Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, typically after childbirth.Postpartum depression occurs in women after they have carried a child. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counseling.
After I had the girls I didn’t have any symptoms of depression. Sleep deprived – oh heck yes – but not in the “dumps”. Then month 3 came along and it just hit me. I contribute some of it to the depo shot that I had 2 months post baby, but I knew it was more than just that. It wasn’t like I was so depressed that I couldn’t get out of bed, or that I had thoughts of harming myself or my family members. None of that. It was almost like a quiet little hum in the back of my head. So hard to explain but here are some of the symptoms I had:
- I had just a general feeling of “blah”.
- I often felt like i wasn’t being/doing enough.
- I felt inadequate as a mother & wife, always failing.
- I never felt true joy, yes I’d have happy moments, but not pure joy.
- My self esteem was in the toilet, being over critical of my post-pregnancy body & being disgusted with myself.
- Never wanting to get out of the house.
- I would end up in tears bc my husband wouldn’t tell me I looked nice when I tried to look pretty that day.
When I finally realized what it was, I knew I had to do something about it.
First, I told Jesse that I thought I was kinda depressed. I told him that I did have happy moments and I wasn’t in a huge black hole, but I knew that I just didn’t feel right. Telling him was a huge relief because I could have his support.
Next, I got back into reading the Word. I had been so good over the summer & I just hadn’t done it in a LONG time. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out of this without His help. Goodness has this made a massive difference. I have been able to give so much of this to Him when I just couldn’t do it on my own. Funny that this is something I ‘know’ yet didn’t put into play. I am so very glad I have Him to rely on.
I also started taking Vitamin D, B6 & magnesium/zinc/calcium supplements. Here in the UK we don’t get much sun in these dark winter nights and it really takes a toll on your body. This has seemed to help a lot of that. Along with the vitamins I’ve started working out on a regular basis. Getting my body moving and getting those endorphins moving through my body is like a magic happy pill. What better way to start feeling better about myself than doing something about it!!!
After all these steps I still find myself having some depression, but it’s nothing like it was a month ago. I didn’t have it as bad as some of my dear friends have had it. So many of the stories I read were SO similar to mine – crying all the time, flying off the handle – and just thinking this is what happens when your hormones are ‘getting back to normal’. I SO wish there was more information out there for new Moms, or shoot Moms in general! I didn’t experience this with Lucas at all (but i did with Cohen). It can creep up on you a year after you’ve had your little one! A whole YEAR!
I guess my biggest point of this post is that –
It is OKAY if you have these feelings!
You are STILL a good Mom!
Ask for help if you are overwhelmed!!
and most importantly –
DON’T BE ASHAMED OF IT!!!!
I can’t reiterate that last one enough – I felt so silly / stupid, as if I wasn’t ‘enough’ when I realized that it was some depression & THAT my friends is just the farthest from the truth! All that thinking does is put you down even further….and we don’t need any of that. If you have it to the point that exercise, vitamins or prayers aren’t working – call your doctor! They have stuff that can help you. Seriously!
Have any of you experienced PPD?
What did you do to help it?
What would you tell a new Mom that is experiencing PPD for the first time?