• Postpartum Depression or Baby Blues

    Experiencing Postpartum depression or baby blues?

    Baby Blues: Our third child was born in January after relocating to Kalispell, MT 6 months earlier. My beautiful daughter was the delight of my life with her dark shinny eyes and kissable cheeks. It was a season of mixed emotions—deep love and gratitude for my children as well as loneliness and sadness. My mother had traveled over 1,000 miles for a much needed visit. When she left, I grieved the loss of connection. I remember sitting in front of my closet crying hysterically because none of my clothes fit. I felt inadequate and overwhelmed because someone always needed me. However, these feelings were temporary and went away on their own after a few weeks.

    Woman with Postpartum Depression

    Postpartum depression is a medical illness that affects how a mother feels, thinks and acts. The symptoms are persistent, intense and interrupt ability to accomplish daily tasks. These symptoms may include:

    • Feeling hopeless or sad
    • Changes in energy level/motivation
    • Physical aches and pains
    • Loss of interest pleasurable activities or hobbies
    • Changes in appetite, weight and sleep
    • Feeling irritable
    • Low self-worth
    • Difficulty with concentration or making decisions
    • Difficulty feeling bonded to baby
    • Disturbing thoughts about harming self, child or someone else.

    It is understandable that some women are unsure if they are experiencing Postpartum Depression or Baby Blues. Between hormonal changes, healing from labor and delivery and interrupted sleep, the child bearing years can be a rough patch. While only a professional can make a diagnosis, keep in mind that when symptoms are interfering with daily functioning, it is time to seek help.

    Here are some ideas to help:

    • Schedule ‘Me’ Time & Practice Self-Compassion: Get as much sleep as possible and be kind to yourself while establishing a new schedule. It may be difficult for you to go into your mother role and then come back out again to maintain your personal identity and interests. Balancing your role as parent, takes practice. What activities refresh you most in this season? Shopping without kids, lunch with a friend or exercise? As we learn to prioritize our lives and when to let go, gratitude and joy increases. Remember not to let a bad or grumpy moment convince you that you are not a ‘good’ person.
    • Seek help from loved ones and community resources: Remember when dads watch their kids they are not babysitting; they are parenting. Organizations like MOPS, Mom’s meet up groups, Preschool Play Groups, Parent support groups can be found through your therapist, pediatrician or church.

    Individual or Relationship Therapy: Dads need support too. There are benefits in learning communication and coping skills. Ask yourself: “What do I need from my partner, mother, sister or best friend? What is holding me back from reaching out for help?” While people will disappoint us, sometimes we are assuming that our loved ones know what we need or when we need something like a kind act, hug or word of encouragement.

    Author: Beth Holloway, MA LPC with permission to post on Rosario Counseling & Associates 

    Beth Holloway, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Rosario Counseling & Associates and has more than 12 years’ experience in the mental health  field. She specializes in counseling individuals and couples who have experienced all types of losses including abuse, domestic strife, and trauma. She enjoys leading group therapy classes about Divorce Recovery, Spiritual Enrichment,

    Couples and Parent/Child Relationships, Grief Processing and Depression Recovery. Beth has had the privilege of traveling all over the United States and to more than 10 foreign countries. She is learning about people from diverse cultures and ethnic groups.

     

     

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