There are a lot of decisions to make when you're a mom. But when you're a mom with postpartum depression, the thoughts can be even more overwhelming. Do you want to breastfeed? Do you want to stay at home or go to work? Do you want to co-sleep or bed-share? That last one can be especially difficult to answer, especially when night can be such a trigger for postpartum depression, but should you co-sleep or bed-share if you have PPD?
Like co-sleeping in general, it's a personal decision that you have to make — you have to do what's best for you and your family. But one incredibly important thing to remember is that sleep deprivation and postpartum depression are not friends. According to Postpartum Progress, a study found that PPD can actually worsen when the quality of a mother's sleep declines. The Huffington Posted also noted that not only does exhaustion breed depression, but being depressed can also make it extremely difficult to sleep train or get your baby to sleep.
Makes sense, right? All moms battle fatigue, but if you're also dealing with PPD, it can make it feel impossible to cope and get through each and every day. Exhaustion never helps, but especially when you're already feeling worried, depressed, and unlike yourself.
So what's the answer? Should you co-sleep or bed-share if you have postpartum depression?
If it works for you and your family and gives you more sleep — yes.
According to KellyMom, one of the benefits of co-sleeping and bed-sharing is that parents seem to get more sleep in these arrangements. But babies often get more sleep and if you're breastfeeding, all you have to do is nurse your baby in bed. Less night wakings, less getting up in the middle of the night, and more sleep for everyone.
Of course, this warrants talking to your doctor, but there is no steadfast rule that having postpartum depression means you can't co-sleep. KellyMom noted, however, that if you are overly tired or have taken substances that make you less aware, like sleeping pills or sedatives, then co-sleeping won't work for you. But speak to your healthcare provider to talk about co-sleeping while battling PPD and if it could help you get more rest and feel better throughout the day.