Postpartum 8 Weeks

Postpartum 8 Weeks and Baby at 8 Weeks


It hardly seems possible that my new little grandson is almost 8 weeks old…I am sure his mom and dad can believe it since parenthood definitely takes its toll in the early weeks of adjustment especially with respect to sleep deprivation.

Fortunately their little guy has become quite the good sleeper. Surprisingly, he did his major long sleep during the night at about 6 weeks old. I remember the first time my own child slept through the night I jumped out of bed early in the morning to see if she was okay and breathed a sigh of relief to see her just arousing from a full night’s sleep. It was a milestone to celebrate!

A baby at 8 weeks is just coming into his own and starting to have longer periods of wakefulness. It is wonderful to play music and have soft conversations with him while he is feeding, having his diaper changed, getting a bath or just hanging out in mom or dad’s arms. Sooner than later he will give you a great big toothless smile that will just melt your heart.


Postpartum is not without its long days and sometimes even longer nights for both parents. Times can get tough when parents have not had time for themselves or each other since delivery. Visitors are great but even that can get nerve wracking when home now takes on the look of scene from a Mr. Mom movie.

Moms can get overwhelmed and what is commonly known as the “baby blues” can turn into postpartum depression for some moms after a few weeks at home with a newborn. There are many reasons this happens at a time when a woman feels that she should in fact be happy that she has a normal healthy baby.

It can be a really scary time for mom when she feels overwhelmed and sad. Many times a mom won’t want to admit that she is not enjoying her baby. The guilt can be paralyzing and embarrassing .

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of PPD

Postpartum depression can begin any time during the first two months after you give birth. Symptoms may include:


  • Irritability or hypersensitivity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Crying or tearfulness
  • Anger
  • Negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
  • Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep)
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Headaches, stomachaches, muscle or backaches
  • Some women with PPD believe they can’t adequately care for their baby or may harm their baby.

Access Hollywood recently aired a segment about postpartum depression. Brooke Shields, Gwyneth Paltrow both suffered PPD and just a few days ago Hayden Panettiere  announced she was taking a medical leave for PPD treatment.

When Brooke Shields spoke about her PPD it was a diagnosis that many women never spoke about. They suffered in silence and were many times embarrassed by a mental health diagnosis. After all they just had a baby.

The operating word here is JUST. Having a baby, although normal is a huge undertaking both physically and emotionally. It is by no means JUST having a baby.

I am amazed and encouraged seeing mom’s mental health discussed so openly in the media and online. It is a different world than it was when I had my own children over 30+ years ago. There is no room for shame. Shame destroys lives

Postpartum Progress is another place where moms can find an enormous amount of information and support following childbirth. Katherine Stone founded her blog and has helped so many women share their experiences and in turn help themselves and other women.

This blog is a program of the national nonprofit Postpartum Progress®. We raise awareness, fight stigma and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. To learn more about our nonprofit’s mission and all the ways we help moms and would love to help you, click here and here.

Yes having a baby is a wonderful life changing milestone. As always moms need to take care of themselves before they can take care of others including their children.

Remember to put on your oxygen mask first and then put on your child’s…you are no good to anyone without your own oxygen.

Suggested reading:Postpartum Medication Saved my Life

ParentingintheLoop’s Weekend

Weekend Reading:

A Fall weekend can be so busy for many of us. If you get a chance read one, two or all of the articles below.

Painted in Waterlogue: Weekend Pumpkins

Postpartum Depression

When you have a baby the last thing anyone wants to talk about is depression. But in the room alongside your beautiful, perfect baby can be the elephant, postpartum depression. There are so many reasons this can occur and moms have little control over if and when postpartum depression rears its ugly head.

Thank goodness for women, who now talk openly about their experiences with PPD. Even celebrities, such as Brooke Shields and now Hayden Panettiere have suffered and spoken about PPD in order to help other women realize they are not alone in this journey.

Let’s keep the discussion going and for anyone who needs support or information please visit Postpartum Progress. Please also be aware of anyone who may be suffering right in front of your eyes.


Women are so hard on themselves: we set incredibly high standards for ourselves and then beat ourselves up if life doesn’t turn out that way. While the official figures show 10 to 15% of all women will suffer from postpartum depression, that percentage only represents those who have reported suffering. Imagine what the real figure might be.According to Postpartum Progress, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses this year than the combined number of new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy.

Source: Hayden Panettiere Opens Up About Her Struggle with Postpartum Depression

No Judgment Just Understanding

Recently, I joined the Sisterhood of Motherhood campaign from Similac. I am proud to have been part of an effort to end the mommy wars and encourage moms to STOP judging each other.

Today, I read this story about a mom who did just that. She did not judge, she simply pitched in to help a mom who was traveling on a flight with a screaming baby. Thank-you to Nyfesha Miller for being a “sister” to another mom.

Maybe this weekend you can do something simple when you see a mom struggling. Even just holding a door open can help.

When Nyfesha Miller noticed a stressed-out mama and her crying baby on her flight, she could have done what many usually do: roll her eyes, let out a sigh, and continue flipping through SkyMall. But instead, Miller decided to help — and she’s now being praised by thousands for her actions.


Source: Stranger Comes to Mom’s Rescue on Flight, Restores Our Faith in Humanity | Babble

Pregnancy can be an emotional time in a mom-to-be life, it is expected with all the hormonal changes that go hand in hand as a baby develops in utero. These emotions don’t always disappear after the baby is born. Postpartum is also time of huge emotional changes as well. These emotions can flip a mom into postpartum depression but for many women they find themselves crying over things that in the past were no big deal.

This post comes from a mom who labels herself as a postpartum crier.


I didn’t always buy into the clichés about women being emotional roller coasters due to pregnancy or postpartum hormones. After all, I was still myself during my pregnancies, albeit with a shorter temper and a fuzzier memory. Really, I thought the stereotype was one more way for people to joke about a woman’s mental state without exploring the real reason for her hurt feelings or emotional outburst. A pregnant woman’s PMS, if you will.But after my second child was born, I couldn’t deny that I had become what I previously thought was merely a sitcom-created mothering myth: a postpartum crier.


Source: 26 Reasons I’ve Cried Since Having a Baby Scary Mommy


A Weekend is a great time to catch up on so many things. At times we flood ourselves with so many “to dos” that we lose touch with ourselves and those closest to us.

I hope you catch up with your family on this Fall Weekend. Spend a little time together, being grateful for the small things in your life.

See you next week!


PostPartum Depression- You Do Not Have to Suffer.

postpartum depressionPostpartum depression …you do not need to suffer through it!

The holidays can seriously effect our mood. After having a baby around the holidays, a bout of postpartum depression can hit hard and come right out of nowhere during a time when a mom feels that she should be rejoicing over the birth of her baby.

If a new mom has recently suffered a loss in her life, the holidays can add another burden of trying to “carry on” when she just doesn’t feel up to it.

Grief combined with the emotions and adjustment of having a newborn certainly can predispose a new mom to postpartum depression because she may already be somewhat depressed.

The following is a post I wrote a year ago.

If you or anyone you know is at risk for PPD this may be a helpful read.

If you are depressed please seek help…in an emergency go to your nearest emergency room.

If you want to find a therapist call your Ob-Gyne doctor for a referral…do not suffer on your own…you do not have to be in mental and physical pain…there is help available.

January 30, 2012 by lorettelavine


Postpartum depression is a serious problem that can occur after having a baby…it can occur up to one year after delivery. Sometimes the signs and symptoms can just be an overall sense of anxiety and an inability to enjoy your baby.  As a new mom, if you just don’t feel happy you can attribute it to many things especially lack of sleep and the many changes occurring over such a short period of time but you could be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).

Personally, I did not experience PPD but there were days when I did not feel in control of all the responsibilities of motherhood. It was positively overwhelming. Back in the day…postpartum depression was somewhat overlooked and under treated.  A new mom was made to feel like she  ”just had to suck it up” and get it together. Fortunately, since them that attitude has changed and most obstetricians screen for PPD at the time of the postpartum check-up.

I thought that I would post a list of symptoms of postpartum depression.  If you have more than one or two of these symptoms or are feeling generally depressed for more than two weeks you should check in with your doctor.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are the same as the symptoms of depression that occurs at other times in life. Along with a sad or depressed mood, you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Agitation or irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Problems doing tasks at home or work
  • Negative feelings toward the baby
  • Significant anxiety
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble sleeping

A mother with postpartum depression may also:

  • Be unable to care for herself or her baby
  • Be afraid to be alone with her baby
  • Have negative feelings toward the baby or even think about harming the baby Although these feelings are scary, they are almost never acted on. Still you should tell your doctor about them right away.
  • Worry intensely about the baby, or have little interest in the baby

via Postpartum depression – PubMed Health.

Breast-feeding is not always best available option – Positive Discipline- What is it? – Baby Sleep, What Do You Really Know? Weekend Reading!


Are you afraid to choose not to breast feed because of the backlash of comments that you anticipate from your relatives and friends?

Don’t you just want them to understand what you already know about you and your baby?

Maybe you should write down your story and hand copies to anyone who questions why you are not breastfeeding and then just maybe they will “shut up” and mind their own business!


BREAST-FEEDING is not always best.

These are fighting words if you are a mother who has delivered a baby at most hospitals throughout the Puget Sound. If you are the postpartum mother who dares to utter that statement, you will be the one fighting with nurses, doctors, lactation consultants and anyone on the street who sees you bottle feeding.



Do you use time-outs as discipline the way “The Nanny” does on her television series?

There actually is another approach….”Positive Discipline” and it just might work better with your child or children. Here is a link to someone who specializes in this approach…

I went on Amazon and bought all the top books on baby sleep and development. I read through them all, as well as several blogs and sleep websites. I gathered lots of advice.

If you are confused about Baby Sleep and how to help you and your baby get enough rest, you will find out why when you read this funny post from a mom who shares your confusion.

Don’t fret, you are not alone!

I hope these suggested readings help with three of the most discussed topics of childrearing…. Feeding…Discipline…Sleep.

Have a great weekend!


A Shift in Strategy to Get More Mothers to Breast-Feed


As a follow-up to a recent post of mine I would like to comment on the article in the Wall Street Journal that is quoted below.

Hospitals can definitely play a significant role in the success of breastfeeding especially if they follow what Georgetown University Hospital is doing to actively encourage women and their infants to bond and breast feed soon after delivery.

I am not surprised that this example is from a teaching hospital in a major metropolitan area. Patients can be selective and demanding about where they deliver and these teaching hospitals want to offer all they can to provide what is recommended best for moms and babies. I am in no way putting down other hospitals but in my experience the teaching institutions will get on board with recommendations faster than other hospitals. The reasons are many  but in today’s healthcare environment economics is a very motivating factor.

On the topic of economics…obstetrics traditionally is not a money maker for hospitals the way cardiovascular surgery is…that being said hospitals are businesses and pouring money and time into obstetrical services is not something that is done without serious financial considerations.

In my practice, I have had moms say that nurses and lactation consultants have been “Nazis” when it comes to breast feeding immediately after delivery and they have not liked the attitude that is has been conveyed to them in the hospital.

My question about the shift in breastfeeding strategy is ,when are we going to learn to be gentle with new moms and be encouraging with kindness? New moms are often scared and unsure of themselves and sometimes they are even afraid of their newborns and afraid of all the body changes that they are experiencing immediately after delivery.

New moms need to be catered to while in the hospital…they will be home soon enough dealing with a whole new world now that their baby is finally here.

Hospitals can be encouraged to shift their strategies ….that is all well and good but until they have the  nurses and lactations consultants with a gentle touch, who are not overworked…but who are devoted to “helping” the new mom with her new baby without being judgmental, breastfeeding will still be much more of a challenge for mom and baby than it needs to be.

It is my belief that much more emphasis should be placed on the approach that is used with the new mom in combination with the strategies of early breastfeeding and bonding.

Maybe we need to revisit “Reva Rubin”s Postpartum Theory” to understand what the mom is emotionally experiencing in the first hours and days after delivery and use Reva’s observations to guide us in the care of the mother and newborn.

a. Taking-In Phase. During this phase the mother is oriented primarily to her own needs. She primary focuses on sleeping and eating. She may be quite passive and dependent. The mother is reacting to the intense, physical effort expended during delivery and the intense, emotional effort required of her during labor. The mother does not usually initiate contact with the infant. This is not out of disinterest. It may result from her own immediate dependency. Nevertheless, she is taking-in information that helps her to identify the infant. She may use her finger-tip to touch her infant. This serves as one of the first steps in the identification process. She holds the baby facing her so they can explore each other’s face (in the face position). The mother relives the delivery experience which allows her to integrate it fully with reality, fully realized her baby is born, and to identify her infant as being outside and separate from her. This phase, taking-in phase, may last for a day or two. The nurse should plan activities so that the patient can rest as much as possible because failure to allow the patient to receive the necessary and earned rest may yield a “sleep hunger” which may be manifested by irritability, fatigue, and general interference with the normal restorative process. The father’s role is primarily being supportive of his wife and his family.

b. Taking-Hold Phase. During this phase the mother strives for independence and autonomy, she becomes the “initiator.” She is concerned about her ability to control her bodily functions (that is, bowels, bladder, and if breast-feeding, concerned about adequate amount and quality of milk). She takes an active part in trying to control these functions. She is concerned about her ability to take care of her newborn. This phase is associated with a great deal of anxiety (especially by a new mother). She may have several mood swings. The mother might be involved in a lot of activity trying to accomplish tasks. Fatigue and exhaustion may occur if the mother is not helped to set realist expectations and limits for herself. The nurse is responsible to allow the mother to actually perform infant care tasks, reinforce all positive actions (do not impose yourself), and provide guidance, instruction, and demonstration, as necessary. Reassurance and explanation about infant care are especially needed in this phase. This phase lasts for about ten days (most of this phase is accomplished at home).

c. Letting-Go Phase. Generally, this phase occurs when the mother returns home. The mother must accomplish two separations during this phase. The separations are to realize and accept the physical separation from the baby and to relinquish her former role of a childless person. The mother must adjust her life to the relative dependency and helplessness of her child. If she quits work, she must adapt (even if only temporarily) to less freedom, less autonomy, and less social stimulation. If she continues to work, she must handle the additional strain of finding sitters and meeting additional workload. The mother may experience a let-down feeling, which is called postpartal, or baby, “blues.” This is a form of depression that is usually temporary and may occur in the hospital.

via Psychological Needs of the Postpartal Patient.

Reva Rubin believed that a mother needed time to absorb and integrate her labor and delivery. This takes place in the first couple of days postpartum while the mom is trying to get to know her newborn and begin the awesome task of taking care of him/her, changing diapers, bathing and feeding. The new mom probably does not pass through the “taking-in phase” before she is discharged home from the hospital.

Over the years postpartum hospital stays have gotten shorter and shorter so mom has had to condense her “taking-in” experience into hours rather than days. She has to get comfy with diapers, bathing, swaddling, and of course feeding…breast or bottle. Postpartum nurses have had to adjust their care to give mom a “crash” course in newborn care…this is a tall order and in my opinion it takes a skilled educated nurse to accomplish this effectively with a new mom.

To encourage breast-feeding, Georgetown University Hospital staff place the newborn on the mother as soon as possible, usually within a half hour after birth. The hospital, in Washington, D.C., delays weighing and measuring the baby until after this skin-to-skin bonding takes place, says Carol Ryan, who manages Georgetown’s lactation team. For women who had caesarean sections, healthy babies are brought to the mother as soon as possible and touch the mothers’ face if they can’t be placed on her, says Ms. Ryan. Infants also are roomed with the mother 24 hours a day, rather than being taken to the nursery.

The U.S. government’s goal for the end of the decade is for about 60% of women to be breast-feeding at least part of the time for the first six months, according to the government’s 2020 Healthy People objectives.

via A Shift in Strategy to Get More Mothers to Breast-Feed –

We need more than strategies from hospitals…we need human kindness and a much more gentler approach to mother and baby in the hospital followed by a gentle approach at home while this dyad begins to take on the tasks before them. There needs to be a real effort made to make breastfeeding a “socially” acceptable thing. Education of the general public would greatly help in this area.

Then maybe we will begin to see a serious increase in breastfeeding success.

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