How To Support Your Mental Health In The Postpartum Period

Written by: BeHerVillage Team
Posted: May 17, 2024
Welcoming a new baby into the world is exciting and a time that can be full of joy, but it can also bring significant changes that can be challenging for lots of new moms. Adjusting to life with a newborn isn't just about learning how to feed your baby, changing diapers, or mastering the swaddle– it’s also about stepping into an entirely new version of yourself. With all the changes that happen rapidly after giving birth, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even a bit unsure about this new chapter. It's essential to prioritize your well-being alongside your baby's needs. Taking care of your mental health is an important piece to plan for when preparing to bring home your new baby.

Why is Maternal Mental Health Important?

The postpartum period can be a rollercoaster of emotions. While many new moms experience the "baby blues," a significant number of new moms suffer from more severe mental health issues. Effective mental health support not only helps in managing these challenges but also promotes overall well-being, ensuring that moms can enjoy, or at least embrace, this new chapter in their lives.
Even if you feel like you have a strong mental health foundation throughout pregnancy, it’s helpful to know about the available options in the postpartum period. Often while new moms are processing their birth, adjusting to the whirlwind of hormones, and figuring out their new life with a baby– they realize they might need a bit of extra support to do so.

There Are a Variety of Ways to Address Your Mental Health In Pregnancy and Postpartum

Thankfully, finding maternal mental health support is becoming easier and more accessible for more moms. While there’s still work to be done, talking about mental health is a lot less taboo than it once was. Because of the spectrum of needs for new moms in terms of mental health support, there are all kinds of services dedicated to helping moms find relief, balance, and solidarity.

1. Professional Counseling and Therapy

The most obvious way to deal with any mental health issues from overwhelm to postpartum depression is to seek 1:1 help from a trained therapist. Finding a specialist who has experience working with new moms will be able to provide a deep understanding of the nuances of early motherhood. They’ll be able to offer solutions, provide a treatment plan, or just be a safe space and a listening ear. Teletherapy options have made these services more accessible than ever, allowing new moms to receive help from the comfort of their homes. Insurance can cover some mental health support, but might not always cover the specific maternal mental health support you’re hoping to work with– in that case, you can find a provider in the BeHerVillage registry and ask for the funds to pay for your therapist.

2. Support Groups

Sometimes one of the hardest things about new motherhood is the overwhelming feeling of isolation. And sometimes, just knowing that you’re not alone in your feelings and your experience can make all the difference. Support groups offer a safe space for new parents to gather and talk about their struggles, their questions, their worries, and their wins. 
Typically, support groups are:
  • led by a mental health professional or other professional in the maternal space (postpartum doula, pre/postpartum yoga, etc)
  • geared toward a certain group of parents, ie: parents of babies under 3 months, or for moms with birth trauma
  • last for a specific duration of time, ie: a 6 week series 
The benefit of a support group is that as a parent you realize that you’re not alone, and in addition to the support of the group leader, you get to hear anecdotes and advice from other parents who are in it, just as you are.
Support groups are not usually covered by insurance, but plenty of the professionals in the BeHerVillage registry guide offer support group services.

3. Peer Support

Gathering with a group of other moms with small children can be extremely beneficial for a new mom’s mental health. While meeting up for a library class or a morning at a coffee shop or someone’s house is much less formal than therapy or a professionally led support group– having dedicated time to connect with other moms can provide emotional support, a sense of community, and shared experiences that help alleviate the common feelings of isolation in early postpartum.

4. Partner Connection + New Parent Coaching

Some professionals offer group classes, virtual classes, workbooks, and 1:1 guidance to support partner connection and new parent coaching. Establishing a great connection with your partner as you settle in with a new baby can be vital for your relationship as well as your own mental well-being. There is so much unknown with a newborn and when you pair that with the lack of sleep, the excess hormones, and the upheaval of your schedules it can be hard to find time for connection, and can sometimes result in resentment. With guidance, you will be able to better understand your own needs and learn how to verbalize them better, while your partner will better understand your experience and learn how to best support you.
With new parent coaching you’ll learn the tools and skills needed to feel confident as a brand-new parent. Sometimes gaining that confidence is a major influence in boosting your mental well-being. You can find a variety of new parent coaches and classes within our registry guide!

The Impact Support Has On Mental Health

We understand that sometimes moms experience a variety of mental health issues even if they’re totally healthy and surrounded by support. But so often the lack of support is at the root of or exacerbates an underlying mental health issue. It’s hard to be mentally well if your own basic needs aren’t being met, or if you’re having trouble meeting the needs of your newborn. Getting yourself set up with maternal mental health support is such a crucial component to getting ready for a newborn. However, it’s equally important to consider other factors that can directly impact your mental health.
Sleep: Making sure you are getting enough adequate sleep to support your own well-being while also taking care of your new baby (and other children). A sleep coach can help you and your family get the rest you need.
Nourishment: Getting enough quality food in your body can directly impact your mental health. Meal delivery, nourishing snacks and home-cooked food will ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to feel as good as you can.
Hands-On Help: Being a new parent can be overwhelming. Having in-home help from someone like a postpartum doula, a night-nanny, or a house cleaner can help you manage all of the variables that need attention throughout your day, which can help you feel more at ease.


Motherhood Was Never Meant To Be Done Alone

Needing extra support when it comes to your mental wellness is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s quite brave and admirable to acknowledge and address any maternal mental health issue. Whether you’re taking a virtual class, attending therapy or joining a support group, focusing on your mental health is beneficial for the health and happiness of you and your family

BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: BeHerVillage Registry Guide , Postpartum Planning
Tags: mental health , support system , maternal mental health


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