A Few PPD Facts

Originally created for Boulder Foothills Hospital by Kate Kripke, LSW • If a mom struggles emotionally in the first months or years after giving birth, she is “in good company”. Approximately 20% of those women who give birth will have some form of PPD. • The most common symptom of PPD is ANXIETY, not depression. • Normal baby-blues symptoms should subside within 2-3 weeks. If a mom continues to feel sad, lonely, overwhelmed, emotionally vulnerable, unable to sleep when her baby is sleeping, unable to make decisions, irritable, hopeless, anxious despite reassurance, and unlike herself after 2-3 weeks, she should consider talking to a professional and/or seeking other forms of support. • PPD is treatable!!!!! Supports that have helped many women get through symptoms of PPD are: exercise, therapy, medication, acupuncture, community and support groups, yoga and meditation, nutrition, and sleep. • The sooner a mom gets support for symptoms of PPD, the sooner she will feel like herself again and the less severe these symptoms will become. • Sleep deprivation is known to be a major factor in the development of PPD. Getting at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night is a great way to be proactive in the prevention of PPD. How? Enlist the help of friends/family, make a plan to share nighttime feedings with spouse/partner, enlist the help of a doula or night nanny… • Some relatively simple ways to prevent symptoms of PPD include: Easy to moderate exercise including yoga, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, finding a moms group or support network, fresh air, staying hydrated, talking to friends/spouse about how you feel, deep breathing and/or meditation exercises. • When a woman struggles with PPD it is not her fault or a reflection of how much she loves her baby. It does however disturb mom’s ability to enjoy the early weeks and months of parenthood. • It is important for mom to take care of herself physically as well as emotionally because PPD and other adjustment issues may effect the physical and emotional development of her baby if they are not treated appropriately. • Some risk factors that make it more likely that a mom might suffer from PPD include: A previous history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges Symptoms of, or treatment for depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges during pregnancy Inadequate social support Severe PMS or PMDD prior to becoming pregnant Major life changes before or during pregnancy or following childbirth (move, death of a loved one, loss of a job, marital conflict) Unwanted pregnancy

Please help me in supporting moms and families who struggle after a baby is born, and help to decrease the stigma around PPD.

For questions, comments, or referrals for support, please post to this blog or contact kate@katekripke.com

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