There’s just something about spring that makes an expecting mommy want to jump up and clean (and clean, and clean), especially when it’s Spring Cleaning time. The weather is warming; the air is fresh and crisp; so it’s a great time to prep your home for your little bundle of joy. Here are some items to scrub and spaces to organize that will bring you instant joy (and the instant satisfaction of crossing items off of your long to-do list).

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6 Items You Absolutely Need in Your Hospital Bag

6 items you absolutely need in your hospital bag

If you scan online pregnancy sites and popular baby retailers’ blogs; they will make you feel pretty stressed out about packing a hospital bag. Why? They absolutely over exaggerate just how much you need to bring with you on D-day. Take it from me-I packed way too much and spent more money than I needed to when packing my bag. After all was said and done, here are the things I feel are most important to have with you at the hospital!

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Contingency Birth Plans for a Snow Emergency

contingency birth plan

At one time or another during a pregnancy, most women wonder about what will happen should they not be able to make it to the hospital on time. This concern hits home even more for the moms-to-be who are due during the Winter months. With a snow storm around every corner, black ice and sleet impeding their path to the hospital, what would a mother in labor do in the event that she couldn’t get to the hospital to birth her baby?

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2017 Nursery Trends

2017 nursery trends

There’s nothing more exciting for a new mom than setting up her nursery. If you’re expecting a delivery during winter months, there are numerous ways you can make your baby’s room cute, comfortable, and cozy! Just take a cue from the most recent nursery trends and begin piecing together and designing the nursery of your dreams.

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Having Fun on New Year’s When You Are Pregnant

having fun on new years when you are pregnant

What do weddings, parties, holidays, and New Year’s Eve have in common? They all stink when you’re pregnant! But, don’t let the lack of adult beverages and soft-cheese snacks ruin your time or your spirits. You can be all smiles when you ring in the New Year this upcoming holiday. Here are several tips that will ensure you have nothing but fun on New Year’s Eve!

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