Postpartum recovery includes both your physical health and mental health.
Your Physical Health
It’s no surprise that the dramatic physical changes that take place during and after pregnancy can results in discomfort and pain. Fortunately, physical therapy can provide some relief for pregnancy related:
- Back or pelvic pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty with bowel movements
- Leaky breasts
- Transition back to work and breastfeeding
- Urinating with stitches
Your Mental Health
When caring for your baby is not what you expected, you are not alone. Although postpartum depression is common, it is serious—and treatable. If you think you might have it, tell your doctor or another health care provider. With help, you can feel like yourself again.
Could it be just the baby blues?
Having a baby brings big changes in a woman’s life. These changes can be overwhelming. While most moms get past the “baby blues” within the first two weeks, some moms struggle for longer.
Or is it postpartum depression?
If the baby blues last longer than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression. It is easy to confuse the symptoms of postpartum depression with normal hormone changes. How can you tell if it’s serious? Watch for these symptoms:
- Feeling sad, anxious or “empty”
- Lack of energy, feeling very tired
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, guilty or worthless
- Feeling moody and irritable
- Problems concentrating or making simple decisions
- Thoughts about hurting your baby, even if you will not act on them
- Thoughts about death or suicide
What can I do?
Being a good mom means taking care of yourself. If you take care of yourself, you can take better care of your baby and your family.
- Get help! Talk with your care provider, call an emergency support line or ask a loved one to help you get the care you need.
- Ask your care provider about medicines that can be safely used for postpartum depression.
- Talk to a therapist, alone or in group therapy.
- Ask your faith or community leaders about other support resources.
- Learn as much as you can about postpartum depression.
- Get support from family and friends. Ask for help when you need it.
- Keep active by walking, stretching, swimming and so on.
- Get enough rest.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Don’t give up! It may take more than one try to get the help you need.
What should I know?
It is very common for new moms to have the “baby blues.” They often start a few days after a baby’s birth. Usually, feeling sad and irritable will not stop you from taking care of your baby or yourself.
If symptoms interfere with your life or last longer than 2–3 weeks, you may have postpartum depression. This affects up to 2 out of 10 moms. It can occur any time in your baby’s first year.
Women who have a history of depression are more likely to become depressed during pregnancy or after birth. Depression can be caused by stress, hormone changes, trauma, lack of support and other factors. If you are depressed, you need to get help. It will not get better on its own.
What are the most effective treatments?
The most effective treatment for depression includes:
- Individual or group therapy
- Medicine that can be safely used if you are breastfeeding (prescribed by your doctor)
- Support from your family, friends and community
Who can I contact for help?
Resources are available for pregnant or new moms, dads or partners, infants and children.
1-800-523-3333; TTY 612-379-6377 or text “MN” to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
United Way First Call for Help
Postpartum Support International
Mental Health Association of Minnesota
Includes culturally specific resources. Click on “Referrals & Resources” on the left then follow the link to “Culturally Sensitive Services.”
Pregnancy Resource Center
315 Main St S, Suite 20
Pine City, MN 55063
10 am–4 pm, Monday–Friday
Nurse Family Partnership
Your provider may suggest meeting with a home nurse.
Mora Crisis Pregnancy Center
114 Maple Ave W, Suite 2
Mora, MN 55051
11 am–4 pm, Monday–Wednesday
Pine County Health and Human Services
Kanabec County Community Health
Questions? Please call FirstLight at 800-245-5671 or 320-225-3625.
This information meets the requirements of Minnesota Statute 145.906. For more information, call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-215-8960 or visit our website at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/mch/.