Postpartum Depression (PPD)
The Elephant in the room. The thing that no one really talks about. The thing that no one really tells you about or prepares you for. The thing that some people really believe "isn't real." The thing that we try to brush off and tell ourselves "we'll be okay."
Mamas, this is real, this is more common then you think and this CAN be treated. Around 10-20% of new moms will experience PPD, you are not alone. A lot of the common symptoms of PPD are, feeling restless or irritable, sad and crying a lot, feeling overly worried about baby or not connected to baby at all, having little to no energy, headaches and trouble sleeping, having little to no interest in things that you once loved and enjoyed, not wanting to eat or lack of appetite, feeling worthless or guilty, and fearing that you may hurt yourself or your baby.
None of these things mean that you don't love your baby. We KNOW you do! None of these things mean that you are a bad mom, we KNOW you aren't! These are just things that come along with PPD that we need to help moms with. We need to support mamas, take care of them, help them, talk with them, check in on them. We need to tell moms that it IS okay to not be okay. It IS okay to seek help during these times. PPD can be treated much like any other type of depression. Seeing a counselor is OKAY!, "talk therapy" is a great option. You can also talk with your doctor or counselor about getting on a medication treatment that works for you. There are many different medication options out there and you are your provider can work together to find what will help you the best.
Please know that there is nothing that you did or didn't do to cause PPD. This is a chemical imbalance in the brain and can be brought on by the huge levels of hormone drop after birth, along with sleep deprivation and exhaustion.
If you feel that you are experiencing PPD please see your provider for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Please don't wait and think that it will go away, PPD can last for months or years if left untreated. Family and friends if you are recognizing these symptoms in your loved ones please do not brush it off or tell her "it'll get better", "this too shall pass", "take a walk". "get some fresh air". Talk to her about talking with her care provider to get the help she needs. Support from loved ones is so crucial during this time, do not dismiss her feelings or concerns.
*If you are having feelings of harming yourself and don't know who to turn to, please call the toll-free 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889). So many people care about you, love you and would miss you. You are loved, you are wanted and you are needed.*