Let's face it. Postpartum Depression or 'PPD' as some may reference it, carries a stigma that makes it difficult to talk about or confess. As a mom with two beautiful children, I never thought that I would get PPD. In my mind, everything was going to turn out ok. I got a good dose of a reality check when I didn't feel as 'happy' as I should have after I had my first child.
It's never a fairy tale ending.
I felt guilty in feeling 'sad' or not as 'happy' with the birth of a healthy baby. I had people surrounding me that loved me. Everything should have been perfect. Except that I didn't feel like myself. I felt like a stranger living someone else's life, as if I was watching a movie of myself.
Being overwhelmed with: my new duties as a mom, in trying to figure out my new baby's routine, how to breastfeed, how to take care of myself, and let alone take care of my home. Added to this were worries on how to get back into my pre-baby bod, which was made more difficult by having diastasis recti (i.e. my abdominal muscles separated and I looked 5 months pregnant for an entire year... ). So much pressure.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
What helped me to get out of this grey cloud? It was keeping my mind busy with non-baby stuff. I was busy enough as it is, but in baby things. During my parental leave, I kept my mind busy in reading, research and in eventually founding luv child inc. Talking to other mothers that had slightly older kids also helped, because they assured me that this was a temporary phase that would soon pass. And I'm happy to say that it did.
I also tried to think about what I was grateful for each day and write it down. It made me look at the positive things in life, put things in perspective, and lift up my spirits.
If you think that you're going through PPD or know a friend that might be, don't be afraid to talk about it. Get yourself busy in non-baby things, and try to be yourself again. Write 3 things each day that you're grateful for in the morning and reflect upon them before you go to bed.
You can say BYE BYE to your baby blues, and YOU WILL! Stay positive, Stay Active and Seek Help if you're struggling. You're not alone.
Do you think that you have PPD?
Try doing the following pre-screening test, and speak to your doctor if you're not feeling yourself:
The Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale (EPDS)
(J.L. Cox, J.M. Holden, R. Sagovsky, Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh)