I have PPD and I'm struggling

Mt. Holly, NJ
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I have PPD and I'm struggling

How do you get through this? My OB prescribed Prozac, 20 mg because it is ok to take while breastfeeding. I go back to work in 5 days and I am a mess. How do I get through this? What are some coping techiniques?

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  1. Hi Abigail, I am sorry you are struggling! The fact that you’ve been recognized as having PPD and your doctor is treating it is a wonderful first step. While I don’t know all your medical details, here are some things that may help:
    1. Medication can take a while to kick in – often 2 weeks to see any change, and 4 weeks before you see optimal benefit. So depending on when you started you still may need some time, or a dose adjustment.
    2. Counseling/therapy are also known to be effective, and this plus an antidepressant may get you more relief.
    3. Sometimes knowing you are going back to work to only makes the PPD worse. Have you been able to try and go back on a Thursday or Friday so your week is shorter at first? Have your baby brought to you? Have someone you can talk to who’s been where you have?
    4. How’s your sleep? This is the #1 thing to address with PPD as lack of sleep can make PPD worse. (Not that sleeping treats PPD alone, but it can definitely help you out!)

    These are just a few things to try, but the website Postpartum Support International is wonderful and can get you more info as well as local support. Their site is: http://www.postpartum.net/

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    1. I’m not sure where my first response to this went, so I am typing this again Hopefully you don’t get it twice. I am approaching two weeks on my medication. My doctor and I decided to give it another two weeks to see if I notice a difference. My doctor recommended counseling or a support group so I plan to start that after my first week of work. ( I want to try to get into the swing of things before I add something else to my plate.) I go back to work on next Tuesday, but I will be working half days for the first three weeks. And I will be able to visit my baby on my lunch hour most days, so hopefully that will help. The only thing I need to work on is the sleep. Unfortunately my baby does not go down for the night until 10 or 11 (she catnaps up until then) and then she only sleeps about 5 hours. And I am breastfeeding so I am the one to get up with her. And it takes me 30minutes to an hour to fall asleep myself. (always been that way) Then I have to be up and moving around 6 am because I have to get myself and the baby ready to have her to daycare by 8. I’m just thankful to have such a great supportive husband! He helps so much and never questions what I need. He does so much I would be so much worse without him. He will be getting our son ready in the mornings and helping with the baby as needed so I can get ready. I just hope this gets easier and I get into a routine.

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      1. Abigail, it sounds like you are doing the best you can! The fact that you are able to have a reduced schedule at first is wonderful, and a supportive husband is even better. I also think having just started your medication like you said is the reason you haven’t seen much difference, so I am glad you and your OB have a plan to give it a bit longer.

        Know that with or without PPD, the first week back sucks for pretty much every mom I’ve ever known 🙂 The first day is the worst, but it gets a little easier everyday.

        Regarding your breastfeeding, I am sure you are exhausted! Some women think they need to wean to get more sleep, but keep in mind that after 6 weeks breastfed babies actually sleep better. Sometimes knowing this can help you power through! Some women with PPD wean thinking that will help them, only to find once their PPD is better that they now mourn the loss of their breastfeeding relationship. And others find nursing so stressful they do wean and are happy they did. So I say you need to do what feels right for you (not that I am saying you suggested that, but well-meaning people may tell you if you just weaned you would feel better). If you do plan to keep at it, with returning to work you’ll want to make sure your supply is stable with starting to pump, so I wouldn’t make a huge skip to getting someone to cover your night feeds just yet.

        Please keep us posted!

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  2. I feel you Abigail -it’s such an awful feeling. I had postpartum anxiety disorder and I felt like I was losing my mind. The best thing I ever did was get a baby nurse 2 nights a week when my husband traveled so I could sleep, and go to counseling. Talking to someone REALLY helped!

    Sometimes as moms we forget about ourselves and how to have fun – we are so focused on the baby and the housework and work. But put YOU first – take care of yourself! I I wish I could give you a hug… xoxo

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    1. I’m trying to take care of myself, its just so difficult when I am so sad. I plan to go to a support group at the end of this month and I am meeting a friend of my mothers tomorrow whos been through this. I just really want to feel better. I’m a mess…

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      1. Do you like to read? If so, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay helped me as did Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. Your emotions are created by your thoughts – so when you are feeling sad try to think of one thing that makes you happy. A piece of chocolate, a girlie movie, a long hot shower. Also, a gratitude journal helps a ton to keep things in perspective, try writing down 5 things you are happy for every day. Hope this helps…

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