And Then Comes Baby
By; Nancy Ruiz-Barnes, LCSW
“Postpartum”, “Prepartum”, “Depression” and “Anxiety“ are all words that described the different feelings that we are experiencing while we are pregnant or after having a baby. As a therapist I have seen that most women will either experience this before pregnancy, during pregnancy or after pregnancy due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common themes that have come up include but not limited to anxiety and/or depression due to unplanned pregnancy, miscarriages, and/or having a second or third baby, which leads to a variety of emotions. Doctors will inform you that your symptoms are due to the high levels of hormones you are experiencing during a pregnancy or the sudden drop of hormones after you have delivered your baby. For many mothers it is difficult after you have given birth to deal with becoming a new mom due to the troubles of breastfeeding, a fuzzy baby, or how everything in a matter of a blink of an eye has “change our lives”. It is true how we take for granted our freedom before having a baby. As a mom you now have to pack a diaper bag make sure everything is in there to go out anywhere. In addition, you have to also take a car seat to a market, doctor’s appointment, or grocery shopping. All these changes can be difficult, plus if you already have another older child it could become a little more challenging.
As a therapist, I have worked with mothers who have gone through these experiences that can be a difficult transition. Postpartum depression is very common among women and most women feel they are alone. Having a baby does change your relationships with family and partner. For most mothers we want to take the responsibility of only us being able to care for the baby. Unfortunately, there will be days that you may have to be by yourself with the baby, for most of the day. This may be due to that sometimes family or a partner are not able to help, because they are working or not living close by. If this is the case, I encourage my clients to set a schedule that works for them throughout the day until someone is available to help. In addition, you should connect throughout the day with other friends, relatives, or your partner to have a five-minute conversation to destress from the long day. When I see clients come in after having a baby, I encouraged them to take it slow. There are five things I encouraged clients to do. One, I let them know that it is okay to leave the baby with your partner or family member for a little time to rest, eat, or bathe. Second, sit and rest especially the first month, do not get bother by how the home looks, as long as someone can pick up around for you or when you have some time pick up things, but no deep cleaning. Third, it is okay to hold the baby that is your bonding time, but also there will be moments that you will need to let the baby cry for a little bit. Fourth, make sure that you go out for a short walk with the baby if weather permits, it is okay to expose babies to the outside world. Fifth, try to sleep while baby is sleeping even if you just lay down and relax. Remember these tips will help you experience less symptoms of postpartum depression.
Nancy Ruiz-Barnes, LCSW