Postpartum depression is real. So real in fact it affects nearly 10-20% of new mothers. If you are experiencing these feelings, Soul Song Counseling is here for you.
You are not alone. Here are two relatable stories from real women who have suffered from postpartum and how they used their journeys on the road to recovery. ** names have been changed
“The day after Vivian was born, I developed severe anxiety. I started to worry that I wouldn’t hear her if she needed me. I tried to sleep with my hearing aids in, but I woke to every sound and got very little rest. The lack of sleep only magnified my anxiety.
I became very sad at the hospital. Again, I had difficulty breastfeeding, which made me feel like less of a woman and an unworthy mother. I was unable to feed my child. I felt overwhelmed and helpless.
When we brought Vivian home, the stress got worse. I quit taking care of myself. I didn’t feel worthy – in my mind, taking care of myself meant taking time away from Vivian. I wasn’t eating or drinking enough water, which meant my body wasn’t making breastmilk. I fretted about Vivian’s nutrition. I was crying more than I wasn’t.
At the end of our second week home, my husband called my obstetrician, and described my symptoms. She wrote me a prescription for an antidepressant and directed me to start taking it that day.As soon as I started taking the medicine, I began to feel better. Dr. Santiago-Munoz confirmed that I had postpartum depression during my next appointment. She also assured me that I would be fine.
I took the medication for a year and I was able to find joy in life and take care of myself and my kids again. I felt so out of control with the postpartum depression, but the medication really helped me feel like myself again.
Postpartum depression is not something you just “snap out of” or deal with. It is a real problem with serious consequences if you don’t get the help you need. You are not a failure, you are not unworthy. Get the help you need – it’s the best way to care for your baby, your partner, and yourself.”
Sarah expressed that her postpartum experience “enhanced” her life and taught her how to enjoy her children and their company.
“Janet is a 32-year-old fit, vibrant lawyer. She had been married for more than two years and was expecting her first child, a baby boy. She had a history of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
She had been doing well with a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for many years. Janet had decided that she wanted to be off medication and worked with her psychiatrist. She gave birth to a baby boy. After the delivery, she started to feel sad, overwhelmed and consistently tearful. She frequently felt irritable and on edge. This feeling persisted for the first 10 weeks after the baby was born.
Janet felt utterly incapable of soothing her baby and would get frustrated and tearful. She felt that it was a constant race against the clock—with nursing, pumping and changing. Her husband tried to be supportive, but also felt overwhelmed by it all. He felt she was inconsolable and they both felt at a loss.
They went to see Janet’s psychiatrist as a couple and to get advice regarding her current mental state. They talked about a variety of tools, including CBT, incorporating 15-20 minutes of daily relaxation, mindfulness skills, hiring help, getting her mom to stay with her for a few weeks and other support.
Janet and her husband shared with her psychiatrist that they were feeling significantly better. They were excited to share that they found a series of self-help parenting books to be particularly helpful and had gotten some helpful tips from others in the mom’s group.”
These two stories shared by two real women highlight how postpartum affects mothers, no matter their history.
It also highlights multiple ways you can learn to cope with postpartum and how to start your journey down the path to healing! For more advice, tips, or information on how to heal or where to start, schedule a consultation today.