For a year after his birth I didn't feel like myself.
Two years later I felt healed.
It rocked our marriage, we survived.
I told myself I wouldn't have anymore children. How could I, when I remember wanting to hit my baby. It wouldn't be good or safe.
Fast forward four years and my heart changed. My knowledge changed too. I know a lot more now and here I am expecting a baby. I am ready to face another postpartum period.
So how do you prepare?
How do you prepare for the possibility of having postpartum depression again? How do you prepare to try and prevent it?
I have always been a planner and this time the planning includes so much more. It should never be about just preparing for your birth day. It should always be about planning for your birth day and when you bring baby home.
I have a postpartum plan!
What should that plan include?
1. Postpartum Doula
A postpartum doula for a few months after the birth of your baby can help for a much easier transition. Why? A postpartum doula will help you with encouraging rest/sleep, meal prep, caring for baby, basic household needs, the occasional laundry needs and so much more. A postpartum doula comes alongside of mom to support the mother in her choices of parenting and nourishment of baby to help put her at ease and instill her with strength. A postpartum doula can provide needed resources when necessary if mom needs to see a lactation counselor or a specialist.
Not sure how to swaddle the wiggly baby? Postpartum doulas do that. Not sure of how to soothe a really fussy baby? Postpartum doulas do that. Need help with the older children for the morning routine or the bedtime routine? Postpartum doulas do that!
2. Placenta Encapsulation
Encapsulation of a mother's placenta can make a big difference in recovery during the postpartum period, physically and emotionally. It isn't a magic pill, nor is it a guarantee but the anecdotal evidence for mothers who have done it is very positive. You can find out more about our no doubt placenta care for your postpartum period here.
3. Support Groups
Talk therapy, and talking to other mothers who are struggling after the births of their baby can be very helpful. It helps to not feel so isolating. Knowing where those groups are ahead of time and who to contact can make it easier if you find yourself needing the peer support. You can visit Postpartum Progress to find out where you have local groups and help.
4. Medical Professional
Knowing I had to be on medication and need a professional therapist the last time, I have found the professionals I want to see this time just in case. This saves me the step of finding someone who specializes in it. This gives me someone to call if I am not sure or I become desperate quickly. Not sure where to start for your search? Some start by contacting their insurance mental health line to find a psychologist, psychiatrist who may be covered in your plan and has experience with maternal mental health.
5. Freezer Meals
YES! That is right. I pretty much don't want to cook for a few months. Planning some meals ahead of time that someone else can easily cook helps when the meal train stops or if you don't have anyone providing any meals for you. There are some wonderful online resources for freezer meals to give you ideas. Check out our Pinterest page for some ideas.
Knowing that I survived before!
Knowing what I know now.......
I am relieved and excited once again.
I know it may not be easy but I also know it may not be hard. Whatever it ends up to be after the baby is born I know I will be myself again one day.