It’s extremely common for new mothers to feel overwhelmed. I don’t think we anticipate it. We don’t prepare patients for it, but the first line of intervention would be your pediatrician or your pediatrician’s office, your obstetrician, if that’s somebody who you have a close relationship with, or the nurse in the obstetrician’s office, the hospital where you delivered, a lactation hotline at a hospital where there may be nurses available 24 hours a day to talk to you about, not just nursing issues, but feeding issues, sleeping issues, your own emotional adjustment.
There are a lot of opportunities for sort of quick intervention and evaluation that don’t mean you have to wait till things get really bad before you see somebody for help, and I would encourage new mothers to seek out whatever resources their physicians or caregivers, their hospitals, offer for them to provide support and stabilize them shortly after their delivery.
Dr. Nehama Dresner Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Obstetrics-Gynecology, Northwestern University
Dr. Nehama Dresner is a licensed, Board-certified psychiatrist (in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine) with specialized training and nearly 20 years experience in Women's Mental Health and Medical Psychiatry. more about this expert »