Preventing Postpartum Depression and Anxiety PMD / PPD
Maternal Mental Health Week is coming up so I thought I would post this valuable video about how to prevent Postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD) also called a Perinatal Mood Disorder (PMD).
Hi. Dr. Liz here with Conversations for Effective Living. Filming in my business partner’s office today because they’re working on mine putting up some soundproofing that’s going to make it better. Yay.
Today I’m talking about prevention for postpartum depression and anxiety and prenatal, so PMD prevention.
Join a Prenatal Class
First thing you can do is to join some kind of class when you’re pregnant, like an exercise class. Prenatal yoga is an amazing preventative for anxiety and depression during your pregnancy, and anxiety and depression after your pregnancy. Great thing to do whether you join a class, whether you do a video online. All of that is going to help, but a class is even better because you get to meet other moms, and you get a support system going.
Using your support system is a good preventative for PMD. Let people help you. Moms often feel like they have to do this alone, particularly if they’re older moms where they’re very accomplished and they’re like, “No, I should be able to do all of this.” No. Having a baby is completely different than anything else. Please let people help you that are offering to help.
If you don’t have help nearby – no family, no friends nearby, maybe you’ve just moved to a new area, which is a risk factor for PMD, then there’s postpartum doulas that you can hire. These are like angel women who want to come in and help you. They take care of the baby, or they cook for you, or they clean. They do anything you want, basically. If you want them to not even touch the baby, they won’t. They’re just there to help you, so that’s worth hiring for an hour or two, even, a week if that’s all you can afford to have someone come in to help you with things right in the beginning. Even later, if you’re really struggling, have someone help you.
Diet & Exercise
Diet and exercise, very important! Now what’s really hard to do when you’ve just had a baby is (1) exercise or (2) eat well. Particularly if you’re breast feeding and you’re ravenous. Yeah. I get it. You’re so hungry and you grab pretty much everything you can, so try to stock up on healthier snacks. Have things healthier at hand that you can just eat really quickly when you get a chance to. All of that will help you keep your blood sugar stable. You don’t want it to swing wildly, which often will lead to mood swings.
Once you’re cleared to exercise by your doctor, try to get out and just do a brief walk. Try to join a mom group if you can. There’s Stroller Strides. There’s these little exercise mom groups that happen where you can take the baby with you. If you’re local to Fort Lauderdale, there’s Mommycise. There’s Stroller Strides. There’s Music Together, which isn’t technically exercise, but it’s a mom and baby class, which is wonderful to get out of the house and see other moms. Try to make yourself do some of that.
These are all really important, particularly if you have more of the risk factors for PMD. That’s covered in another video, the risk factors, and I will link to it below. The more of those you have, the more important this is for you to do, more important that you do almost all of these.
This is what you learn in prenatal yoga – stress reduction. Use your breathing. Use a mindfulness technique to just slow down and pay attention. That’s gonna help you soften PMD or help to prevent it. Again, if you can get to a mom and baby yoga class, that’s great. You get to exercise, and you get to spend time with the baby, and you’re getting out of the house and meeting other moms. Boom, boom, boom – three things. You’re developing your support network. That’s great if you can find that in your area. Wonderful.
Sometimes moms live in a rural area. If you can join online support groups, even, that’s great. Check out the vibe of the group. Each group definitely has a different vibe on Facebook, so check the vibe out and find one that fits you. If you feel like you’re being triggered all the time by them, get out of the group. Leave the group. Don’t feel like you have to stay there. You can just disappear. It’s okay. Then find a group that feels more supportive for you.
All right. That’s it for my tips for helping to prevent or soften PMD. I’m gonna put up a graphic about if you’re struggling, how to get help in your area. I suggest get help sooner rather than later. If you know you have some stuff going on, if you know you’re feeling sad and down and this is really beyond the baby blues period, it’s creeping more into like four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks out from the birth, then definitely get some help.
If you’re in Broward County / Fort Lauderdale / South Florida, I am a PMD / PPD specialist certified by PSI, Postpartum Support International.
To see if we’re a good fit to work together, schedule your free consultation at 954-309-9071.
Yours in health,