Let's talk about Postpartum Depression
Posted By: Lauren Hale
Lauren is a survivor of Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression. In between her two episodes, she also battled ante-partum depression.
Motherhood is often sold to us in packages tied neatly in a bow. Glowing new moms snuggling perfect babies as they rock them in a perfectly neat nursery. In reality, most of us have not showered in days, forgotten how to fold laundry, and wonder if we will ever sleep again.
Up to 80% of new moms struggle with baby blues. 20% of new moms struggle with a Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorder or ante-partum depression as well. Reaching out for help can be frightening. You don’t know if it’s normal, if you’ll be judged, or if you’re alone in how you are feeling.
If signs and symptoms of Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder begin to interfere with daily life or you start to feel suicidal, it is imperative you reach out for help. Many mothers begin with their doctors or midwives and may be referred to a therapist or a psychiatrist if necessary. Pediatricians are also screening for Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders too. If you’re breastfeeding, involve a Lactation Consultant in your team as well.
Keep in mind too, simply because a mom is pulled together on the outside doesn’t mean she’s pulled together on the inside. Take the time to talk to a new mom and ask how she’s doing instead of how baby is doing. Don’t forget dad or mom’s partner too.
Building a new family is hard work even without a Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder thrown in for good measure. Go easy on yourself, don’t expect perfection, and focus on the little things. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. We may be mothers, but we are still only human.
There is hope, there is help, and you are not alone.
Resources for Moms and Families:9:00am on Monday April 9