What can I do if I’m experiencing PPD or I’m worried about someone I love?
- These feelings are part of PPD.
- PPD is never anyone’s fault. You are not a “bad” person and you didn’t do anything wrong.
- PPD does not mean that you are a “bad mom.”
TALK TO SOMEONE:
- To your partner, family, or trusted supports. Accept their help.
- Talk to a health care provider. This provider can be your primary care provider, obstetrician/midwife or your baby’s provider.
- Your provider needs to take your concerns seriously. Here are some tips on how to talk to your provider about your feelings: http://postpartumstress.com/get-help-2/how-do-i-talk-to-my-doctor/.
- You must tell the provider what you are really feeling and how it is affecting your life. The examples below might be helpful:
- I feel very sad
- I can’t sleep
- I want to sleep all the time
- I don’t feel like eating
- I can’t stop eating
- I get angry easily
- I feel anxious or panicky
- I feel ashamed or guilty
- I don’t want to see friends or my family
- I feel confused
- I don’t want to get dressed or take a shower
- I’m not interested in my baby
- I think my baby is better off without me
- I don’t think I can be a good mother
- I’m constantly worried about my baby
- I’d be better off dead.
ASK FOR HELP AND ACCEPT SUPPORT:
- Let your partner, your family and your friends know that you need their help.
- Ask for a home visiting nurse or case manager. Call your health insurance, they may be able to provide a visiting nurse or a link to PPD care.
- Ask for a home visit. Philadelphia Department of Public Health Healthy Start provides postpartum support for new mothers and their infants in west and lower north Philadelphia. Case managers can conduct depression screening and help coordinate care for new mothers with PPD.
- If you thinking of hurting yourself or your baby, immediately tell your partner, family or friend. Have them take over the care for your baby and help you to get to an emergency room immediately or call 911 to get emergency medical services. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to speak to a person who can provide support.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF:
- Try to sleep whenever your baby sleeps
- Eat well
- Avoid alcohol and drugs
- Talk to other moms who experienced PPD, in person or on-line. See on-line resources.
- Try to get outside and enjoy some sunshine
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY:
Some women with PPD are afraid they will be seen as crazy or they fear they have postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is rare and occurs in 1 in 1000 new mothers. The symptoms include may include severe confusion, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and may even have thoughts of harming the baby. Postpartum psychosis is an emergency and families and friends of new mothers with these symptoms should immediate see treatment in an emergency room.