How to Ask for Help During Postpartum

January 2019

Hints for calling in reinforcements when you need support after your baby’s birth.

Remembering that you’re not alone can make it easier to ask for help during postpartum.

Many feelings come with having a baby: joy, fear, excitement, sadness, hope, frustration. But for some women, the emotional and physical burden of having a child can become overwhelming. Postpartum depression or the “baby blues,” can occur after a woman gives birth due to a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, fatigue from healing after the birth and getting less sleep, and emotional adjustments to motherhood. Even if you’re not feeling depressed, one of the best things you can do to ease through postpartum period is to ask your friends, loved ones, and professionals for help, even if it’s hard or you don’t feel like it.

Here’s how to ask for help during postpartum:

  • Remember that you are not alone
  • Know that others really want to help
  • Seek advice from mothers around you
  • Recruit some re-organizers
  • Make house chores a group effort
  • Ask for nighttime support

Below, we’ll outline specific ways you can implement these postpartum care strategies.

  • Remember that you are not alone

When depressive symptoms hit, it’s easy to feel isolated, hopeless, and different from others. But postpartum depression and feeling blue is more common than you might think. In a study of 10,000 women who recently gave birth, one in seven experienced postpartum depression. With help from others, most women received treatment and support that helped them recover. Knowing that you’re not alone can make it easier to reach out to doctors for medical help and family for emotional support.

  • Know that others really want to help

Sometimes your reaction to stress might be to withdraw rather than seek help—but try to resist this impulse. If you are experiencing postpartum depression and the stress of a new baby, remember that many people around you care and legitimately want to help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Allowing them to step in to lend a hand can significantly lighten your load, physically and mentally.

  • Seek advice from mothers around you

There are likely many women around you who have different experiences of motherhood. Reach out to them. Use them as your resource for all the new and unanticipated changes and obstacles that come with having a new baby. Ask your friends who are mothers for tricks they’ve used with their new baby, including tips on breastfeeding, sleeping, and coping with the change. If no one in your immediate circle is a mother, look for a mom’s group or join a Parent and Child Program at the YMCA of Dodge County to network with others in similar situations.

  • Recruit some re-organizers

After childbirth, your body has a lot of healing to do before you’ll feel up to resuming normal activities. Having friends or family help reorganize your home so that everything you’ll need is in a convenient place can help assure that you won’t have to reach high or move around a lot after baby’s arrival. Women who have experience with childbirth recovery can help you decide the most accessible ways to place items in the rooms where you’ll spend most of your postpartum time like your bedroom, nursery, or living area.

  • Make house chores a group effort

As a new mom, some things will be difficult to find the time to do for a while, like making meals, going grocery shopping, or doing laundry and other chores – this is where your friends and family can shine. Ask someone if they’d mind picking up some groceries once a week, consider enlisting help to plan and prep frozen meals, and do the same for laundry and other chores. Suggesting a specific household task and frequency for each support person can make it easier to ask for help during postpartum.

  • Ask for nighttime support

One of the big reasons for fatigue and low mood in new moms is a lack of sleep. Ask someone to help care for your baby two nights a week so you can get proper rest. Even a little bit of good sleep can help get you back on track. Once a few months have passed, you’ll likely feel better and may need less help with overnight postpartum care.

Don’t forget to keep your loved ones in the loop about how you’re feeling during the postpartum period. If you’re feeling down, share with them. If your symptoms feel severe or you aren’t getting improvement with these tips, visit your OB/GYN for treatment ideas and therapeutic support resources during the postpartum period.

It can be challenging to know how to ask for help during postpartum, but reaching out to those around you can make all the difference. To schedule an appointment with our doctors, midwives, and women’s health team to discuss more ways to make your postpartum period easier, contact us online or call (920) 885.6090 today.

Learn six physical and emotional changes during the postpartum period you can expect in the weeks and months after your delivery here.

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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