You’ve no doubt heard the term before. Postpartum Depression. You’ve heard and seen extreme stories on the news. It’s a mental health complication that strikes fear and dread into birth mothers and adoptive parents alike. Not every birth or adoptive parent experiences it. Yet, it’s something that parents hope to avoid at all costs. Many adoptive parents are still caught off guard when it happens to them, not understanding how it’s possible when they didn’t give birth.
Thankfully, Postpartum Depression as an adoptive parent is treatable. Adoption Choices of New York is ready and available to support you, and provide you with this useful resource.
Utilize Your Support System
Who do you consider part of your close circle of friends? Those who you trust with your life, and who you’ve supported in good days and bad? These are the same people you can reach out to again. Call them on your more challenging days. Let them know that you are struggling, and ask if there’s someone who can come over and give you a much needed break.
Asking for help can seem selfish, but it’s not. This is not the time to shy away from getting extra support. Fight the urge to isolate. Push past it. Reach out. You don’t have to suffer through the symptoms alone. Even though the depression is telling you that you are, don’t believe it. It’s lying to you. You are not alone. What’s more, you are surrounded by people who love and care for you. Who are there for you, and who would do anything for you.
Indulge in Simple Pleasures
With your friends and family fueling you with energy, don’t forget to indulge in life’s simple pleasures. You’ll be amazed how the littlest things can make big impacts. What are things that bring you joy in life? What makes you happy? Do those things. Treat yourself to a morning walk, a nice country drive, a day trip to the beach. Do some quiet meditation or yoga. Schedule a lunch out with your girl or guy friends.
Whatever makes you feel alive and will help replenish your sanity — do it. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. Making time to take care of yourself is crucial. If you don’t have your health or sanity, you won’t be the parent that your son or daughter needs you to be.
Join a Support Group
Postpartum Depression as an adoptive parent can feel like a heavy burden to carry. One that not even your closest friends or family can bring you out of. But that’s ok. In moments like this, it’s important to surround yourself with those who have walked this journey before. Perhaps even those who are currently going through it.
How? Join a support group. Connect with other adoptive parents who can fully understand what you are experiencing. Who can commiserate and help you establish healthy coping mechanisms. You’d be surprised at how healing and energizing being in a safe haven this like can be. A huge aspect of Postpartum Depression is the lie that you are all alone. The moment you discover you aren’t, you’ll feel your energy start building again. You’ll regain some will power to fight. What’s more, you might even find a true kindred spirit and establish a life-long connection with another adoptive parent in your support group. Amazing things happen at support groups!
Negativity is the food that fuels Postpartum Depression. The idea that life is hopeless, and that there is no way out. That things will never get better. The more you believe it, the stronger the PPD becomes. The deeper its claws embed. Don’t give in. As much as you can — push back. Fight.
Write positive affirmations on sticky notes, and paste them all around your house. On your bathroom mirror. In your office. Beside your bed. Anywhere and everywhere you’ll see them. Having constant positive reminders will help you overcome the Postpartum Depression as an adoptive parent. In the most challenging moments, read the notes out loud to yourself. The more you do, the more you’ll grow to believe them. This, in turn, will vanquish the depression and break the PPD strongholds.
Postpartum Depression as an Adoptive Parent
The symptoms associated with Postpartum Depression as an adoptive parent can be intense. It can take a lot of mental and emotional energy, and make it difficult to function through your day-to-day. But, the great news is that this mental health condition is 100% treatable! By using the proper channels, seeking help, and making the changes necessary to combat the symptoms, you can heal and become the parent you’ve always wanted to be.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Postpartum Depression in Adoptive Parents – Post-Adoption Depression.” PostpartumDepression.org, www.postpartumdepression.org/postpartum-depression/adoption/.
Vintayen, Jean. “Coping with Postpartum Depression.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies, 3 July 2019, adoptionnetwork.com/blog/coping-with-postpartum-depression.