Having a baby is supposed to be the happiest time in a woman’s life. But what if that feeling just isn’t there? What if you just feel disconnected? Or sad? Or just want to be left alone? Please know….YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
WebMD defines postpartum depression as “a serious illness that can occur in the first few months after childbirth. It can also happen after miscarriage and stillbirth. PPD can make you feel very sad, hopeless and worthless. You may have trouble caring for and bonding with your baby. It is not the “baby blues” which usually go away within a couple of weeks. The symptoms of PPD can last for months.”
I just feel like it is so much more than that. It’s more than just being sad and not connecting with your baby. Yes, it’s an illness but the emotional part of PPD can swallow you whole. It is so hard to see that it is happening when you are in the midst of it. It kind of creeps up on you due to, once again, changing hormones, the pain of having a baby, recovery and just feeling generally overwhelmed and completely exhausted.
Postpartum Progress has a great article on the symptoms of PPD you can read here.
After my second son was born, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I felt sad and disconnected but the hardest for me was the guilt. The guilt because I felt sad and disconnected, like I was letting down my beautiful baby boy and because I wasn’t being the mom I was last week to my first child. It was like a vicious circle. I would go and hold my oldest and cry and say I was sorry I couldn’t put him to bed that night or play with him. Then I would cry because my baby needed me and I just felt like I couldn’t be a good mom. It was really awful. I told my doctor but he brushed it off as nothing or “baby blues” and I would get over it. That made me feel worse or like it was something I shouldn’t talk about.
Recognizing that there may be something wrong is half the battle. Admitting you need help is hard, but it shouldn’t be. Admitting you need help takes courage; it’s not weakness. Mental wellness is something that is so important but looked down on or brushed aside. But why is that? Honestly I do not know the correct answer or understand why. Maybe we are embarrassed. Maybe we feel it’s not really happening because there is no visible “injury” or that “it couldn’t happen to me”. Either way mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. We can’t control who it happens to. I think, as women, we have this feeling that we need to be everything to everyone all the time. I know I do. Taking time for me and my own mental and physical health always seems to get put on the back burner for my family and loved ones. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE giving to my family and the people in my life but sometimes I just need to slow down and be better about taking care of myself, even if it is just to “unplug” and read a book.
One of my closest friends, whom I admire so much, and huge mental health advocate has a great article on Maternal Mental Health (not to mention a great blog) you can read here.
If you feel sad, depressed, lost or just overwhelmed REACH OUT. Don’t brush your feelings aside. THEY MATTER. YOU MATTER. Talk to someone…your OB, your spouse, your friends… you can even call me. <3 <3
There is help out there.
Some additional resources can be found here: