Normalizing Postpartum Mental Health Care Options
Postpartum depression (PPD) rates may be as high as 20%, according to experts. Society has come a long way in recognizing and treating PPD for birthing parents. But normalizing postpartum mental health care is still a rocky road for many folks.
Your mental well-being is just as crucial as your physical health, and at Jewell Chiropractic, we seek to support both. Through bodywork, support groups, and education from our Portland, OR team, the Jewell staff is with you before, during, and after your pregnancy. We invite you to book your appointment or join one of our classes to get the help you deserve.
Postpartum Depression: Ignored for Too Long
It’s no secret that the male-dominated medical world historically disregarded many issues unique to women. Serious conditions often received a diagnosis of “hysteria,” and women-identifying patients were rarely taken seriously.
Fortunately, we have made significant strides away from those practices, but postpartum depression has remained a largely misunderstood or taboo topic for too long. When the so-called “baby blues” persist longer than two weeks postpartum, PPD may be the cause.
As common as PPD is, many new parents go undiagnosed due to a variety of factors:
- Stigma surrounding mental health
- Medical providers not taking symptoms seriously
- Mothers’ desire for privacy or fear of being seen as unfit
Further complicating the diagnostic process is that symptoms can look very different from person to person. While some parents withdraw and show obvious signs of sadness, others may behave differently.
Some moms can go into a perfectionist, hyper-capable mode that looks like they have it all together. On the surface, these folks appear alert, well-informed, and able to handle everything. But the reality may be a very different picture of a parent who is overwhelmed and unable to ask for help or support.
No matter how it manifests, postpartum depression is serious and deserves attention.
Normalizing Postpartum Mental Health Care for All Parents
Primary care doctors and OBGYNs are now very consistent in screening for PPD and can connect parents with therapists and other mental health providers. As we move away from the stigmas attached to PPD, we should see more normalization of postpartum mental health support.
In addition to counseling or medical support, here are three other ways you can help yourself when navigating PPD.
1. Massage and chiropractic care can help release trauma.
Postpartum depression is more common among women with premature babies or traumatic deliveries. Consistent bodywork can help restore a sense of wellness and mental equilibrium by allowing your body to release the trauma.
And outside of professional bodywork, gentle exercise can help alleviate PPD symptoms for many people. Stretching, walking, and yoga can feel great as your body heals and recovers from childbirth. For some safe postpartum stretches and movements, download this free excerpt from Dr. Lisa Jewell’s book, The Unstoppable Mom.
2. New parent support groups can remove the sense of isolation.
Being a parent definitely has its magical moments. But it also has plenty of not-so-magical moments. In fact, it has a lot of downright frustrating and exhausting moments. And it can feel incredibly lonely at times.
A support group for parents can be an ideal way to help address PPD symptoms. By spending time with folks experiencing similar things, you can avoid feeling isolated and alone. And you’ll likely learn tips and tricks for everything from diapering to feeding to sleeping to help on your parenting journey.
3. Seeking help is your right and shows your strength as a parent.
Your child wasn’t born into a world of one person. It’s human nature to live in community, and there is nothing wrong with seeking and accepting help as a parent. Needing assistance isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign that you care enough for your child to get all the right help.
Whether you ask a neighbor to walk your dog or you hire a nighttime doula so you can sleep, help is valuable, and you have a right to it. And even if you don’t have family around, you can build a supportive community of helpers for yourself as a parent.
Postpartum Care at Jewell
We love families of all shapes and sizes at Jewell. It’s our passion to support you physically and emotionally by offering a safe space and a sense of community. We invite you to book your appointment or join a class to get the help your body and mind deserve.