You’ve just had a baby. You are tired, stressed, and seriously trying to get the hang of this newborn infant that just came into your life. You can never really know if you have postpartum depression because you are so caught up in your new baby’s life.
In all actuality, postpartum depression can become terrifying and draining and many women suffer from it.
As a mom of two beautiful kids, I have suffered from postpartum depression to the point where I did in fact need medication to manage my depression. The not so funny thing is, with my first pregnancy, postpartum depression was not as prominent as it was in my second pregnancy.
It was actually difficult to notice! Luckily someone did!
When you become a mom you experience so much in just a short time that you get caught up with everything going on around you that you forget to take care of you and notice signs of needing help.
Kind of like wedded bliss but in a totally different way! So you have just found out that you’re pregnant eh!?? YAY!! This is such a wonderful time and you have every right to be ecstatic that your little bundle of joy will be arriving soon.
PINK or BLUE—-PINK or BLUE
Things are changing inside you and people are definitely noticing that yup somethings changing!
Ominous Baby Glow
There are so many fun times during pregnancy! The kicks, the flutters, the eh em… the body changes. You are all too soon blessed with fabulous hair, great skin, and a glow that well, you may as well just tape a headlight above your head cause everyone is noticing it.
Your health is just amazing cause you cut out the important stuff like (wine). You are hopefully eating all the right foods, taking supplements to help your baby grow, and even doing some sort of exercising to stay in shape. Everything is fabulous!
AM I RIGHT??!!!
The Aftermath of Birth
Going through grueling labor seems like the short end of the stick. Hours of pushing until you feel like your head is going to come off. (At least for me). You know, sometimes people get lucky and aren’t in labor for more than 3 hours. SAY WHAT???!! Good grief I would have loved to be one of you!
Then out comes this precious baby that is probably screaming, until the nurse hands him/her over and then… your world melts. ♥♥✮★
The tiniest little feet, the cutest mouth, little tiny legs that are so stinking cute you can’t stand it! Awwww, this bundle of joy. It really is a miracle, isn’t it? I still look at my kids and just think
“WOW, what a little miracle. I can’t even believe we made this little beautiful person.”
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The real reason some women get postpartum depression and others don’t still remains a mystery. As they said in nursing school, there are some things that science/medicine can fix. And for that reason I did not go into psych medicine (but that is another story).
As a new mom and a nurse, I tried hard to wrap my head around what was happening to me. How does it only affect certain people? Is there something truly wrong with me? Why am I crying so damn much? It was literally a jumble of so many questions.
Read more about Post Partum Depression Here.
The Backstory of Having Depression
All of these questions and no answers. To be clear I was put on anti-depression medication when I was 17 for reasons we won’t discuss here. It was like a cycle.
Off of medication, on medication, off, on. You get the idea. At the time I had my second-born child (when the depression was at its worse) I was not any type of medication for safety reasons.
I remember a sequence of events after having had my second child. Mainly because things were much different with my second childbirth than my first. Why is that anyway? Can’t they all just be the same??!!
Let me tell you why… We had just come home from the hospital, I am sitting in our master bedroom staring at our new baby. Admiring everything about our baby that I had just made. Awe he’s so little and precious.
His eyes, his ears, so small and little. And than…I just began to cry. I cried like I had just been hit with something and was in tremendous pain. Tears were just streaming down my face. My husband rushes in and asks “why are you crying?”
Y’all I would cry over TV commercials for no reason. I had no idea what to say. To many thoughts flooding my jumbled brain.
Why had I brought a baby into this hateful world? What if I am not a good mother? How can I raise two kids, go to work, and just make it work? Oh, the questions that I had, and I continued to live like this for months…
The effects of Postpartum Depression
Honestly, I would just cry for no reason at all. I spent my days just downright angry CONTSTANTLY. At nothing. And no one. After three weeks of being home with our new baby, I went back to work. I found it hard to stay home as my husband was working days and wasn’t home either so it was pointless for me to be home.
I didn’t want to be alone. With my kids? Why?
Initially, I found a daycare, and the kids would spend close to 13 hours there while I was at work. I also would pick up overtime every chance I could cause I just didn’t want to deal with the stressors of being a mom.
As a nurse, it is not unusual to work 12-hour shifts three to four days a week.
I would literally fight with my husband for no reason at all. Even over dinner. I kept to myself. I fed the baby and put him down when I would get home. Exhausted as I was I went straight to bed, only to do the same thing over the next day.
There was no family time. And there was a huge disconnect. I loved my family but I couldn’t see that the way I was treating them was hurting them.
As I look back I couldn’t even imagine treating my family the way I did at this point in my life. I had absolutely ZERO clue as to why I was doing it. It just seemed normal to me to be unhappy! What??
The realization hit me when my husband approached me and basically told me “Either you get help with this or we will go down a bad road.” It took a few days for that to sink in and I really actually got angry at him for saying that to me.
Because NOTHING was wrong with me. As a person that had previously been on antidepressants I knew that there had to be something that would help. I hated taking antidepressants because we should be happy without them! Or maybe I was just waiting for it to get better and it never did.
Whatever the case I called the doctor. We needed to have a talk. Because I was about to lose my family.
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When to Get Help
I will be the first to say that after you have a baby, you get so tied up in the cycle of things that you truly forget to take care of yourself. You start to think that what was once normal you can adapt to and maybe snap out of it.
NOT THE CASE
After I started neglecting my family and my relationship with my husband I realized that maybe I needed help. I was literally drained from crying and perpetuating negative thoughts and feelings that I needed to do something.
Explaining everything to my doctor, I got back on my antidepressants. After about two weeks I was beginning to be my happy cheerful self and was loving life and life with our new baby. I began exercising again and taking care of myself. Life became normal for us and that is what needed to happen.
Signs to Watch For
Now I am not saying that everyone needs an antidepressant following pregnancy. Nor am I saying that postpartum depression will happen to you because you had a baby. I am saying that you should be aware of the signs of depression because it so very often does happen to a lot of women. Here are a few signs to look out for:
- Crying a lot more than usual
- Stop putting your family first
- Sleeping a lot more than you should
- Can’t sleep at all
- Stop caring about the well-being of your family
- You stop doing the things that you love
- You just don’t feel like yourself anymore
Postpartum depression is a real thing. Often times women don’t understand what is going on with them and they portray it as normal. I can assure you that this is NOT normal. We are meant to be healthy and happy human beings.
When you push aside how you feel and adapt to this change, this is when people get hurt.
It is OK to get help.
Of course, I would never dream of hurting my family, but when you are in a state of depression, feelings do get hurt, relationships suffer. Lucky for me I have a wonderful husband that insisted that something was wrong with me. I got help!
Was it easy to recognize my symptoms? Yes and no. As a person that has struggled off and on with depression, I did notice a few symptoms. But I was reluctant to give into them and didn’t think anything was wrong with, that it would cure itself.
As a working mom I had other things to focus on like my job so it was little changes that I made in my daily life as well that helped me through.
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Treatments for Postpartum Depression
As a nurse, I have to tell you that there are many treatments for depression. The first one is realizing that there is a problem. Girl, you know your body better than anyone. If something is off fix it!
Go to your primary care doctor, ask a friend to take you. Whatever the case ASK FOR HELP!! Find someone that you trust to talk to. It doesn’t have to be a spouse it can be anyone. Take care of yourself!
Read more about Stress Relief here!
- Take time out
- Go for a walk
- Get fresh air
- Have someone you trust come watch the baby for a while
- Get a hobby
- Take a bubble bath with essential oils
- Write down your thoughts
- Get seen by a professional
- Talk to someone
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As a mom we give our all to protect our families, be there for them and give them everything they need. No, all people will experience postpartum depression. Some women may have it after their second or third baby or not at all. But to those women that may suffer from it, there is help.
Do not think that you are alone. There are programs and resources out there to help you. There are numerous postpartum internet resources you can find. But I believe the best ones are the ones that will answer when you call. Reach out to them.
RESOURCES: Click here for more resources.
Contact your doctor if you feel you may have postpartum depression. Keep your loved ones close they are usually the ones that can identify that there is a problem before you may even realize. Reach out! Have you struggled with postpartum depression?
I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment on what helped you with your depression!