We need more women willing to say,
“I’ve been there and I’m here.
You can always talk to me.
Talk to me without judgement.”
Why is there a stigma about talking about postpartum depression?
Is it because:
- women don’t want to be judged;
- women don’t want to be stereotyped;
- women don’t want to be viewed as weak;
- women don’t want their friends/family to know what’s going on; &/or
- women don’t want to seem like they are an unfit mother
It’s tough to talk. It’s tough to seem like your holding life together in front of family and friends, when maybe you are struggling to keep it together. Lets end that stigma. It takes one person to start a conversation and that’s what I am here doing today!
What exactly is postpartum depression (PPD)? According to WebMD, postpartum depression is the type of depression that you may get after childbirth (duh!). It can start anytime in motherhood but usually it starts three or four weeks after giving birth. You may feel sad or helpless and you may not want to take care of your baby. An imbalance of hormones may cause postpartum depression or a history of depression.
But what are some signs and symptoms of PPD? How do these differ from when you are just having a bad day?
- You may be crying a lot for no real reason
- You may be sleeping too much or not at all
- You may have lost interest in food, activities and/or even your newborn baby
- You may be sad most of the time or have a feeling of hopelessness/helplessness
If these symptoms stick around and most of them become a day to day occurrence, chances are that you are not just having a bad day. At this point you could very well have PPD and it is important to address it and get the help that you need.
So why not share with family and friends what you are going through? Some of these points are listed below.
- Most women are in denial. They may just think that they are having a bad day
- Women don’t think it’s as bad as it actually is
- Women just think that it is normal for motherhood. There is so many other areas in life to focus on now with a new baby
- Women don’t want to be considered dangerous or a harm to others
- And many, many more…
Believe that their is help if you are suffering from PPD. It may take a while to admit to yourself that you need that extra help, but it is always there. Just by talking with friends and family members, chances are that someone you know went through similar feelings. They may be able to share stories and support you by communication or helping do a chore around the house. You can book an appointment with your family doctor and they may prescribe medication for you and follow up with you. Exercise, meditation, and yoga are also great ways to relax and could help lesser postpartum depression. Counseling is also a great option. There are counselors who specialize in PPD and have the tools to help you. I personally don’t have postpartum depression, but I dealt with a lot before giving birth and counseling and EMDR therapy helped (past blog post if you want to check it out!) me so much. I know what it is like to be in denial but finally realizing when I needed help.
Were you diagnosed with postpartum depression? I would love to hear you story if you want to reach out!