January 29, 2018
From time to time after birth, or sometimes even during pregnancy, new parents may find themselves experiencing more than just the "blues." The root can be a variety of things, including hormonal shifts, lack of sleep, and the general stress and upheaval that any big change in life can bring, including introducing a new baby to the family.
If you find yourself struggling to feel like yourself at any point during pregnancy or after, and are worsening or not getting better within a week or two, we encourage you to seek out help! Often a well-rounded plan of care for parents who are facing mental health concerns includes good peer support, guidance from a mental health professional, and care by a medical doctor who may prescribe medication for the long or short term.
While Postpartum & Infant Care doulas can't diagnose or treat perinatal mood disorders (which can happen both during pregnancy, and after, by the way!), they can be part of an overall plan of care, and even prevention for new parents! By providing a listening ear, gentle education when it is requested, and an extra set of hands for either during the day or overnight baby care (hello, actual deep sleep!), a postpartum doula is a great asset to new families, and a great complement to their overall support system.
Aside from a postpartum doula, here are a few local, mostly peer led, groups, and some professionals too, to start your search for the best care for your struggles or the struggles of a loved one in your life. We encourage you to also start a conversation with your family doctor or OB as well, as they may have additional resources for you.