On the fifth day of Dismissmas,
Postpartum sent to me
Five hours of sleep,
Four Just Snap out of Its,
Three perfect babies,
Two depressed parents,
And a wailing mess in a pear tree.
If she just gets some sleep, she’ll be fine. This will all go away. I’ll have my wife/sister/friend back. She’s just tired. Five hours should do it.
Yes, sleep helps alleviate some of the symptoms of a Postpartum Mood Disorder. But it’s only part of the recovery picture. The primary supports around mom should be focused on helping her rest, receive help from medical professionals, and regaining her sense of self with the added identity of mother.
If a new mother is struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder, she may need additional help beyond housework and infant or childcare assistance. She may need a team of medical professionals. If Mom is particularly fatigued, be sure to encourage her to get her Thyroid, Iron, and Vitamin D levels. Any discrepancies in these levels may cause some rest issues. Insomnia, exhaustion and extended sleeping, or sleeping yet not feeling rested are all symptoms which should not be ignored.
Rest when you can but if your sleep is not up to par with your normal pattern, (you know, beyond the whole infant every two or three hours thing), talk with a physician about how things are going. Lack of sleep can really throw anyone for an emotional loop!