Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 10) - Handling the Baby Blues, Dealing with More Serious Forms of PPDS

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

Handling the Baby Blues

One of the most important ways you can help yourself handle baby blues is to have a good support system near at hand. Ask family members and friends to help. Ask your mother or mother-in-law to stay for a while. Ask your partner to take some work leave, or hire someone to come in and help each day.

Rest when your baby sleeps. Find other mothers who are in the same situation; it helps to share your feelings and experiences. Don’t try to be perfect. Pamper yourself.

Do some form of moderate exercise every day, even if it’s just going for a walk. Eat nutritiously, and drink plenty of fluids. Get out of the house every day. Eating more complex carbohydrates may help raise your mood. And giving baby a massage may help you because it helps you connect with your baby.

Talk to your healthcare provider about temporarily using antidepressants if the above steps don’t work for you. Many women who suffer from postpartum depression require medication for up to 1 year.

Dealing with More Serious Forms of PPDS

Beyond the relatively minor symptoms of baby blues, postpartum distress syndrome can appear in two ways. Some women experience acute depression that can last for weeks or months; they cannot sleep or eat, they feel worthless and isolated, they are sad and they cry a great deal. For other women, they are extremely anxious, restless and agitated. Their heart rate increases. Some unfortunate women experience both sets of symptoms at the same time.

If you experience any symptoms, call your healthcare provider immediately. He or she will probably see you in the office, then prescribe a course of treatment. Do it for yourself and your family.

Your Distress Can Affect Your Partner

If you experience baby blues or PPD, it can also affect your partner. Prepare him for this situation before baby is born. Explain to him that if it happens to you, it’s only temporary.

There are some things you might suggest to your partner that he can do for himself if you get blue or depressed. Tell him not to take the situation personally. Suggest he talk to friends, family members, other fathers or a professional. He should eat well, get enough rest and exercise. Ask him to be patient with you, and ask him to provide his love and support to you during this difficult time.

The Postpartum Checkup

Your body changes a lot in the 4 to 6 weeks following delivery. By the time you visit your healthcare provider for your 6-week postpartum checkup, your uterus will be about the size of a grapefruit. That’s an incredible feat, considering it was the size of a small watermelon only a few weeks before!

At your visit, tell your healthcare provider if you have had headaches or experienced increased irritability or fatigue; you may be prescribed an iron supplement. You will have a physical exam, similar to the one at your first prenatal exam. Your healthcare provider will probably check your weight and blood pressure. The average weight loss after giving birth is about 12 pounds.

Your healthcare provider checks any incision you have. Your breasts are examined, and your uterus, ovaries and cervix are checked—yes, that means another pelvic exam. Your healthcare provider may discuss postpartum depression with you; you may undergo screening for the condition.

If you had a vaginal birth, your healthcare provider will examine any tears or incisions. If you had a Cesarean delivery, your incision will be examined. If you developed hemorrhoids or varicose veins during pregnancy, your healthcare provider will also check those.

If you took any medication before or during pregnancy, ask about continuing it or resuming it now. If you have any questions about your recovery, address them at this time. It’s a good time to discuss birth-control options if you don’t want to become pregnant again immediately.

Your 6-week postpartum checkup is also a good time to ask questions about future pregnancies. Discuss concerns about, and complications from, your recent delivery. This information can be helpful if you move or deliver with a different healthcare provider or hospital in the future.

 
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- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 16) - What Happens after Your Baby Is Born
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - Cesarean Delivery, Vaginal Delivery of Your Baby
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 14) - What Happens after Your Baby Is Born
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 13) - When You’re Overdue
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 12) - Baby’s Birth Presentation
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 11) - Analgesics and Anesthetics
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 10) - Laboring Positions, Massage for Relief
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 9) - Coping with the Pain of Labor and Childbirth, Pain Relief without Medication
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