You are amazing—you carried and brought a babe into the world!—but don’t think you have to be supermom. It’s normal to need a helping hand (or three) as you adjust to life with a wee one. Here’s how to find support …
With postpartum depression
If you have a good relationship with your care provider and you feel comfortable and safe speaking openly with her, then let her know how you’ve been feeling. Another option is to reach out to an advocate who has helped other mothers with postpartum mood disorders. To do so, call Postpartum Support International’s toll-free number 1-800-944-4773, or visit postpartum.net/get- help/locations to find someone in your state you can call or email directly.
When you’re learning the ropes, it can be helpful to have insight from a lactation consultant, someone who has been trained to help women with nursing. You can find one through your doctor, hospital or birth center—or use the International Lactation Consultant Association’s directory (ilca.org). You may also want to join a breastfeeding support group to connect with other mothers. Search for a La Leche League International group near you at llli.org/webus.html.
With your new baby
For those who are fortunate enough to live near relatives and friends, take them up on their offers to pitch in. Try to spread the assistance out over the first few weeks, and be specific about what you need (a prescription picked up, a dinner dropped off, etc.). When reinforcements aren’t readily available, consider hiring a postpartum doula, someone to help with newborn care, handle light housework or just give you a chance to nap. DONA International provides a database of doulas that you can search by ZIP code at dona.org. Otherwise, you can outsource specific jobs, like tidying up or running an errand with the handy app TaskRabbit.