I’m so happy to have Warrior Mom Robin Farr here today, sharing how having a baby after PPD can actually be easier, at least in her experience. I have to point out that Robin, who writes the blog Farewell Stranger, was recently named among the top Canadian blogs about family and parenting in the 2012 Canadian Weblog Awards. (Go Robin!)
Six Reasons Having A Baby After PPD Is Easier
1. You know what to look for.
Having experienced postpartum depression once makes it easier to catch it if it happens again. You know the symptoms of PPD, including the surprising ones, and you can take action as soon as it starts to darken your nursery door.
When I was pregnant with my second, someone told me it couldn’t possibly be as bad this time because I know now. I know what PPD feels like and I know what triggers it for me. And so does my family. That one piece of advice did wonders for my anxiety before my baby was born.
2. You’re better at asking for help.
Asking for help is never really easy. But a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, especially when she’s struggling. The second time around you know that asking for help when you need it can make the difference between getting through a hard day with the ability to carry on and sliding into a pit that takes weeks (or longer) to get out of.
3. You know the tough baby stages are temporary.
The early days (and weeks and months) of having a baby are hard. It feels like he’ll never sleep through the night. You estimate that you’ve put her soother back in 2,365 times in the last week. You contemplate letting your little cherub play naked in the bathtub just so you don’t have to change one more diaper.
The second time around, you know there’s an end to these tough phases. It might be a ways away, but you can see that end, and that alone can get you through. Knowing it’s temporary makes those days your baby refuses to nap just a little easier to manage.
4. You have a community to look to for support.
Obviously you’ve found Postpartum Progress, which is a huge step in the right direction. Having other PPD moms for support when you need it is a critical part of surviving and it’s another thing that can make a world of difference if (not when) you experience PPD again. There are lots of ways to connect to the postpartum depression mom community. Take advantage of it!
5. You have professional resources.
Surviving postpartum depression the first time often involves professional support. Whether you’ve talked to your family doctor, a therapist, a psychiatrist or someone else, that person (or team of people) will be there to support you the second time around as well. For a lot of people, finding the right support can be tough, especially when you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning. Having that support already in place makes the idea of having another baby after PPD much more manageable.
6. You have more confidence that you’ll recover.
If you’re having another baby, or thinking about it, chances are you’ve recovered from your first experience with postpartum depression. You know the answer to one of the most common questions women with PPD ask: “Will I ever get better?” The answer – for them and for you – is YES. And you know it firsthand.
Having had postpartum depression once doesn’t mean you will inevitably get it again. But if you do – or are worried you will – these six things are almost sure to make having a baby after PPD a little bit easier.
~ Robin Farr
Editor’s note: I had a great experience with my second child. It’s hard to know if it’s because I chose to stay on my medication throughout my pregnancy, or if it was because I just wasn’t going to get postpartum OCD again. I do know that if I had gotten it again, I would have been grateful to be aware of where to get help and to have had the knowledge that I could and would get better. What do you think? Do you agree with Robin, or did you feel it wasn’t easier?