Out Came The Sun

Sage Birth Co-Op is excited to be a part of the MomsBloom Out Came the Sun event.

This event will be a combination of a run/walk to raise awareness in the community about PPD and how to help as well as a Family Marketplace where local businesses and organizations can give information on their efforts/businesses.

Having BTDT with a bad case of the baby blues or a mild case of PPD (its still up for debate), and having worked with women who have suffered from all levels of postpartum disorders, this is a topic that I am very intent on bringing to the attention of the general public.

There are, in layman's terms, 3 different types of 'depression' in the postpartum period. These three are the Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, and Postpartum Psychosis (some in the medical community add a fourth - Postpartum PTSD - that can accompany Birth Trauma).

Many women experience the baby blues in the first few days after childbirth, some theorize an upwards of 75% of postpartum women experience some level of the baby blues. Some symptoms of the baby blues include:
  • mood swings, including feeling sad, anxious, or overwhelmed
  • crying spells
  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
The baby blues most often peak within the first few days after birth and go away within a few days or a week. The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment beyond community and relational support. A postpartum doula can greatly help to alleviate the symptoms of the baby blues.

The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression can begin anytime within the first year after childbirth, although they often manifest within the first month. Postpartum Depression takes on a number of guises and symptoms and can include:
  • the same symptoms of baby blues, but more severe
  • disinterest in things that normally bring you joy
  • thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby
  • not having any interest in the baby
Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor. Some treatments include: community and support groups, homeopathic or herbal remedies, or medications. Postpartum doulas can still be a great asset during this situation and help to transition a woman into motherhood in conjunction with her medical team's efforts.

Postpartum Psychosis is rare. It occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births. It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth. Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health problem called schizoaffective disorder have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may include:
  • hallucinations
  • confusion
  • rapid mood swings
  • trying to hurt yourself or your baby
There are some great articles on postpartum depression, including emedicine and Medicine.net, although PSI is, by far, my favorite. Offering online, as well as IRL (in real life) support, information for the professional as well as the family, and treating the woman with respect and dignity, the community is a safe haven for women experiencing PPD.

There is an online PPD screening tool, which can help you with an initial assessment, but should not take the place of professional care if you believe that you are suffering from PostPartum Depression.

I would love to see you all there, helping to encourage and support women during the postpartum period... Perhaps you will even win one of the great prizes that Earth Mama Angel Baby donated for the event.

Great Sites:
Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling PPD Foundation
Postpartum Men
Mother to Mother Postpartum Depression Network
Birth Crisis
TABS - PTSD and traumatic birth support
SOLACE - Birth Trauma support center

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