New LGBTQ Parents and Postpartum Support: Why it's So Important!
Queer or straight, new parents need support after bringing a baby home. Everyone is sleep deprived, wants to know how best to feed baby and has infant care questions. But what makes the LGBTQ experience different from their straight peers?
As with any group of people, there isn't just one lived experience. However, the LGBTQ community often have a shared set of circumstances which affects the postpartum period - emotionally, physically and practically. Here are some examples.
All of these are added risk factors for developing postpartum depression. While there has been little research done specifically about the LGBTQ community and postpartum mood disorders, the information that does exist suggests that this population is at greater risk. Learn about the symptoms here.
People in the LGBTQ community tend to have greater peer support than their heteronormative friends. Their family circle is often made up of friends. This supportive network is vital. It shouldn't be assumed, however, that everyone is equipped to handle the necessary postpartum care, for the duration needed. A (virtual) postpartum doula can be a great resource and gift. Interview several to find one who's a good fit and supportive of your family.
So, if you're expecting to bring home your little bundle soon or know someone who is, check in to see how they're doing. And then check again.
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