The transition to motherhood can be a physically and emotionally trying time.
Many women acknowledge the way their physical bodies need to heal, but don't take as much consideration about their emotional health.
Bringing home a new baby can be stressful for any mother and it's normal to feel a little overwhelmed.
Sometimes this stress takes a darker turn and manifests into Postpartum Depression, a serious mental illness that is as misunderstood as it is common.
What is normal?
It's normal to feel as if you want to give up, there's only so much crying you can endure. It's our nature to feel frustrated when you don't know the answers and a newborn can't communicate what they need from you or what they want because they don't know either.
When your feelings of hopelessness, anger or sadness take control and start to keep you from thing you enjoy or bonding with your baby, you might be experiencing something a little more serious than the "baby blues."
It's normal to feel the symptoms of exhaustion as you adjust to days of less sleep and more responsibility. If soothing your baby and playing with them keeps these feelings at bay, you might just be experiencing some anxiety from the stress of bringing home baby.
Postpartum mood disorders come in many forms, medical opinion is the only sure way to know what you're up against.
When should I be worried that it's something more serious?
Assurance often helps whisk these negative feelings away, sometimes you just need a helping hand and someone to listen to you, validate your feelings, and encourage you.
If nothing can shake feelings of regret, hopelessness, or even thoughts of harming yourself, you might be headed to a bad place. Postpartum Depression affects mothers differently and it can be difficult to pinpoint your symptoms without medical supervision and advice.
You know your body.
If you aren't feeling like yourself, reach out to the resources waiting in the wings to help you through it. Postpartum Depression is serious and help is available so you can get back to relaxing and enjoying life as a new mom.
How can I get help?
Don't hesitate to reach out, there are plenty of resources you can trust to treat your PPD.
Postpartum Progress is an amazing resource for postpartum moms and especially those suffering from postpartum mood disorders. Here you can find blogs, links and a community support system to help you through the days ahead. Find information that you can trust without having to leave the comforts of home or search for mental health physicians in your area.
In Asheville, we have fantastic resources for postpartum mental health. Porch Light Counseling has wonderful therapists that specialize in perinatal mood disorders. Finding avenues to focus on your emotional wellness is important, but finding a care provider in your community that you can trust is absolutely essential.
You are not alone. Nearly one million mothers experience postpartum depression every year.
This is a struggle that doesn't discriminate. It can affect any mother and can manifest itself in many different ways (depression, anxiety, OCD, and even rage...).
The more aware we are as a society, the more we can help families affected by Postpartum Depression. No one should ever feel like there's no way out.
You may have seen a story circulating recently about a mother who took her own life after silently suffering from Postpartum Depression. Her family is now working to share her tragic story, hoping awareness will help other mothers break the silence and seek support that could save their life.
How can doulas help?
We are there to support your whole family so you can focus on healing, relaxing and eliminate the stress of doing this all alone.
We support the way you choose to parent. Our philosophy encourages every parent and the choices they make for their family, Doulas of Asheville are completely judgement-free.
Shed light on the darkness of Postpartum Depression.
Don't wait, help is always nearby.