Thursday, January 11, 2007

Postpartum Support

When working with post-partum women who are experiencing depression, I've encountered this pervasive idea that mothers must be "strong" and take care of their children and families first--and themselves last. Popular culture does much to reinforce this idea. How many commercials have you seen where mothers are driving around in minivans, doing the shopping, picking up children from school, dropping them off at soccer practice, and still manage to have dinner on the table while somehow managing to keep the kitchen immaculately clean? Unfortunately, popular images of mothers do little to reinforce the idea that a mother who takes care of herself IS taking care of her family. The post-partum period (which I think is much longer than many doctors would have us think) requires special attention. Indeed, healthy children need healthy parents. By asking for help and support, parents are doing it not just for themselves, but for their children as well. Here is a good clearinghouse for post-partum parent support in the Pacific Northwest.

2 comments:

Tina said...

I came across your blog by chance, and am glad I did. What a very important point to make—that moms need to take care of themselves.

One of the best pieces of advice I've been given in my time as an ever-guilty parent is that "a happy mom is a good mom." That little phrase has helped me endlessly, especially through all the guilt I was having when I realized I actually wanted to go back to work after my son was born.

It's amazing, the number of friends I have that do things because, in essence, it's what all good moms do...rather than think about their own happiness and how making time for themselves, or seeking help, might actually translate into the peaceful, healthy family they're looking for.

I commend you for starting a blog talking about these kinds of things...there's just not enough people out there saying "relax, it's okay."

So, thanks...I'll be sure to check back, maybe during my next guilty spell!

Shannon Armitage said...

Hi, Tina. I'm so glad you found it helpful. I never know who's out there reading this blog--or if anyone is reading it--so I'm glad you found it helpful. I guess this means I'm going to have to keep it up. I look forward to hearing more of your comments in the futre.