What does postpartum mean?
I often hear “Oh, I had that” or “My sister [friend, mom, etc] had postpartum depression” when I mention that I am a Postpartum Doula. I’m surprised so many people think that a Postpartum Doula means Postpartum Depression. However, I just Googled “Postpartum” and all that pops up is sites on Postpartum Depression. Thanks a lot Google.
Postpartum is an adjective that simply means “following childbirth or the birth of young.” Everyone who has had a baby, has a postpartum period. It is just the time period after having your baby.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum Depression is depression that occurs during the postpartum period (this includes the 12 months following birth.) The milder “Baby Blues” usually have symptoms that peak between days 3 and 5 postpartum, and resolve after a couple of weeks. After week two, you may have Postpartum Depression if you experience the following sypmtoms:
- Loss of Apetite
- Feeling overewhelmed
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
- Mood swings
What is a Postpartum Doula?
I’m not kidding.
A Postpartum Doula is a professional trained to help women and families through their postpartum period. This looks different for every family, but some of her tasks may include:
- Processing the birth experience with the mother
- Caring for baby while mom naps
- Prepping snacks for mom to have on hand
- Grocery shopping
- Light housework
- Being aware of Postpartum Depression symptoms and referring client to care provider when necessary
- Breastfeeding help
- Overnight help so parent(s) can sleep
Postpartum Does Not Mean Depression
So there you have it.
Postpartum does not mean Depression.
Spread the word!