Guest Authored by: The fabulous Sara Skiles of Wichita Doula
It's a cruel twist of irony that during what should be one of the happiest times of your life, you only feel like crying or leaving and never coming back.
Postpartum depression is said to affect 20% of new mothers.
In other words...a lot of moms are suffering. I was one of them. Why isn't it talked about more?
Here are 5 things I know about postpartum depression:
5. It's probably more than 20%.
I know, from personal experience, and from talking to many other moms, that we just plain didn't tell anyone about it. Not our doctors or midwives, not our support systems. If I, being educated in all things postpartum, was too scared and ashamed to admit what I was going through, how many others must be suffering in silence?
4. Depression lies.
It tells you you're not a good enough mom. It tells you everyone would be better off without you. It tells you this is how your life is going to be forever. It tells you not to bother reaching out because there is no help. It's a liar. Don't listen to it.
3. Depression doesn't care who you are.
Postpartum depression doesn't care where you live. It doesn't care how much money you make. It doesn't care how nice your house is or how many friends you have. It doesn't even care if you're generally an upbeat, healthy, happy person. Although lack of support, previous trauma, and unsafe living situations are definitely factors that increase the risk of suffering from postpartum depression, it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
2. It's not your fault.
Thinking that somehow your postpartum depression must be your fault is one of those nasty lies that this condition tells you. It is something that happens in your body with all of the changes that come with having a child. Nobody chooses to suffer from depression. If anyone suggests that you just “get over it”, you can tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.
1.There is help for you.
Reach out. It is so scary. But you can do it. There are support groups, therapists, websites, hotlines, and more. www.postpartumprogress.net is a great resource to help you find what you need. Reach out to your postpartum doula as a source of referrals. You can beat this. You owe it to yourself and you deserve to be happy and healthy, ready to wake up each morning and face the day.
Jessica Anne Dill