Returning to work after having a baby can be pretty challenging. But going back to work carrying the weight of postpartum depression on your shoulders is even more difficult.
There are a lot of new moms who would wholeheartedly agree that maternity leave is way too short. And the thought of leaving your precious months-old cargo to go to work is often an excruciatingly complex idea.
There are several reasons why women struggle with going back to work after having a baby, especially while dealing with postpartum depression. Whether or not you choose to return to work or must return, dealing with PPD while working is tricky business.
So as a new mom – exhausted, sleep-deprived, and attempting to balance the troubling symptoms of PPD – how do you navigate working with postpartum depression?
The Struggles of Going Back to Work with Postpartum Depression
You spent almost a year gearing up for the enormous life change of having a baby. And after delivery, you spent months adjusting to it. While it can be exciting and rewarding, it can also be tiresome and overwhelming. Things get even more challenging when you throw postpartum depression in the mix.
Then it’s time to return to work.
Just thinking about going back to work with postpartum depression can be debilitating. Without even stepping foot back into the office, you already have worries and anxieties about it.
- You worry about your baby.
One of the most common concerns about returning to work after having a baby is leaving your new bundle of joy with a caretaker. Whether it’s a family member or a childcare center, it can be hard making yet another life transition and being away from them while at work.
If you suffer from postpartum anxiety and PPD, you may have intrusive, repetitive thoughts about harm coming to your baby. Dealing with that is hard enough. But trying to concentrate at work while fielding these thoughts is nearly impossible.
- You worry about admitting you have postpartum depression
Whether you’ve received an official PPD diagnosis or keeping an eye on your potential symptoms, you might be wary of saying anything about it to coworkers.
These worries can stem from the anxieties that often accompany PPD, like feeling ashamed about not being “happy” all the time or concerns about being judged as an unfit mother.
But you may also be worried your boss or coworkers might think you aren’t mentally stable enough to do your job well. So you hide your struggles from them and suffer in silence. (Don’t do it!)
- You worry your absence from work made it difficult for your coworkers
There are other women just like you working with postpartum depression. Here are some tips to get you through those tough days at work.
First and foremost, don’t try to “get over” postpartum depression alone. PPD and PPA are serious, diagnosable mental health conditions. You’re not choosing to feel this way. Your brain’s neurotransmitters are a little out of sorts. And you need help from a mental health professional.
Finding postpartum depression therapy in San Diego or wherever you live is your first step to feeling better, faster. To get through the struggles of working with postpartum depression, you need a postpartum therapist, and you can’t skip your appointments.
PPD is treatable. And we can help.
Return to Work After Baby Gradually
Don’t set an unrealistic expectation for yourself that you can just jump right back into your job and all of its responsibilities right away. If you do, you’re going to burn yourself out, which will not help your PPD.
Consider asking for a modified work schedule upon your return. You could try working fewer hours or days per week for a couple of weeks and then increase your time away from home and back at work. Eventually, you’ll find your groove again, and you won’t overwhelm yourself trying to adapt too quickly to your new routine.
Tell Coworkers Who Need to Know
One of the biggest mistakes you could make when going back to work with postpartum depression is to keep your struggles entirely to yourself.
Of course, you don’t have to burst through the office doors and let everyone know you have postpartum depression. But scheduling a private meeting with your boss or supervisor and telling them about your struggles is crucial.
So if you’re having a rough day, your boss will have a better idea of what’s going on and, hopefully, work with you and your schedule so you can attend your therapy appointments.
Lean On Your Support Network
Make sure there’s someone you can talk to during work hours when you’re struggling, whether at work or outside of work. Knowing you have someone you can count on to listen, support, and understand you is key to getting through the transition from maternity leave to working regularly.
When you lean on your support network to hold you accountable, meaning prioritizing your mental health over your work, you’ll be better equipped to handle working with postpartum depression.
Getting Help with BOLD Health
As previously mentioned, one of the most instrumental things you can do to make your transition back to working is to find a therapist who can help. If you are in the Southern California area and are looking for postpartum depression treatment in San Diego, we can help here at BOLD Health.
You don’t have to try to navigate PPD or PPA on your own. When you partner with our team of compassionate, understanding, experienced clinicians at BOLD Health, you’re getting the best postpartum depression therapy in San Diego.
Our unique holistic approach to treating postpartum mood disorders includes treating all of you, not just your symptoms. We get to know and better understand you and how your genetics, circumstances, and biology brought you to your current mental health situation.
Both you and your clinician will come to a deeper understanding of who you are during sessions. That means your postpartum depression treatment in San Diego is more effective.