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Three Friends--A Remedy For Postpartum Depression

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With my baby came postpartum depression. I could have used the friends. My husband wasn't available only because I didn't tell him. How do you tell the person who helped you make the child that you're considering doing that child harm, or putting her up for adoption?

If I had harmed her, I would have had to harm myself immediately after. As it turned out, the same being I considered harming kept me from doing it. The feeling of responsibility that almost does you and your baby in is awakened by the sensibility of responsibility.

And then there are friends. I can, basically, guarantee that an 800 number would have been useless. You can't tell these things to a stranger. You can tell them to friends who love you unconditionally, but they don't all have to be with you at once. One could be in the room with you, ready to listen, be calm, and never get upset with you for what you're thinking. The other two could be available for your phone call.

I've never gotten HBO, but have seen reruns of Sex and the City on a local channel. The friendship that Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha have leaves me green with envy and incredibly happy for these fictional characters. They're the perfect remedy for postpartum depression.

The "To Do" list for this expectant mother was more like a dream sequence, if that. The pediatrician, booties, onesies, pacifiers, clothing...oh, yeah, we need those. The crib was easy to remember, and so were the nutritional needs of the unborn child. Two important issues not covered by the books, at least then, were breastfeeding a baby with an immature nervous system, thus pushing away the food source, and postpartum depression. How do you help the baby stop fighting the food, and how do you keep the baby safe, even alive, while in your care?

The answer to the first question is to gently and firmly get the baby's mouth to the breast until the baby's nervous system is more mature. This, of course, takes two people to be done properly and safely, moving the baby towards the food while the food is also moved closer. The answers to the second, view your baby as your hope, and have three friends who love you unconditionally at the ready. I did it alone...and was very lucky, indeed.

 

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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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