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No matter what gifts for the new mother you decide to buy, make sure to add a few little “extras” before you wrap it up. New moms, or soon-to-be new moms, have no idea what kind of hormonal rollercoaster they're in for. Factor in some good old fashioned sleep deprivation (a friend of a friend actually paced the hallway cradling a pillow in her arms until she snapped out of it and realized the baby was still in the crib) and the new mom is going to need a new mother support group.
So, when you're gathering up things to put in the new mom gift basket, make sure to add some resources for her to call on. Add the phone numbers of experienced moms willing to lend an ear, or contact information for local new mom support groups. Keep a backup copy because the mom-to-be might toss them out believe she won't really need that kind of help. Chances are good she's going to change her mind.
It's really important for the friends and family of the new mother to be aware of the differences between post-partum depression and the blues. Surprisingly, post-partum depression might not really seem like depression at all. You imagine someone down in the dumps and crying all the time (which can happen), but it can also mean an overly anxious mother who's afraid to be alone with the baby. The new mom might have severe insomnia, might be constantly angry, or may not want to have anything at all to do with the baby. She might even feel guilty about everything real and imagined.
If you notice anything like this, get her to the doctor's office as soon as possible. Keeping an eye on your friend's post pregnancy health might just be one of the best gifts you can offer the new mother.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|