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Postpartum Support

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  • Postpartum Support

    I am about 2 1/2 months pregnant and have a 20-month-old daughter. My husband works out of town during the week (Sunday evening to Friday evening) and is home for 2 days on the weekend. When our daughter was born, he stayed home for 3 weeks, then was back to his usual schedule. We have no family or other means of support here. (We live in Fort Worth, Texas.) I had severe postpartum depression that lasted 14 months. It was the worst thing I've ever experienced and I am terrified of reliving it, this time with a toddler to tend to.

    I would be so grateful for any ideas on postpartum support. I will need much more than a postpartum doula as I am completely alone for 5 days of the week. I've thought about looking for someone to help us who is attachment-parenting friendly, but I'm not sure where to begin looking.

    Any thoughts and encouragement would be most welcome...I am feeling very overwhelmed and scared about parenting a newborn and a toddler alone.


  • #2
    How flexible are you money wise? If you had some funds you could easily hire a "mother's helper" to be there as much as you could afford, while you are home. When I was in my early 20's I was hired to be a 'mother's helper' for a mother of 4. She did not work outside the home but had a lot going on. I had signed up with a nanny agency.

    Alternatively, you could post an ad in the paper such as "Attachment Parenting Mother looking for (type of hours) help at home for (child ages) for (6m-year whatever) clear but brief. Then investigate them a lot and check references, interview and make sure they understand the AP approach etc.... You might want to call a local college's early childhood or education department for leads and/or post there.

    Idealy the person would be in your home with you, maybe do light housekeeping, entertain your older child ...what do you think?. Try to write down what your top priorities are in this person. Maybe some of the help you need could be given to a maid service etc.....

    Congrats on the pregnancy!


    • #3
      In addition to what naomi posted, make sure you begin talkin to your doctor/midwife about your PPD. there are many alternative remedies as well as traditional medecines that can help you.


      • #4
        Check out There are volunteer counselors available who can help by talking with you for free. This was my lifeline when I had postpartum depression.

        Also, I'm wondering have you looked at the events that preceeded your first situation with PPD? Have you been able to identify any areas of stress to be wary of? Had you recently moved? Did you have a difficult birth and/or recovery? Did you have breastfeeding difficulties? Did you baby suffer from colic?

        Examine your attitudes toward your first birth that may have contributed. Depression is the result of unfulfilled expectations. Having a new baby is often much different than what we picture in our minds. For example, I thought I was doing my husband a favor by not asking him to help me with the baby at night. But as I was recovering from surgery, that and establishing any breastfeeding relationship can have bumps along the way, I just could not do it all. I was exhausted! I was trying to do everything for everyone. I know now looking back that I would need to great adjust expectations for myself if I am to have another baby.

        I like the idea of hiring a mother's helper. I also think it's important to try to build up a support network before giving birth -- do you attend an API Support Group or another mothers' group? Don't be shy about asking for help!


        • #5
          In one of my birth related groups they were talking about PPD and a few people mentioned that getting a thyroid panel done would be prudent. Aparently a few of the women who had/have PPD also have some thyroid issues that were contributing to symptoms. Just something to look into if you haven't already.


          • #6

            Thanks very much for your suggestions and advice. I will be checking into the local university & nanny agencies for possible helpers - great idea! I will talk to my midwife about the severity of what I experienced previously and also about a thyroid panel. For me the depression was due to zero support, being on my own, and crazy hormones...all of which I'm hoping to avoid by being proactive. We are also looking for a job for my husband that would allow us to be together. I'm grateful to you all and hopeful for a fantastic outcome!