Postpartum Depression, Mom Support, & Getting Help for Depression in Chicago
Almost every mom gets it.
You’re not alone in what you feel after having a new baby, but you can feel like you’re lost and without hope. Most new parents experience “baby blues” after the birth of a child. But the scarier cousin of the “baby blues” that hangs around past its welcome is postpartum depression (PPD), and it is a real threat.
If you have nine mom friends, odds are at least one of you have experienced (or fought with) PPD. It’s very common and its not a result of something you’ve done. And whether it's you or one of your friends, there are some things you need to know about Depression as a mom.
4 Things to Know About Postpartum Depression
- Good care may not always be at your fingertips
- You can prepare to deal with it during and after your pregnancy
- Maternity leave is not a break
- Support can exist in the form of an app
Why Finding Good Care Can Be A Challenge for Depressed Mom
It can be difficult for healthcare providers to balance addressing the health of the mother when mom’s health and treatment also impact their child. This is even more complicated when treatment for mom is at odds with health and care for the baby (for instance in antidepressant medication, some of which could compromise fetal development or interfere with breastfeeding).
During the perinatal period, depression is a challenging disease to treat for mom. Depression guilt can also feed a negative cycle for depressive thoughts and behaviors, which moms are already at higher risk for substance abuse, self-harm, and inadequately using available perinatal care.
There is hope, though. Talk therapy can have many positive outcomes for treatments, and neuronavigation targeted TMS treatments don’t require antidepressant medications to work well. These options do require time, some less than others, but committing to maternal health is vital for the overall health of the family.
Learn more about effective care issues for moms.
8 Ways To Prepare and Deal with Depression During and After Pregnancy
If you’re looking for ways you can be proactive in fighting depression, here’s a great start:
- Eat as healthy as you can
- Sleep as long as you can (eight or more hours is ideal)
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s not a long session
- Take prenatal vitamins
- Talk to your partner and trusted support network early and listen to them if they encourage you to take actions to help yourself
- Discover or develop coping mechanisms that help you (music, hobbies, exercise are starters)
- Talk to your primary doctor
- Get involved in local parent groups in your community or online and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help
This article has more helpful information, including the following thought:
“As a new parent, you’re sleep-deprived and your focus is your baby. However, in order to take care of your baby, you have to take care of yourself, too.”
Maternity Leave Is A Tough Job
Social media or work culture can make it seem like the non-mom view of maternity leave is that you’re getting a nice vacation to bond with your new bundle of joy. However, this time off may be the hardest work you’ve done in your life. Joanna Parga-Belinkie, M.D., put it this way:
“My typical vacation activities don’t include waking up every two to three hours or spending six weeks with bleeding and pain from a recovering uterus and torn-apart vagina.”
That’s real-world maternity leave, and it’s not “time off”. So, if you’ve been sold a bill of goods on what your post-partum days will look like, now may be a good time to mentally prepare for long days of repetitive care for your newborn. If you can set your expectations properly now, you’ll be able to face these challenges head-on, momma.
Learn more about what to expect during maternity leave.
There’s An App For That – Beat Postpartum Depression With Your Phone
For many moms of newborns, the first few weeks, months, or even years can be isolating—especially if you are a stay-at-home caretaker. There’s a new app called Mahmee that’s trying to help provide a constant lifeline for moms with the goal to reduce maternal deaths and complications.
The app says it’s designed to help mothers get access to experts like maternity coaches, nutritionists, lactation coaches, and more. It’s backed by Serena Williams and it might just help you in your mom journey.
Learn more about Mahmee in an interview with the founder.
Depression Help for Chicago Moms
If you are concerned about behaviors you’ve noticed in yourself or a friend, take the easy step to contact a mental health professional. If you do not know where to start and are a mom in the Chicago area, take our 3-Question Depression Test for TMS Therapy in Chicago or contact us and we will help you confidently and safely take the next steps to get evaluated and begin treatment for depression—if necessary.