Taking Care of New Mamas
With all of the excitement built up around welcoming a new baby into the world, it can be surprising to know that the most common complications of childbirth are perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression.
Whether you are going through stress, adjustment to parenting, Baby Blues, or pregnancy or postpartum depression/anxiety, below are some helpful tools and resources.
There are several different types of mental illness related to childbirth, with different symptoms and risks.
It can be confusing because "postpartum depression" is often used as an umbrella term to cover many different conditions that can occur during pregnancy or postpartum. It is possible for women to have symptoms such as panic and anxiety, obsessive intrusive thoughts, anger, and mania, without primary depression.
If a mom has a major Postpartum Depression with no psychotic features, she does not have delusional thinking, although she might have distorted negative views of herself or her life due to her depression. Rather than being at risk of hurting others, a severely depressed or anxious mom without proper support and information can be at risk of suicide because she does not realize that she will recover. She is likely to fear that she is not a good mother, and myths and mistaken descriptions of postpartum depression add to her fear and resulting risk. There is a difference between psychosis, where there is a real break from reality, and depression or anxiety, in which the woman is in distress but in touch with reality. An informed medical professional can and should assess whether a woman is depressed, anxious, or psychotic.
Additionally, the terms “baby blues” and “postpartum depression” are not interchangeable. Baby blues is not a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. It is a normal hormonal adjustment period after birth that usually resolves naturally within 3 weeks postpartum.
If you are a mom who needs help, here are some key emergency resources:
National Crisis Text Hotline:
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline and Website
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Call for yourself or someone you care about; free and confidential; network of more than 140 crisis centers nationwide; available 24/7
UCSF Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Assessment Clinic: Providing comprehensive counseling and information for pregnant women
and new mothers.
Postpartum Progress, a widely read blog addressing issues surrounding motherhood and perinatal mood concerns www.postpartumprogress.com
This Emotional Life, special section on postpartum health www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/postpartum
Postpartum Support International www.postpartum.net
Mindful Motherhood, Dr. Cassandra Vieten www.mindfulmotherhood.com
Mindful Childbirth and Parenting, Nancy Bardacke www.mindfulbirthing.org
California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative: http://www.camaternalmentalhealth.org
A Mother is Born, Gina Hassan, PhD http://birthways.org/tag/postpartum-the-fourth-trimester
Postpartum Recession, Jessica Zucker, PhD
Importance of self-care & self-care techniques. Incorporating Mindfulness Into Motherhood
Cassandra Vieten, PhD
The "Good Enough Mother". Self-Care, relaxation skills and stress management
Lessons From My Daughter, Juli Fraga, PsyD
The New Nest: From Partners to Parents. Communication with Partners/Family members: Creative ways to find time for couple/partner connection
Emotional Aspects of Parenting, Showing CARE, Juli Fraga, PsyD & Melissa Whippo, LCSW
Breastfeeding Concerns & Returning to Work. "A Second Chance at Breastfeeding" by Kim Simon: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kim-simon/a-second-chance-at-breastfeeding_b_3041794.html
"Six Tips for Dealing with Your Partner Returning to Work After Baby" by the Stir: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-stir/6-tips-for-dealing-with_b_2972742.html
Additional Articles about the Motherhood Journey:
A Darker Shade of Blue: http://www.pregnancymagazine.com/mom/identifying-the-baby-blues
New Research on Postpartum Depression Could Change the way we Think About the Baby Blues: http://qz.com/612694/new-research-on-postpartum-depression-could-change-the-way-we-talk-about-the-baby-blues/
Motherhood Mindset: Three Ways to Practice Mindfulness with Your Baby http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-juli-fraga/motherhood-mindset-three-ways-to-practice-mindfulness-with-your-baby_b_5816650.html
How to Emotionally Prepare for Motherhood http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-juli-fraga/how-to-emotionally-prepare-for-motherhood_b_5726998.html
Nursing Your Baby: Sometimes It Takes a Village - by Dr. Juli Fraga
The Biggest Mistake We Mothers Will Make
A Mother is Born: http://www.ginahassan.com/Mother-is-born.html
Lessons from my daughter: http://www.theconversation.tv/parenting/lessons-from-my-daughter-1/
From Partners to Parents: http://www.theconversation.tv/parenting/first-time-parents-care/
Celebrating Mama: Five Tips for Postpartum Self-Care: http://blog.honest.com/celebrating-mama-five-tips-for-postpartum-care/#.UZGDdEJy_ww
10 Ways to Feel Good About Yourself in the First Year as a Parent: http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/10-ways-to-feel-good-about-yourself-in-the-first-year-as-a-parent/
The Rocky Path to Grace: http://www.adesignsovast.com/2010/04/the-rocky-path-to-grace/
Becoming the Parent You Want To Be, Laura Davis & Janis Keyser
Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, Shoshana Bennet, PhD & Pec Indman, EdD, MFT
The Birth of a Mother: How the Motherhood Experience Changes You Forever, Daniel Stern, MD
Mindful Birthing, Nancy Bardacke, CNM
Mothering Without a Map, Kathryn Black
Parenting From the Inside Out, Daniel Siegel, MD & Mary Hartzell, MEd
Mindful Pregnancy App developed by Nancy Bardacke, CNM from the UCSF Osher Center.