After the baby

Posted by GPWHC on 17 October 2016


So, you’ve survived pregnancy, and labor & delivery, congratulations!  Now you are home with a tiny, awesome new person you love more than the air you breathe.  But what happens if you are struggling?  What happens if you aren’t as in love with your baby as you expected or hoped?  What does it mean if you have ugly thoughts that creep in during the way-too-late hours of the night? 

First of all, talk to your doctor, spouse, friend, ANYONE and get some help.  It’s normal to have hormone fluctuations and mood swings as your body begins to regulate to the new normal of being a mommy, no matter how many children you already have.  It is NOT normal to be depressed, or have thoughts of suicide or hurting someone else.  Don’t be afraid to speak up at your post-partum appointments, or before if things feel really bleak to you.  Your doctor will be able to help you determine if you are suffering from “baby blues,” postpartum depression or something else, and will help you figure out the best course of treatment.  Great Plains Women’s Health Center also screens moms for symptoms of postpartum depression at their 6 week post-delivery visit with a standardized screening questionnaire.

Symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) include:

·         Mood:  anger, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or panic attack

·         Whole body:  fatigue, loss of appetite, or restlessness

·         Psychological:  depression, fear, or repeatedly going over thoughts

·         Behavioral:  crying or irritability

·         Cognitive:  lack of concentration or unwanted thoughts

·         Weight:  weight gain or weight loss

·         Also common:  insomnia

If you feel any combination of these symptoms, please speak to a trusted friend or relative immediately, and make an appointment with your doctor.  PPD is serious, but can be overcome with the right treatment.


Once you have met with your doctor and ruled out PPD, be sure to take care of yourself.  We know that being a new mom can be tough, exhausting, exhilarating, joyful, and draining all at the same time.  

·         Get some sleep, if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, this can be tough, but try pumping and have someone else give the baby a bottle (once Ok’d by a pediatrician), so you can have a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep. 

·         Get some exercise.  After you have been cleared by your doctor for exercise, take walks around the park or neighborhood, it’s a great way to introduce your baby to his or her new world, and fresh air is good for everyone! 

·         Eat well- let your friends and neighbors help you prepare meals, take advantage of prepared meals from the store, do some meal planning, keep menus of your favorite delivery & takeout places close, and make double or triple batches of your favorite dishes and freeze for next time. 

·         Lower your standards- your cleaning standards, that is.  It’s ok if laundry piles up a bit, and the dishes are stacked in the sink for a few hours longer than usual.  Switch to paper plates for a few weeks, and embrace the “steam freshen” cycle on the dryer for wrinkle-free clothes. 

·         Say YES to help- All those visitors who offer to come over to help you?  Take them up on it- and get them to fold a basket of clothes or put some dishes away, THEN let them hold your sweet little bundle of joy so you can take a nap. 







Past Posts

FAQ’s About PAP’s
Why Prenatal Care Is Important for You and Your Baby
UTI’s – Are You at Risk?
Staying Safe in the Summer Sun
Do I have the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
Heart Health – Aging with grace and strength
HPV & Cervical Cancer
Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain
Biotin (Vitamin B7) - May Interfere with Lab Tests
Overactive Bladder & Menopause
Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms
Adjusting to Life with a Newborn
Zika Virus – 2017 Update
What Are My Birth Control Options?
Date Rape – It’s Not Your Fault
Menopause: Symptoms & Solutions
Endometriosis – What Is It & What Are Your Options?
A Day In the Life Of An Anorexic
I had an abnormal pap smear what does this mean?
What is a hysterectomy?
Osteoporosis-Big word, bigger problem
End of the Year
Your Teen's Sex Life
It's a difficult topic-Sexual assault
After the baby
Stress and your health
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
September Cancer Awareness Month
What is menopause?
Teen Eating Disorders


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