Mental Health, Motherhood, Pregnancy and Birth, Self Care

Can You Prevent Postpartum Depression?

postpartum depression

The past few weeks have been tough.  The end of pregnancy is particularly hard for me (and I’m sure for other women as well).  Soon I’m going to be a mom of three I wouldn’t be staying true to myself if I didn’t say I’m a little scared. I’m very excited to have another child, but the thought of caring for three tiny human beings intimidates me.  I’m afraid of the tiredness that I will experience, and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to meet their needs.  And I’m most afraid of the postpartum depression.  I really don’t want to experience that again.  Each day the thought of going through it again lurks over my head, and worries me.

What I Think Contributed to My Postpartum Depression

I’ve been thinking back on my postpartum experience with Bumble Bee, and I’ve been trying to pinpoint things that I believe contributed to my postpartum depression.  I’m not saying these thing necessarily caused the depression, but I do think they contributed.  However, I won’t know until I give birth and go through the postpartum period again.

  1. I will not be doing placenta encapsulation this time.  Though I’ve heard of the great benefits of placenta encapsulation I really feel taking them contributed to my hormonal imbalance. I took them because my doula said they would help with low iron levels and boost my mood.  Really feel like they did the opposite.  I noticed that I would get very moody after taking them, so I quit after a few months.
  2. I will pumping more breast milk.  I was very lazy with Bumble Bee and didn’t pump and store milk so I felt tied to him constantly.  I really couldn’t go anywhere by myself for long periods of time because I didn’t have any milk stored.  This time I will make sure I that I have a good supply of pumped milk.   This will allow me to let someone care for the baby if I want alone time. (I’ve already order a new breast pump.  I’ll talk more about that in another post).

Read Post : When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Go The Way You Planned

More Things I Will Do To Help My Mental State During Postpartum

After my VBAC I seriously felt like superwoman!  The recovery was way easier than my c-section and I took full advantage of that.  I remember I went grocery shopping my second day home and I was cleaning the day I got home.  I didn’t have to do these things, but I was so amazed with how great I felt after my VBAC that I didn’t slow down.  This time I plan on taking it easy, I don’t want to rush my recovery.

  1. Take it easy – I’m going to give myself permission to take it easy.  This time I don’t feel the need to prove anything to myself.  I don’t have the need to be a “super mom”.  If I’m tired I’m going to allow myself to be tired.  It’s okay if my kids eat frozen pizza for dinner, they’ll live.  Taking it easy won’t make me any less of a mother.
  2. Seek Counseling –  Soon I will be calling Military Source One and finding a counselor.  I really want to be proactive this time.  Even if I feel fine, I still believe that speaking with a mental health professional will not hurt.  Seeing a counselor has helped me and my marriage in the past and this is no different.
  3. Care for my physical health –  I didn’t really start caring about my physical health until Bumble Bee was around 6 months.  The only reason I really started caring about my physical health was because my postpartum depression got so bad.  This time I’m going to care for my health right away.  This includes me eating nutrition packed foods, taking my supplements, and exercising.  I have some exciting things coming up regarding this too!  Stay tuned!  
  4. Continue to “be selfish” – I’m going to be very intentional this time about making time for myself.  I’m going to do the hobbies I enjoy (that includes blogging) and get my alone time.  I felt very guilty in the past about carving out time to myself, but I realize now that I need it.  I need my “selfish” time to be a great mom and wife.

Of course there is more to postpartum depression then simply doing these things.  However, if there are things I can be proactive about to help my mental health I will do so.  I’m also going to follow my Mommy Mental Health Checklist as well.

 

postpartum depression

8 thoughts on “Can You Prevent Postpartum Depression?

  1. I love that you have a plan and you know what to expect from recovery and how to help yourself through it. Great idea to go ahead and get a counselor ready to talk to when needed. It definitely can’t hurt, and can only help. I really feel like going to the breastfeeding support group at our hospital helped me tremendously because we got to talk about any problems (not just BF) we were having and give each other mama tribe advice, as well as get feedback from the nurse.

  2. […] My breastfeeding journey has been well documented on this blog.  I’ve nursed three children and consider myself a pro at breastfeeding.  The only thing I haven’t conquered is having a balanced diet while breastfeeding.  Though I was eating healthy I was having too many unhealthy slip ups.  This maybe why with my second child I had a hard time losing weight.  Not only did I not lose weight but I had no energy and my depression was at an all time high. […]

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