Postpartum Mood Disorders:

An Informational Guide For Couples

By:  Christina G. Hibbert, Psy.D.

info@psychotherapy.com

 

MYTHS OF MOTHERHOOD

 

THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD

 

      One must also effectively integrate all these new experiences.

 

THE "BABY BLUES"

 

 

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

 

2) ambivalence about keeping the pregnancy, 3) history of PPD, bipolar, or another mood disorder, 4) lack of social support, 5) lack of stable relationship with partner and/or with parents, 6) woman's dissatisfaction with herself, 7) history of infertility, 8) unrealistic expectations of parenthood, 9) recent stressful event, 10) previous aversive reaction to oral contraceptives or severe PMS.

3) psychological factors (things that affect a woman's self-esteem and the way she copes with stress), or 4) infant-related factors (infants with difficult temperament or colic, infants born with problems).  **Most likely it is a combination of all of these**.

4) practical assistance with child care/ other demands of daily life.

 

POSTPARTUM ANXIETY DISORDERS

 

 

Postpartum Panic Disorder

 

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

 

POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS

 

 

 

EFFECTS OF POSTPARTUM MOOD DISORDERS

 ON THE COUPLE'S RELATIONSHIP

 

WHEN YOUR WIFE/PARTNER HAS A PPMD:

 

What He May Be Feeling

 

What Can He Do?

 

ADVICE FOR NEW MOTHERS

 

 

What Can You Do?

 

       Rest is extremely important. Sleep when the baby sleeps, or get someone to help care for the baby while you nap. 

       Give yourself permission to do less.  Allow others to help with household chores and other daily tasks.  Don't try to overdo it.

       Shower and dress each day.  This will help keep your spirits up.

       Get out of the house or take some "me" time each day.  This is extremely important in helping you keep yourself mentally well.

       Be sure to monitor your nutrition habits and water intake in order to keep your body healthy and full of energy.

       Exercise (after your doctor gives the 'ok') is an extremely important tool in helping you feel healthier and stronger both physically and emotionally.  Even going for a short walk can help.

       Talk about your feelings with your partner, a friend, or family member.  Find others who have experienced motherhood and use them as a support system.

       Join a postpartum support group or mother's group where you can talk with others who are sympathetic to your situation.

       Be specific about how your husband and/or others can help you.  Assign specific tasks and don't allow yourself to feel guilty.

       Remember that your husband and other loved ones are going through this too.  Try to appreciate the efforts they are making.

       If your "baby blues" don't go away within two weeks, if your symptoms are intensifying, or if you are having suicidal thoughts, seek professional help in order to obtain therapy and medications when needed.

       Remember that becoming a mother is a life-altering event that takes time to completely understand and get used to.  Don't give up!

 

RESOURCES

 

Postpartum Support International (PSI):

927 N. Kellogg Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA, 93111, USA

            Telephone:  (805) 967-7636

            Website:  www.postpartum.net

Postpartum Support- Arizona (PSAz):

Warmline: 

 

Recommended Reading:

            For Couples:

 

 

**Information for this handout was obtained from training seminars by Postpartum Health Alliance as well as from the doctoral dissertation research of the author.