Postpartum warning signs: When to call your care provider

But the best approach is to prevent PPD in the first place, and social support is one of the most vital factors in prevention. Here are some suggestions: get postpartum help, seek breastfeeding support, respond to your baby's crying, set aside time for each other and relax.

Get Postpartum Help
As a new mom, you need help with household chores and meal preparation for at least three to four weeks so you can establish a rewarding interaction with your baby and establish feedings.

Today many partners arrange to take one or two weeks of vacation time right after the baby's birth, and a mother, mother-in-law or friend may also pitch in for a few days. While not to be underrated, such short-term support may not give you sufficient time to become acquainted with your new baby.

That's why we urge parents to consider other sources of home help. Hiring a teenager or older woman for three hours a day three to five days a week can remarkably improve your life and your baby's. In addition, postpartum doulas are available in many cities. Ask your healthcare provider or childbirth educator for a referral.

Seek Breastfeeding Help
In most communities, women who have succeeded with breastfeeding can be helpful to a new mother. Many communities also have lactation consultants. La Leche League, at (800) LA LECHE, can provide answers and referrals.

Respond to Your Baby's Crying
When infant crying becomes stressful for you, try keeping your baby close by using a sling-type carrier. One study showed that when three-week-olds were carried for three extra hours a day, at times unrelated to crying or feeding, they cried 50 percent less (particularly in the evening hours) than a group who had not been carried the extra three hours.

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