"Ask Dr. Jessica" - Preparing During Pregnancy: Ways to Create Increased Ease During the Postpartum Period

1) Cultivating Internal Focus
Our society creates endless temptations during pregnancy (and all of the years following) to keep the focus outward. Everyday new items/trends hit the marketplace and moms-to-be are told that these things will surely make their babies happy. Creating space to make mindful decisions and to reflect on what is really important during this tender time is vital. Spending time, energy, and money on bolstering internal resources is likely a better long term investment in parenting. Feeling continuously overwhelmed as a mother can detract from presence of mind, attachment, and bonding. Here are some ideas for soulful gifts to yourself during pregnancy and after baby arrives: prenatal/postpartum yoga, acupuncture, massage, and individual or couples psychotherapy.

2) Connection vs. Isolation
Postpartum depression is often linked to isolation, lack of social support, and difficult past experiences left unattended. Pregnancy is an opportune time to reach out, reflect, and strengthen core aspects of the self. Building a sense of community as well as deepening your relationship with yourself can help stave off postpartum blues or depression.

3) Investigating Your History
Attachment research reveals that having a solid understanding of one's personal history can positively impact attaching with your baby. Furthermore, researchers have found that people who can narrate, reflect on, and have a clear understanding of their life experiences (even when major trauma has occurred in previous attachment relationships) have an increased chance at creating healthy attachments. So what does this mean? Simply put, understand who you are and how you developed into the person you have become. This is easier said than done, but the payoff is lifelong. Engaging in psychotherapy during pregnancy can help foster a more graceful postpartum period.

Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.
www.drjessicazucker.com

Tags: prenatal, psychotherapy

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Thanks! Great info.

I wanted to also mention that having a prenatal, birth and postpartum doula greatly reduces stress, anxiety, and postpartum depression.



Nicole Hoff, IBCLC, CD, CBE
BA Maternal & Child Health Studies,
Specialization in Lactation
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Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.
The fruit of the womb is a reward!Psalms 127:3
I m so happy to see this topic! The postpartum period has very little attention directed it's way. It seems the only times it is mentioned is if someone is in full blown depression and something sensational happens or when everyone is evaulating the postpartum body and how slowly or quickly a mother has returned to her pre pregnancy figure.
Post partum doulas are wonderful but we all owe a debt to our new mamas. Finding ways to engage the community and mothers' immediate support system are essential.
Articles and comments like Dr. Zucker's can increase awareness and assist those of us who work with women in the childbearing year to be of better support to our clients. Thank you Dr. Zucker
Helen Loucado, RN LMT CLA CIIM CLC
maternalinstincts.net

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