So you were finally able to give birth to your beautiful bundle(s) of joy, and have probably started taking selfies of you and baby posting pictures on social media so everyone knows that baby has arrived. But behind closed doors you may be feeling sad or overwhelmed, due to the stress of your new baby or some unexpected challenges. It is normal to experience postpartum blues or “baby blues”. In fact 80% of moms experience this, and it is due to the stress and changes in your hormone levels, these changes actually are responsible for chemical changes in our brain that affect our mood and how we feel. As a result, you may sometimes find yourself crying for no reason or even feeling anxious. But these feelings you are feeling should typically subside at around six weeks or so, which will be around the same time you will be seeing your doctor. Make sure that you are open and honest about how you are feeling, keep it real with your doctor so that he or she can help you and be able to determine whether or not something more serious is happening with you mentally.
This something serious is known as postpartum depression and does not necessarily happen initially. You could have the “baby blues” initially for six weeks and be fine after that time period has passed. But then, three to six months down the road you could find yourself not liking things you once liked, isolating yourself from friends and family, having obsessive compulsive tendencies, panic attacks, etc. You may often times here stories on the news about women who drown their kids or shake their children to death, most of these women have postpartum depression and just never sought out the help or were probably in denial and as a result they caused harm to their children. Don’t be that mom! recognize the signs and the changes you are noticing within yourself and get the help you need.
Here is what people with Postpartum Depression Experience
- Marital Problems
- Financial Problems
- New Changes (e.g. new job, moving to new location, etc.)
- History of depression and or anxiety
Postpartum depression is something that is not new to me at all, I experienced it with my first child. When I was pregnant like any other first time mom, I turned to YouTube videos for guidance and I saw a few videos on the topic but never thought it could happen to me. I really overlooked, the fact that I had most of the risk factors listed at that time in my life. My mom was pretty much dying at the time she was really sick, my husband and I would always have these little disagreements, etc. Lastly, I had a history of depression, and after my mom passed away I developed severe anxiety. So, I would have to say looking back at things I was definitely at risk. It was tough, coming to terms with the fact that I had PPD, I was in denial, but I soon realized the impact that all of this was having on my relationship. I decided to seek out therapy, and opted for in-home therapy because I was afraid of bumping into someone I knew and also because it was convenient. It was the best thing that I could have done for my family at the time because it helped me to come to terms with my mother’s death and to process some of the emotions I was feeling as a new mother.
Currently, at about almost five months postpartum my second baby, I find myself feeling restless, hopeless, anxious,depressed, and also having panic attacks. I was in denial about my feelings yet again but realized that I needed to get help when it all started to effect my everyday life. I know that what I am experiencing is postpartum depression and anxiety, I feel like I will be able to get through it because I was able to recognize the changes within myself and have put a system in place to help me. Also, I will be meeting with a therapist, it has been hard finding one that goes well with my schedule but I was able to find one. I am excited about, the positive changes that will come out of all of this and encourage anyone suffering from PPD to get the help they need and I will continue to say it so that it sinks in.
I found this really awesome quiz that you can take to find out if you are at risk for postpartum depression or anxiety.
REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE MOM GET THE HELP YOU NEED SPEAK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY DO NOT OVERLOOK YOUR FEELINGS.