Category Archives: Postpartum

ICEA Blog Carinval

ICEA is hosting a new blog carinval: Topic: Increasing awareness about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum. Some questions to think about when writing: How do you increase awareness among public and professional communities about the … Continue reading

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Activist in Training: Mary D. (post #2)

As our class, Biopsychology of Birth comes to a close we have been discussing the postpartum period.  As part of our discussion we came to realize that too often you only hear about all the bad feelings a woman may … Continue reading

Posted in Baby, mothering, parenting, Postpartum | 3 Comments

Activist in Training: Kyle M. (post #2)

The cesarean section, like many modern medical procedures, has an important purpose that when used appropriately can save the life of a mother or that of her baby or both. That being said, there is no medical reason for a … Continue reading

Posted in Cesarean Section, General, Hospital Birth, Informed Consent, Obstetricial Interventions, Obstetrics, Postpartum | 1 Comment

Breastfeeding: Gratitude

Please take a moment to add a comment with the names and contact info (and stories if you want!) of breastfeeding-friendly professionals who helped you along the way. Continue reading

Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Breastfeeding, General, mothering, parenting, Postpartum | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

Recently, more attention has been brought to the abysmally high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States. As we work to raise awareness of causes of death during pregnancy and the postpartum period, it’s important that we … Continue reading

Posted in Postpartum, Pregnancy | Tagged | 5 Comments

Cesarean Recovery

With the number of cesarean sections increasing in our country annually, many women do not really understand or know that recovering from a cesarean section is much different from a vaginal delivery. After my first cesarean section I learned this the hard way and wish I had a couple tips on making recovery more bearable. But we often forget that the recovery after a cesarean birth is not just physical, but it is also emotional for a large portion of cesarean section mothers. Continue reading

Posted in Birth Trauma, Cesarean Section, Hospital Birth, International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), Postpartum, Postpartum Depression | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Loyally Devoted to Doctor

I recently read the book The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N Aron, Ph.D. In the chapter called Medics, Medication, and Highly Sensitive People, the author states: “Keep in mind, too, that it is common to feel an attachment to … Continue reading

Posted in Birth Trauma, Breastfeeding, Doulas, General, Homebirth, Hospital Birth, Induction, Informed Consent, Jennifer, Labor and Birth, Midwifery, Obstetricial Interventions, Postpartum, Postpartum Depression | 15 Comments

The Infamous Cascade Chart

Be empowered by your birth, no matter how you birth!
If it is a bad experience, help to educate others so they do not go through what you did, so they can avoid the pain or heartache you have dealt with! Continue reading

Posted in Cesarean Section, General, Hospital Birth, Induction, Informed Consent, Labor and Birth, Midwifery, Obstetricial Interventions, Postpartum, Pregnancy, Prematurity | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

A Serious Look at Post-Partum Depression

Post-partum depression hangs a dark cloud over what is otherwise supposed to be a happy, blissful time of unconditional love. Generalizations of tears, insecurities and hopelessness do not grasp the entirety of what PPD can entail.

A licensed professional counselor with a focus on post-partum depression recently gave a presentation to a moms’ group in my area describing symptoms, signs and prevention of PPD.

She shared a checklist that you can view online. She also recommended Post-Partum Survival Guide: It wasn’t supposed to be like this as a good resource for information, but I was unable to find it to purchase online. Surprisingly (or not), post-partum depression is still not widely studied and certainly not clearly understood. Some practitioners, be they doctors, counselors or psychologists, do not recognize PPD as an illness. For yourself or your friends, it is important to make sure that the person whose help you seek shares your philosophies and is compatible with the mom and her family.

Everyone is encouraged, of course, to research for themselves on this topic, and information provided here is not intended for medical advice. If you or someone you know shows signs of PPD, seek help. Sometimes just having someone validate the feelings is all that is needed. Other times, medication might be needed, but that is at the discretion of the doctor and client.

Here are a few suggestions, however, that are easily provided as a friend or that can usually be obtained if you only ask. We were told that these can help with regular depression, too.

Take time for healing
Eat, sleep, exercise
Take breaks
Maintain marital intimacy, dates
(does not have to include sex)
Recognize achievements even if it’s just changing the diapers all day
Laugh daily
Express negative feelings
Attend to positive feelings
, a gratitude journal might be helpful
Act to change, don’t just talk about it
Let go of self-blame
Get social support
Recharge your batteries
Let go of expectations
Have a loose structure; plan to rest
Allow some crying time
; set a timer for 20 minutes if needed, but cut yourself off when the timer goes off
Avoid major life changes, if possible

With up to twenty percent of American women experiencing PPD, it is necessary to be aware, especially for African-American women and women in lower income levels who are more at-risk.

There is also Postpartum Support International that has a toll-free helpline and is working to pass legislation in support for mothers. Please visit their site for more information. An additional good article on PPD is on Scientific American.

Know the resources in your area. Be familiar with the signs and symptoms. Be willing to help a fellow mom. Be willing to ask for help.
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