This may be a little away from the normal topics here, but sort of desperate for suggestions. I’m on this site due to my wife’s 35 years of MS. I’ve been mom and dad to our daughter who just gave birth a week ago. She is struggling with postpartum depression and can’t sleep, even though she’s tired. She’s so upset and can’t stop thinking about sleep. She actually worries so much about, why she’s not sleeping that she can’t turn off the thinking. I’m traveling the hour plus in L.A. traffic between my wife’s board and care and my daughters home. It’s really brutal if you know anything about L.A. traffic. Does anyone have a suggestion? We really need to figure this out.

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This is from the Mayo clinic.
Postpartum Depression;
Treatable by a medical professional (OB)
Medium-term: resolves within months.
Requires a medical diagnosis.
Lab tests or imaging not required.
Those who develop postpartum depression are at greater risk of developing major depression later on in life.
Symptoms might include insomnia, loss of appetite, intense irritability and difficulty bonding with the baby.
Untreated, the condition may last months or longer. Treatment can include counselling, antidepressants or hormone therapy.
This is a real condition and not just baby blues. Tell her to call her OB tomorrow to get an appointment right away. The sooner she gets this reported, the sooner she can start treatment. It DOES NOT mean she's a bad mother (you know that) but she may believe it. Her body (and brain) are struggling to return to a pre-pregnancy state. Hormones are going wild.

Can anyone take over the baby chores for awhile? Did daddy take paternity leave?

I agree with Lizzy, the more calm the environment, the better.

I'm sure your wife would understand if you needed to stay there for a few days and couldn't visit her in the NH. By the way, did your wife have post partum depression?

Is she breastfeeding? Did she "want" to or is it something she thinks she "should" do?
Nothing wrong with grandpa and daddy giving a bottle if mommy can't tolerate nursing right now. She can reactivate it later on.

The important thing is that she is relieved of as much stress as possible. Things WILL get back to normal. Tell her to take her time and do as the doctors prescribe. It will all work out.
Helpful Answer (2)

Once upon a time, forty years ago, I had a daughter too. I was not seriously depressed but my midwife told me how new mothers have wild fluctuating hormones, moving from pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

She reassured me I wasn’t losing my mind, I cried continually and was very tense. She gave me a Rx of Seconal and said Go home, relax, have someone else care for the baby, get in the bed, take the pill and I’ll sleep. After one good nights sleep I started to get the hang of that mothering thing! You can get so tired you become overwrought.

So reassure your daughter, recommend any relaxation technique you can think of, tell her she’s normal and doing great! Put her to bed and either you or new Daddy take the baby so daughter can sleep.

You just won’t have any Seconal. But some Sleepy Time tea with extra valerian is about as good for relaxation.

Kiss the baby, grandpa! Thanks for your happy question. A new life has arrived!
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Exercise, especially to favorite music. Aromatherapy - cinnamon, lemon, lavender.

Turkey for the evening meal; it contains tryptophan which causes drowsiness.

Can you help her isolate the high level of worrying, perhaps one issue at a time, and develop solutions? Is she worried about being a good mother? Feeling overwhelmed?

It may sound simple, but just exercise and moving around can help.

No tv unless it's Animal Planet with cute baby puppies or kittens, and no news - especially about politics.

I'm not dismissing the power of post-partum depression though, and would also agree that it would be a good idea to see her OB/GYN, especially if the doctor is female.

Is her husband able to understand the seriousness of this and be by her side? Does she have any sisters? Any friends who've had children and can understand the overwhelming challenges?
Helpful Answer (3)


I sent you a private message but posting here to keep your question visible.

My suggestions:
Contact daughters OB/GYN. Daughter should have an after hours phone number for the office answering service.

Hot shower. Wash hair. Quiet Room. NO PHONE

Someone will have to help care for the baby until you get this figured out.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Just going from my DILs experience.
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