The moments after you have your baby can vary from wildly euphoric to down right frightening or a mixture of both. PTSD has become more common with women leaving the hospital but there are a few ways to buy yourself a little insurance that you leave happy and mentally healthy post baby.
- Hire an experienced doula. They can make your birth planning a snap and help set realistic expectations and goals based on your pregnancy and plan. They have the know how to help you advocate for yourself and stay on track, but more importantly help you come to terms with anything that may veer from your plan when needed.
- Talk to your provider. Talk to your provider not just about what you have planned but what you don’t and any risks to procedures and medications that you may be offered or need during your birth at the hospital or birthing center. For example the use of forceps on your baby, pain management options and what happens during a c-section or an emergency c-section. Remember, knowledge is power and you want to feel empowered.
- Talk to your friends. Talk to your friends that have had similar births to the one you are planning and also different births than the ones you are planning. A lot of their story may not pertain to you, but they also may have tidbits of wisdom that can help you leave a happier mama. Also, then you have someone to talk to post birth to share your experience with an get advice.
- Take Classes…lots of classes. There is so much information out there but it is good to hear most of it. You can even set up a private appointment with the expert that is teaching the specific classes you are interested in to make sure that you get all of your questions answered.
- Have contingency plans. ALWAYS have contingency plans for your birth and postpartum periods. You need to know that is plan A isn’t going to fly that you have some structure to move onto plan B or C and do not feel ‘forced’ into not having the power and knowledge to make decisions on your own.
- Finally, ask questions. There are no stupid questions and you can never be through enough when it comes to your health or the health of your baby.
If you find yourself feeling depressed after your birth please don’t hesitate to call your provider. There is no shame in not feeling up to par post baby and they are happy to help you. Remember, happy mama, happy baby. If you need immediate help please call Postpartum Support International 1-800-944-4773 or check out their webpage http://www.postpartum.net/