Recently I had a chat with a friend that made me sad and happy all at the same time. She is a friend I have known for years and a fairly new mother—within the last year. She also took one of my classes to learn more about being a Newborn Care Specialist. Our Foundational NCS Training Program is quite comprehensive and covers not just the fun stuff of new babies—it also covers the hard stuff. Even the stuff people still seem reluctant to talk about, including Post-Partum Depression.
The part that made me sad was that my friend shared with me that while she has known about it for years, seen it in clients and knows it is a very real condition, she didn’t recognize the signs in herself until after she took our class. And even then, it took some time for her to realize something more than the usual exhaustion of motherhood was affecting her. She talked to her doctor and was helped to realize she was suffering from Post-Partum Depression. My heart hurt for her as it does for anyone battling any form of depression.
However, I’m not writing about this to give a dissertation on the signs and symptoms—others out there have already done an excellent job. One of my favorite sites for great information in “plain mama English” is this one. Please take some time to look it over and read it; it could help you or someone you love.
What I want to address is how having the help of a trained Newborn Care Specialist can ease the transition and fears of motherhood and perhaps lessen the possibility of Post-Partum Depression. When a trained professional NCS comes into the home, she is able to provide a family with the opportunity for much needed rest by stepping in to help with a great deal of the work that comes with a newborn baby. This allows a new mom to love on her baby, but also to love on and focus on herself. She can take time to nap when she is tired, she can take a long bath, get some exercise, prepare and eat a healthy meal, take a little time to go out for coffee with friends and get a good solid night’s sleep. These things are all documented to be stress relievers and great ways to help combat or deal with depression. And having someone experienced, professional and trustworthy in your home to make that possible is a great way to have that opportunity to rest up and heal after having a baby. In addition, while a Newborn Care Specialist is not a medical professional (in most cases), and she cannot diagnose or treat mental illness, if she has had a good Foundational training, she will recognize what may be signs of a problem and bring it to the attention of whomever is the designated person in the family and can help encourage the mother to seek out the help of a trained medical provider.
All of this is shared is not to diminish the seriousness and reality of Post-Partum Depression. It is very real and when it is present, requires the help of a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. But the assistance of a Newborn Care Specialist in the home can ease some of a new moms concerns, allow her the opportunity for much needed rest and healing and possibly lessen the chances of it occurring or the severity.
And the happy part of this story is that my friend had a great doctor who recognized her symptoms, took her seriously and helped her get started on the treatment she needed. She’s doing better already and well on her way to feeling like her old-self again and as she put it “being the wife and partner and mother her fantastic husband and child deserve.”
PLEASE NOTE: While the help of a NCS can be great and super helpful for a mother suffering from Post-Partum Depression, it should never be considered as a substitute for proper medical diagnosis and care. Please seek the help of a medical professional if you feel you or someone you love may be dealing with depression.