Preparing for Postpartum Depression during Pregnancy
The last thing that you want to worry about during pregnancy is the possibility of postpartum depression. However, the truth of the matter is that many women are going to experience a period of severe depression after the birth of their baby. Fortunately, postpartum depression is treatable. By doing some things now, you can prepare for the possibility, and be ready to do what you need to do to deal with it if it happens.
Here are some things you can do right now, while you’re still pregnant, to prepare for postpartum depression:
- Take care of yourself. During pregnancy, your focus is on your baby. You also need to focus on your own needs, too. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Watch your diet to make sure you’re getting the right kinds of nutrients for both of you. Even engaging in mild to moderate exercise a couple of times a week now can help you be better prepared for the postpartum days.
- Avoid other life changes. If you can help it, right now is not the time to look for a new job or to move across the country. Do what you can to minimize those potential external stressors.
- Start putting together your support system now. Begin talking with friends and family about the days following your baby’s birth. Line up some specific tasks. Be ready with a list of things that people can do to help you, if they call and offer to do so.
- Talk to your doctor now. Your doctor probably has some good resources on postpartum depression, as well. Whether it’s useful and reliable literature or whether it’s helping you put together a postpartum plan, your doctor is a wonderful resource. If you have a history of depression or postpartum depression with a previous pregnancy, be aggressive about developing a treatment roadmap now.
- Do some learning. Be aware of the symptoms of postpartum depression. Decide now that you’re going to seek help if you believe you’re experiencing it. In the long term, you and your baby will both be healthier and happier if you get a handle on postpartum depression while you’re still pregnant.