After my daughter was born, I felt that if I could complete a household chore, then I should. I had many reasons for not asking for help. I felt bad inconveniencing others. I was afraid that answer would be no. I didn't have a lot of family or friends in town, so I didn't feel that I had many people to ask, even if I felt comfortable doing so.
When I have my second baby eventually, I hope I will realize that these excuses stem largely from my insecurity, rather than rationality. I gladly help friends and family who have had babies - why would I assume that my friends and family wcouldn'ttruly want to help me?
Western society values independence and self-sufficiency to a fault. Humans have always lived as communities, and we will continue to always need support in our lives. Asking for help after having a baby is not a sign of laziness or weakness - it is a natural part of new motherhood.
Because perinatal mood disorders are a mental, rather than physical, illness it can be hard to feel justified in needing extra help, even though this is important for recovery. A woman wouldn't be expected to care for an infant all alone while healing from a broken leg or gallbladder surgery. Likewise, asking for and receiving adequate support while recovering from a perinatal mood disorder is being smart, not selfish.
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