Preparation is Key: Concerns About Another Round Of Postpartum Depression?

Many women who experience postpartum depression are understandably reluctant to take a chance with another pregnancy. They’re aware of the challenges of the illness for themselves, their family, and the newborn. So, believing they are fated to go on the same roller coaster journey, they stop at one.

While I respect every woman’s decision on family planning, I do let my patients know that a first bout of PPD doesn’t necessarily mean it will be repeated with subsequent pregnancies. But, at they same time, I do alert them they are at higher risk and although we can put a prevention plan in place, it could still happen again.

A recent article by Kate Rope, an award-winning journalist and contributor to and the Huffington Post, proposed a worthwhile route if there is fear of another round of PPD. Her suggestion is: Be Prepared, and Rope managed this by arranging beforehand a team of specialists, a treatment plan, continuously monitoring her emotional well bring, and intervening early if symptoms commence.

In my book, “Happy Endings, New Beginnings: Navigating Postpartum Disorders,” I recommend several coping strategies that will also prove useful. And as a theme in my book — that the postpartum journey can lead to a positive, life-changing event — Rope’s experience led her to “a career of writing about maternal mental health.” In her case, she survived the first pregnancy and postpartum period with the help of a therapist, a reproductive psychiatrist and antidepressants. And because that combination was successful, she made a plan for her second child.

Despite awareness and organizing, PPD hit Rope again, but this time, she confessed her feelings to others and acted on her plan. She writes that instead of losing herself in sleeplessness, and despair, she returned to a small dose of an antidepressant, “swam back to the surface, and resumed life as a mother with normal fears, capable of smiling and laughter.”

Here are some points in her suggested game plan:
•Get to know the symptoms of postpartum mood disorders, especially less talked-about ones like anxiety, extreme irritability and rage.
•Create a sleep plan so you and your partner alternate getting uninterrupted stretches.
•Commit to moving your body as soon as your physical recovery allows.
•Find new-mom get-togethers so you have support and a reason to get out of the house.

As Rope discovered, putting a plan in place does not guarantee you will have a postpartum mood disorder or that you won’t. But, it does guarantee you will know how to get help if you need it.


~ by ppdsus on October 27, 2014.

One Response to “Preparation is Key: Concerns About Another Round Of Postpartum Depression?”

  1. Reblogged this on The Post-Postpartum Depression Blog.

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