A lot of attention is focused on the health of a pregnant woman as she prepares to give birth. However, women need attention after the birth too due to the common condition women get known as postpartum depression.
Postpartum can take on many forms, and it can remain undiagnosed for long periods of time. Dr. Patricia Ferguson from Blue Cross Blue Shield explains how a postpartum support network for new moms can help them through such a difficult time.
The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. Most new moms experience postpartum "baby blues" after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
One of the keys to success during this time is a strong postpartum support network. Think of a postpartum support network as a web of family, friends, and health care professionals a woman can depend on and go to for help.
Here's why it’s so important to prepare a support team for those first few months at home:
- New motherhood is a taxing time: Women are stretched thin after delivery, physically and emotionally.
- Postpartum support can take many forms: A postpartum support network starts with a woman’s obstetric care team: an ob-gyn, midwife, nurses, or doula.
- It’s doubly important for high-risk moms and babies
- All new mothers need a baseline of support – sleep, healthy food, time to themselves – and then there might be reasons for extra care and attention.
It's important to call a doctor as soon as possible if the signs and symptoms of depression have any of these features:
- Don't fade after two weeks.
- Are getting worse.
- Make it hard for you to care for your baby.
- Make it hard to complete everyday tasks.
- Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
To learn more, head to bcbsm.com/mentalhealth.
Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan.