Mental preparation tips for expectant parents

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Mental Preparation Tips for Expectant Parents. .When others find out you're pregnant, here comes the book recommendations, list of baby names and more. .While it's easy to focus on the material aspect - we can't ignore the importance of mental preparation. .Over 80% of expecting mothers experience postpartum depression - only 40% seek help.Experts share tips to help prepare mentally before and during pregnancy.Know the signs.From overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, and difficulty connecting with the baby - there are many signs to PPD.Take a break .Ask for help.Those struggling with PPD are encourage to call the Postpartum International Helpline : 1-800-944-4773

For most people, the moment you share the news that you’re pregnant, the advice starts pouring in — pregnancy book recommendations, tips, and endless discussion about the baby’s name.

While much of this advice focuses on the physical aspects of pregnancy and how your body will change, it’s just as important to prepare mentally for having a baby.

Studies have shown that postpartum depression — also known as the baby blues — affects roughly 50-80% of new mothers. And those post-birth emotions can impact spouses and partners as well: Around 26% of spouses experience some sort of depression after the baby’s arrival.

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While there’s plenty of stress that comes alongside the joy of welcoming a new baby into the world, TODAY Parents created a helpful checklist to help with the mental preparation before and during your baby’s arrival.

Cleanse yourself from social media

Following parenting accounts can be helpful, but also mentally taxing — especially if you follow accounts with new mothers who seems to have the perfect body, and all the right answers to every parenting question. Social media can give a false sense of reality and result in ‘doomscrolling’ which is known to affect mental health.

Know the signs of depression

With such a high percentage of new mothers experiencing PPD, experts encourage you to know the signs so you can act accordingly.

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawal from family, friends and work
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  • Restlessness, hopelessness and feelings of worthlessness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Take a break

It’s hard to take a break sometimes, especially from your brand new baby. But it’s okay to ask for help and get a couple of minutes to yourself. Having a baby puts stress on the mind and body, and it’s important to get a baseline of support for sleep, food and even showering.

Ask for help

Of the women who experience PPD, only about 40% reported asking for help. Seeking help or guidance while you are on this journey is necessary for physical, mental and emotional support. Whether it’s first child or your fifth, PPD can happen after any pregnancy.

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Those struggling with PPD or who have questions are encouraged to call the Postpartum International Support Helpline at 1-800-944-4773.