07 May Postpartum isn’t shorthand for Postpartum Depression
As we were talking to folks about the Postpartum Circles, a thought that kept coming up was that “postpartum” meant “postpartum depression.” When I searched the term on the internet, I could immediately see this. All of the search results on the first page referred to postpartum depression.
Let’s get our terms straight.
Postpartum, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as an adjective: of or noting the period of time following childbirth; after delivery.
It’s just the time following the birth of your baby. In a disconnected society, this neutral term that only means the time following the birth has become synonymous with a mental health crisis for mothers. Postpartum can be different than this. The time following the birth of your baby can be filled with joy, healing, love and with you stepping confidently into your role as a parent to a young human.
If you are experiencing symptoms beyond typical baby blues, or a few weepy moments, please reach out for help and support. Call or text me, a friend, a family member. The link in the first paragraph of this post takes you to a site with a wealth of information.
You are at increased risk for postpartum mental health challenges if:
- you have a prior history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health diagnoses
- your baby spent time in the NICU after birth
- your birth did not go as planned, or you had an unexpected pregnancy outcome
- you are isolated and don’t have a robust social support system
- you had to return to work or school shortly after the birth
Postpartum Circles are Designed for Everyone
My team and I want to address the social support piece of this puzzle with our monthly Postpartum Circles. We’ve held our first round of Circles at the end of April. Sheboygan and Appleton yielded fruitful conversations, and plenty of gratuitous baby snuggles by yours truly. We will continue to meet at 6pm in Sheboygan on the third Thursday of the month, and in Appleton on the fourth Thursday of the month. V
No matter how your baby came to you, whether this is your first baby or your tenth, no matter who your partner is or isn’t, or how you feed or parent your baby, you deserve a group of friends who have been there and can support you through all the changes of having a new baby in your home.
Circles are now meeting monthly, and we hope to see you there! Please register on the 920 Wellness Studio Website for the Appleton or Sheboygan series, or call Sisterhood Services directly to register for the Sheboygan location. You can also find these on Facebook in my events.