Perinatal Mental Health & the Importance of Support Networks

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Education, outreach, and early recognition on a wide scale are needed for the public and for professionals and staff working with new mothers. Essential education and strong social support networks for the mother can be a key component in prevention and recovery. That is why I have created the Healthy Mama Intensive, an online support group and weekly discussion of the deep topics of postpartum wellness and adjustment. Read more about the Healthy Mama Intensive and register here. We start on May 4th. May the fourth be with you to be a healthy and empowered Mama!

Educate yourself and others on the symptoms of perinatal mental health issues.

Normal Symptoms include:

-2 days to 2 weeks of tearfulness and sadness following the birth

-mild sleep disturbances

-intrusive anxious thoughts that come and go. You identify them as strange but move on without issue

-brief periods of anger and irritability

-desire to have a break from the baby (the healthy craving of self-care)

-fleeing fantasies of escaping or running away

-desiring privacy as you settle into a new life stage

-slow loss of baby weight, increased appetite particularly if nursing

-able to take care of yourself and baby despite exhaustion

-able to interpret difficult moments as a "season" and dream about the future

Get help symptoms to include:

-tearfulness and feelings of sadness after 2 weeks of birth

-unable to sleep, even when baby is sleeping

-intrusive, anxious thoughts that become the object of obsession, so much that daily functioning is impacted

-overpowering agitation and feelings of rage

-thoughts about harming yourself or the baby

-desire to go to sleep and not wake up

-desire to avoid the baby

-craving isolation from the community

-rapid weight loss or lack of appetite

-unable to take care of yourself or the baby due to exhaustion and/or anxiety

-feelings of dread or doom of the future

-difficulty viewing postpartum challenges as temporary

Whether you have any of the normal or get help symptoms: You are not alone. You are not to blame. You do not have to be afraid, with proper help, you will be well.

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