What To Do If You Think You May Have Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a medical condition that affects around 10% of women after childbirth, yet many moms keep silent about their experience.
When we think of motherhood, we think of joy and being excited about our new bundles of joy. Women are reluctant to admit that sometimes the joy isn’t there. Sometimes, instead of celebrating the miracle of birth, we are feeling hopeless and afraid.
It is high time that we stopped the shame and started being honest about postpartum depression.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
If you don’t know what postpartum depression is, then you should read this guide because it will help you understand what it is, and what the symptoms are.
Once you have read that, you may be looking at that list of symptoms and thinking: I have a few of those, and I’m concerned. That’s what we are here to talk about. What do you do once you’ve educated yourself on postpartum depression and you suspect that you might have it?
How Long Have Your Symptoms Lasted?
Many women experience sadness after birth, and it is commonly referred to as the baby blues. Though it has similar symptoms to postpartum depression, they are not the same things.
When you are dealing with postpartum depression, you may have feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, sadness, despair, thoughts of harming yourself or the baby, and/or a few others. These symptoms do not pass on their own. Baby blues go away fairly quickly. If you have been experiencing these symptoms for two weeks or more, it is time for you to head to the professionals.
Talk to Your Doctor
Postpartum depression can only be diagnosed by a doctor.
This is where many mothers begin to feel afraid. Nobody wants to be branded an unfit mother. Some moms are even worried that their child will be taken away from them.
It is very, very important that you get honest with yourself about your fears, and you go seek help. Nobody is an island unto themselves. You are going to need assistance in order to make it through your postpartum depression, and a medical professional has the training required to help you with it.
If you do not take postpartum depression seriously from the beginning, it could become worse.
Reach Out for Support
There’s safety in numbers, and we all need the people we love to come to our aide. When you are struggling with postpartum depression, you are going to need your friends and family’s support.
This is sometimes difficult because mental health is still a highly stigmatized area. You definitely can’t go screaming from the rooftops about your postpartum depression because sometimes people don’t understand. Try not to take it personally. They have been exposed to extreme news stories along with their own prejudices about mental illness, and they don’t know any better.
You already have a pretty good idea of who you can trust. Take those chosen few and talk with them about what you are experiencing and how they can help support you at this time.
Postpartum depression is not an easy illness to come face to face with. Remember, you are not alone.
Seek the help of your doctor and the people who love you. They are going to help you get through this, and onto the joy of motherhood in no time.
Rachel Fink is a blogger at Parenting Podand a mom of 7 kids. She is passionate about spreading awareness for mental health issues such as postpartum depression and ADHD.