Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Did you know that most new parents feel like they should be able to do it all on their own after the birth of a baby and feel guilty about asking for help?
Postpartum is commonly experienced in isolation, and the realities are not often seen or discussed. Everyone is winging it on their own and not sharing the challenges. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors. So when it comes time for you to go through it, you might have the mistaken belief that you're being weak or selfish by needing support.
But experienced parents will tell you that the first few weeks after delivery are some of the most challenging. Expecting parents receive lots of care and attention right up until the birth, and then it all just...stops! Right when you need care and attention the most! It can be jolting.
While many new parents are perfectly capable of handling things after the baby comes home, it's helpful (and sometimes necessary) to get some postpartum support.
Contrary to what you may think, getting help is not being selfish- in fact, it's one of the most responsible things you can do for yourself, your partner, and your child.
This is why:
1. Postpartum support can help new parents feel good about themselves and their new babies. This can be an exciting time in your life. Even magical! But it can also be a bit daunting. Postpartum support provided by professionals who have been specifically trained to help new moms and dads adjust to life with a newborn can be precisely what you need to boost your confidence.
2 It's estimated that 1 in 5 new parents experience a perinatal mood disorder (PMD) like depression or anxiety. The good news is that with early intervention, these are highly treatable conditions. A postpartum doula is trained to spot the early warning signs of PMDs and knows how to tactfully broach the topic if necessary.
3. Your partner can provide a lot of postpartum support, but they sometimes need a little support themselves. They may be tired, anxious, and not know what to do. Postpartum doulas have experience in gently showing partners how their help is crucial and encouraging them to take some time for themselves.
4. Postpartum support can take many forms - from trusted family and friends to perinatal professionals such as doulas and lactation counselors. Even simply having someone to talk to in an online support group can go a long way toward staving off feelings of isolation.
Your plan to get support doesn't need to be perfect. There just needs to be a plan!
Ensuring your needs are met and that you recover fully from childbirth are some of the most important things you can do as a partner and parent.
Getting postpartum support is not selfish - it's essential for the well-being of your family.