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Episode 9 | July 5, 2022

The Fourth Trimester

Dr. Susan Landers on Postpartum Depression and Navigating New Motherhood


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Dr. Susan Landers on postpartum depression and anxiety
Key Takeaways
  • Matrescence – the transition to motherhood. This is the time when you are pregnant to the postpartum period and adjustment to motherhood. It is not a common episode of life (even to those with many children). It is filled with physical, emotional, and mental changes.

I want mothers to know that what they’re doing when they have a baby is a huge, big deal. It’s a huge identity shift.

  • Identifying Postpartum Depression- Remember that baby blues are very common. Sadness and moodiness for a few weeks post baby. However, with PPD signs can include when you think about actively harming yourself or your baby and constant feelings of hopelessness. Intrusive thoughts can also be common, but you are relieved by the thought of hurting yourself or your child, you should seek immediate help.
    • Tips for loved ones – If your loved one has been seeming to cope with new motherhood, lack of self care (not showering, not changing clothes), avoiding talking to friends/family, or seems overall very sad or mad this could be PPD or PPA.
      • Access your OB or pediatrician, they have simple assessments to help diagnose.
  • Physical Changes – A woman’s physical body goes through so much to grow a baby, birth a baby, and then raise a baby. There is often pain, growth, stretching and more. Childbirth itself can involve major surgery, prolapse, and more.
  • Mother’s Bodies are Impressive – While it may not feel or seem this way within the first 6 months to a year which it takes to fully heal and recover from pregnancy and childbirth, the body that did so is phenomenal. The changes that occurred should be admired and give yourself grace if it isn’t ever the same as before.
    • Feeding your baby – Breastfeeding can be extremely difficult. It is not an easy task and the most important thing is that the baby is getting the nutrients it needs.
  • Your “Village”- Oftentimes moms are separated from their “villages” and even more so after their first. It can be hard to accept or ask for help after already having one as many expect you to know what you’re doing. Give yourself grace and though you may not have a village it’s important to utilize professionals or others to help you along the way.

You know you’re a different parent, you’re a new parent at every age and stage of your child, and just because something worked once, that doesn’t mean that that’s then the standard. There’s a lot of pivoting and adjusting and rebirthing yourself, reparenting yourself.

  • Postpartum Depression and Anxiety – These conditions are both extremely common and treatable. It’s important to look inward to be able to accept that this may be something you’re dealing with. Lots of mother’s hide how they are feeling out of guilt or fear, but the best way to handle these feelings is by getting help.

Postpartum depression is a medical condition. It is treatable with behavioral therapy and/or medication. It resolves 95 times out of a 100. It is a medical condition, it is a neurotransmitter disruption that’s related to having a baby and it is common for moms who feel bad about this experience. Please hear me say this is very common. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is totally treatable.

Where to Find Susan
Read Full Transcript Here
Credits and Thanks