Social Support – Cure For Postpartum Depression?

Many new moms say they are more likely to share things online that they may not share with family or friends. This doesn’t mean that the new mom is afraid to share how she feels, completely the opposite. The new mom is socially, digitally and emotionally connected to other moms across the country.

How a new mother adjusts physically and emotionally to postpartum changes, determines whether she will respond to these changes with increased feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. If a mother experiences stress and anxiety in the early weeks and months after delivery, and doesn’t receive help, she is more likely to develop postpartum depression.

There are many options available that will prevent and treat postpartum health challenges. One of the best treatments is social support. This is the support we receive from friends, family, and yes, our Internet friends and family. Social support has gone global!

Another interesting point about support is that if we think we will be supported, say if we post a question to a mom message board like at for example, the support we think we will receive from others, is more predictive of our health and well-being than the actual support itself. This means that if I’m having a bad day, going to a message board with other moms or visiting my favorite mom blog for example, may be just what the doctor ordered. Social support is a huge buffer against any stressful or life changing situation but only if the person can access the support.

Life events can interrupt supportive relationships and negatively affect our physical and emotional health. Having a baby is a profound change that many with grown children have yet to really adjust to! For moms these interruptions can have a major effect on how we feel. Some of these interruptions are due to positive life changing events (having a baby, taking a new job) while others are uncontrollable (death of a loved one). The ability to rebuild your support system influences how you will adjust to the situation.

Postpartum research is showing an increase in online programs that are having a positive effect on reducing the number of postpartum depression cases and minimizing the effects of the condition. It’s too early to determine a cure just yet. More research still needs to be done. However, did you realize that you’re doing something good for yourself when you’re reading those posts about pampers vs. huggies?

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