Preventing Postpartum Depression

There are many things that you can do to help ease postpartum depression before the birth of your next baby. One of the big things would be a good postpartum plan. This will do is to help you map out the trouble areas. The key here is good planning and some organization.

Take care of yourself. Take breaks, accept help from others, nurture yourself. We tend to forget ourselves and become very absorbed in the baby. It is important that mom is well cared for too. This makes caring for the baby easier.
Make a plan. Make sure you ask yourself some important questions before your child’s birth in order to make the birthing process as stress-free as possible. Ask yourself questions such as:


> How much time will you have off?
> Who will be available to help you?
> What you need help with?
> What can you delegate?
> What can wait?
Be realistic. Avoid major life changes. It's too much to ask to find a new job, move across the country and find a house within a month before the baby is born. Try your best to finish all major life changes before becoming pregnant. If that isn't possible, do them as early in pregnancy as possible.
Develop a support system. One thing I always tell new moms is to have a list of things that need to be done. When someone calls and offers support, read from the list. Not only does it help, especially if you have problems requesting help, but it keeps you a bit more organized. Most people genuinely want to help you.

Make a list. Something every postpartum mother should have is a list of things that need to be done. Well meaning friends will call and ask "Is there anything I can do?" Your answer should be, "YES!" Get your list and give them a few options. Here is a sample list:

> Do a load of laundry 
> Do the dishes
> Take Susie (older sibling) to the park
> Watch the baby while I take a shower
> Take out the garbage
> Cook a meal (Not a casserole!)
> Dust the living room
> Run to the grocery for X, Y or Z

Add anything that you can think that will help to your list. You may add different things or remove them as your strength and confidence increases.

Seek support. Getting support from a professional before the end of your pregnancy is not a bad idea either. They can help you work through any issues you have, even if they are not birth related. This can also be someone to call on after the birth, someone you have a previous relationship with. Not to mention, this person will be able to help you map out your plans for postpartum emotionally. There are also support groups available. Getting together with new mothers you know and sharing your feelings with them may help you deal better with your own problems.
Be active. Getting out of the house with or without your baby, will help chase way the baby blues and will help you lose some of the postpartum fat you may have put on, which may be adding to your depression.
Medications. Medications for depression are a hot topic for pregnant women. There have been some recent studies relating preterm labor and other problems with some of the anti-depressants taken during pregnancy. So make sure that you discuss this with your practitioner before attempting it.
Prepare your household for postpartum. There are numerous things that people recommend. I think that the most obvious is to have a well stocked house. Buy lots of toilet paper and splurge on the soft kind. Get maxi pads, tooth paste, canned goods, etc. If you have the inclination and the freezer space, try making double all of your recipes when you cook dinner, and save half for later.
- Don’t feel guilty. Being a mother is a difficult task for everyone, so don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Once you accept the fact that there‘s no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child than life will be a whole lot easier.
- Seek help. If none of the above help you and your symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks or you are having great difficulty with daily living it is best to discuss your difficulties with a health care provider.


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Need more tips on preventing postpartum depression? Visit the postpartum depression forum.


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I had it twice. It is so hard if you had no any support from your family and loved ones.
7 years ago
family counseling Metro Atlant
Postpartum depression is a common condition that some women experience after giving birth. Although there are a lot studies done, the causes of such condition is not yet clear. However, there are suggested ways that this can be prevented. Some of which, you discussed here. Thanks for sharing a very informative article.
12 years ago
Postpartum depression is depression that occurs soon after having a baby. Some health professionals callit postpartum nonpsychotic depression. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counseling. Eating human body parts may be considered taboo, but there are some people who do consume the placenta after giving birth to their baby. Liver-like and bluish in coloring, a persons placenta is thought to be biohazardous waste by the
13 years ago