Before you give birth, I was hoping we could talk about how stressful the postpartum period can be. Show me someone with a brand new baby and I’ll show you someone who needs some kind of help. Whether they realize it or they literally can’t see it, there are some serious signs when it comes to postpartum overwhelm.
As a nurse, doula, Lamaze birth educator and a mom of four kids, I've seen a lot of women suffer far too long without asking for help (including me!).
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’? This is exactly what the postpartum period feels like. Your life is so focused on keeping someone else alive that you don’t even take much notice of yourself.
Navigating the 4th Trimester...
It may be hard to picture your postpartum self right now, while you’re still pregnant. So that’s why I’m here! Let me give you some common signs that you need postpartum help.
1) Excessive Fatigue
It’s normal to feel tired after you have a baby. Exhausted even. But if all you want to do is crawl back into bed every chance you get, it may be time to call in the supports.
Postpartum fatigue (PPF) affects 52% of new moms so it's not exactly uncommon. But that doesn't mean you should suffer; you may need a little help to deal with it.
Insomnia when you have a newborn can be caused by postpartum anxiety. Your mind can’t slow down and even when you get a chance to sleep you find it almost impossible. This is a dangerous situation because your body and mind need sleep to recover and restore so you have strength to look after your baby.
Don’t take this lightly and reach out for help.
Insomnia can be a sign of a postpartum mood disorder. Take our free quiz to see if it's baby blues or something more serious:
3) Feeling Lonely
Many find new motherhood to be both exhilarating and completely effing boring at the same time. This is normal in the best of times, nevermind when there's a virus floating around.
Sometimes, you won’t feel like talking to your friends about it because you don’t want to be judged. This is when a social app like Mamasoup can help you feel connected to other moms while you stay anonymous at the same time so you don’t feel constricted when sharing your thoughts.
4) Days Getting Away from You
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks of new motherhood: so much laundry, feedings, changing diapers and burping and changing clothes...but you should be able to find a few minutes each day to eat something healthy and get outside for some fresh air. These things are just as important as showering and sleeping, but you’ll find excuses to cut them out.
If you know yourself well and you know that you need an accountability person, hiring a virtual postpartum doula to check in on you is an excellent way to help you stay strong and healthy!
5) 'Throwing the Baby’ at your Partner as Soon as they Walk in the Door.
Omg- I remember this feeling so well. I was up throughout the nights feeding so my husband could sleep and go to work. I tried so hard to keep up on everything at home and sometimes I felt like nothing got accomplished and at the end of the day, I was done with mothering. I’d literally toss the baby into his arms so I could get a minute alone.
Is it normal to want your partner to take over? Yes. Would you feel that way if you had help during the day? Probably not.
6) Turning to Dr. Google for Every Little Thing
It’s hard to be a new mom! You don’t know what things are serious and what aren’t and the learning curve is STEEP if it’s your first baby. But the problem with Googling everything is that you end up seeing the worst of the worst case scenarios. Every rash, hiccup and sound can be cause for serious alarm when you live on Google.
Hiring a virtual doula can help you realize that most of the time your intuition is stronger than the internet!
Anger that bubbles underneath the surface of your emotions after you have a baby can be caused by a postpartum mood disorder. It’s weird to imagine that you went through all of the trouble to become pregnant, carried the baby for almost 10 months and then you actually gave birth just to be angry. But that’s not what’s going on here.
Postpartum anger or rage is a sign of something bigger that needs to be addressed by your doctor. You may need medication or therapy to help you get it under control. The thing is, it may be hard for you or someone close to you to know when it’s time to ask for help. Having a postpartum doula can help you recognize when you need to reach out for more support.
For more on postpartum mood disorders and how to treat them, click below:
I know that talking about postpartum stuff isn’t fun when you’re still enjoying your pregnancy. But it’s so important to educate yourself on what to expect so you can prepare to have lots of help. Whether it’s family, close friends or a virtual postpartum doula at your fingertips!