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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression: The Perfect Storm

When the nurse asked Amber if she was ready to meet her newborn son she replied, "No." Was she a horrible mother or dealing with the onset of postpartum depression?

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A Recipe for Postpartum Depression Recovery



Postpartum Depression and related mood disorders can strike anytime in the first year after having a child. Both conditions are 100% treatable.


Directions:If you believe you are suffering from postpartum psychosis or that this is a medical emergency, please contact the crisis hotline immediately.


If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety or OCD, you may complete the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale to help identify your symptoms. Next, undergo an evaluation performed by a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in Perinatal Mood Disorders. (You might choose to take the EPDS to your appointment with you.) Complete a Physical (including comprehensive blood work) by a general health practitioner. Follow with a treatment plan formulated by your Team*.


Be kind and gentle with yourself as you add...


Ingredients:

As much sleep or rest as you can manage Individual or group peer support

Equal parts intentional bonding time with baby (e.g. Gymboree) and time to yourself

Healthy and balanced meals and snacks

Moderate exercise

Time outdoors Support from family and/or friends

For best results, you may also add faith, patience, and love


Optional:

Under your physician’s supervision, the following may be considered…

Massage

Acupuncture

Chiropractic

Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy and/or Cranio-Sacral Therapies

Anti-depressants and/or other Psychiatric prescription medications

Supplements such as B Complex, Omega-3s and Calcium/Magnesium

Postpartum Crisis Plan


Special Notes:

Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they may intensify your depression and anxiety symptoms.

Allow for rising (and falling) over a period of several weeks or months.

Continue Therapy long past when you are "well."

Continue with process for 6-18 past the time that you began treatment.

*Your Team is comprised of you, your spouse/partner, your closest friend/s or family member/s, your mental health professional, your PCP or other general health practioner, and anyone providing you peer support.


Yield:

Well Mama, baby and family


Amber Koter-Puline is a survivor of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety (2007) and the author of Beyond Postpartum. She is also an Atlanta Postpartum Support Group Facilitator.


© ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010