What Were the First Few Months Postpartum Like for You?
Hello wonderful mothers. I deeply appreciate you taking the time to fill out this survey. It will be a critical part of my new book on motherhood. In it I want to show all the different feelings and experiences women can go through as they become moms.

The point of my book is to validate and normalize anything you may experience to help other moms see that—whatever they are experiencing—they are not alone and offer real ways ways to take care of yourself. There are 30 questions below all focused on the first few months after bringing your baby home. Please feel free to answer ONLY THE ONES THAT SPEAK TO YOU.

I am interested in hearing details about how you felt or what you experienced or what advice you have - what helped, what didn't, so that I can share them in the book. Please SKIP ones that don't resonate with you and please give AS MUCH DETAIL as you can on the ones that do. I put the question subject matter IN ALL CAPS before each question to help you skim and find the ones you want to answer.

At the end of the survey you can indicate whether you are willing to be quoted with your name or other identifying information in the book or whether you would like your responses—if used in the book—to be kept anonymous. Ideally, if you are comfortable with it, I'd love to be able to say, "Sarah, Anchorage, Alaska." But, I could also identify you by how many kids you have or your profession, etc. So give me as much info as you are willing to share. ALSO if there is one question for which you would like to be anonymous, but you are ok having your first name and location put with the others, you can indicate that at the end.

Note: I have asked for your email address ONLY so I can follow up with any needed clarifications and possibly send you another survey for the last section of the book. I will NOT share it or publish it.

Again, I greatly appreciate your participation in helping all moms know that we are in this thing together.

Warmly,
Kate Rope (ropekate@gmail.com)

Email address *
HOSPITAL AFTER DELIVERY: Was there anything about your hospital stay that you would recommend others do? Did anything happen that you wish had gone differently? Any advice for moms about managing those few days?
Your answer
VISITORS IN HOSPITAL: How did you handle visitors in the hospital? Did you do anything you’d recommend someone else do? Do you wish you had done something differently?
Your answer
VISITORS IN YOUR HOME: How did you manage visitors in the first few days and weeks home? Any tips to share? Do you wish you had done something differently?
Your answer
VISITORS HELPING: When visitors came to your home, did you ask them to help you? Or did they do so without you asking? If you answer yes to either of those can you lists the ways in which they helped? In hindsight do you wish you had asked for other kinds of help?
Your answer
BABY BLUES: Did you experience the "baby blues"? If so, what did they feel like and did you do anything to alleviate them? What did it feel like when you started coming out of them and when did it happen? Any words of wisdom for moms going through them?
Your answer
BONDING WITH YOUR BABY: How long did it take you to feel "bonded" with or connected to your baby? What did it feel like at first? And, if bonding took some time for you, what do you think helped make it happen?
Your answer
FORMULA FEEDING: If you formula fed, what was that like for you? Did you feel bonded to your baby while you fed him or her? Do you have any advice for other bottle feeders? Did you find that you were judged for formula feeding? If so, how did you handle it?
Your answer
"DIFFICULT" BABIES: Did you have a fussy/colicky baby? If so, what was that like emotionally? Did you find anything that helped you manage the stress of that time?
Your answer
BREASTFEEDING: If you breastfed, did you have difficulty in the beginning? Did it improve? What helped? How did you feel emotionally about the experience? Did you feel judged for breastfeeding? What would you want other women having a similar experience to know?
Your answer
BREASTFEEDING DIFFICULTIES: If you had difficulties that continued, did you need to or decide to stop? How did you feel emotionally about the experience? What would you want other women having a similar experience to know?
Your answer
SCARY THOUGHTS: Did you ever have thoughts about the baby getting hurt or even about you possibly hurting your baby? What kinds of thoughts did you have and how did they make you feel? Did you react to them?
Your answer
EXERCISE/MOVEMENT: Did you exercise/move your body in the postpartum period? If not, do you wish you had? If yes, what did you do and how did it make you feel?
Your answer
MATERNITY LEAVE: If you had maternity leave, did you do anything to prepare for it that was helpful? Do you wish you had done things differently?
Your answer
NO LEAVE: If you did not or could not take any time off work, how did you manage the transition back to work after delivery? Any advice for other moms in that situation?
Your answer
PPD AND OTHER PMADS: Did you experience postpartum depression, anxiety or another perinatal mood & anxiety disorder such as perinatal OCD or postpartum psychosis? When did you know something wasn’t right? What did it feel like?
Your answer
PPD AND OTHER PMADS: If you experienced a PMAD was it hard to talk to friends and family about it? If you did talk to people, how did you do so? Were they receptive? Did they help you? Any advice for a new mom who might be concerned about sharing how she is feeling?
Your answer
PPD AND OTHER PMADS: If you experienced a PMAD, did you get help for it, if so, how? Who did you go to, what kind of help were you given? Did you find relief? If so, what worked for you? Did you take medication? If you were breastfeeding, how did you handle making the decision about breastfeeding and medication?
Your answer
PPD AND PMADS: What would you want another woman who is experiencing a PMAD to know?
Your answer
PARTNER PPD: Did your partner experience a mood disorder? If so, how did you know? Did you get him or her help? And what helped him or her recover?
Your answer
COMMUNITY AND PPD: If you were open with your community or people in your life, do you feel they were helpful and non judgmental? Or were you not open for fear of judgment? How did you handle talking to other people? Did you not speak up because of concerns of how your community would react? If you did not want to be open in your community or if your community was not helpful, were you still able to get help? If so, how?
Your answer
BREASTFEEDING AND DMER: If you breastfed, did you experience DMER (dysphoric milk ejection reflex) in which you felt profound sadness or upset right before your milk letdown that passed after a few minutes? What was that like and did you do anything to relieve it or cope with it? Did you talk to anyone about it?
Your answer
LABOR AND DELIVERY: How do you feel about how your labor and delivery experience was? Please share any emotions you have around the experience, and, if they were difficult emotions, anything you have done to work through them. Anything you would recommend to other moms?
Your answer
SLEEPING: Um, don’t hit me or laugh so hard you can’t finish this survey, but how was sleeping in the first three to six months postpartum? Any tips you have for other moms to get sleep? Anything you wish you had done differently?
Your answer
SUPPORT: Did you find it hard to ask for (or say yes to) help? Do you feel like you had adequate support in those early months? If so, who/what was the most helpful? What would you recommend to other moms?
Your answer
YOUR RELATIONSHIP: For moms in a romantic relationships, what was your relationship like in the early months of parenthood? Did you struggle? Did you do anything to stay connected and lower stress? Anything you recommend (or DON’T recommend) new parents do to weather the transition as a couple?
Your answer
6-WEEK CHECK UP/SEX "CLEARANCE:" Did you talk about/get “cleared for” sex at your six-week check up? Did other people talk to you about that being a thing? How did you feel about that?
Your answer
SEX: Did you have sex in the early months postpartum? If so, how was it? If not, did you do anything else to stay intimate? Did you and your partner agree on whether or not (or how to be) intimate or was it a source of struggle?
Your answer
CHILDCARE: If you hired someone to help care for your child (either when you returned or for when you were returning to work), how was that process? Did you start it early? Was it hard emotionally? Anything that helped you feel comfortable with the idea of another person/persons taking care of your kids? Did you choose daycare or a sitter? And why?
Your answer
SOLO MOMS: What were those initial months postpartum like for you? How did you get support? What would you recommend other solo moms do? What do you think people don't understand about the transition to parenthood as a solo mom?
Your answer
BODY IMAGE: How did you feel about your body in the weeks and months after giving birth? If you had feelings of discomfort, did anything help you through them? If you felt comfortable in your body as it recovered did anything help you feel that way?
Your answer
FREE QUESTION: Is there anything that you went through in your first months (or even up to a year) postpartum that I did not address, that you would like to share?
Your answer
HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE IDENTIFIED (OR NOT): Let me know whether are willing to be quoted with your name or other identifying information in the book or whether you would like your responses—if used in the book—to be kept anonymous. Ideally, if you are comfortable with it, I'd love to be able to say, "Sarah, Anchorage, Alaska." But, I could also identify you by how many kids you have or your profession, etc. So give me as much info as you are willing to share. ALSO if there is one question for which you would like to be anonymous (maybe the sex or relationship ones? - just a guess), but you are ok having your first name and location put with the others, you can indicate that here. The whole point is for all moms to feel comfortable and that includes you!
Your answer
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