It is not uncommon for moms of babies to have Post Partum Depression. In fact, I’ve read some studies that state all mothers get PPD at some point in the first year of giving birth.
Yet, for so many of us we feel alone in our depression. We think that somehow it makes us bad moms to be sad or even upset at certain aspect of motherhood with our gorgeous new babies. We worry that the Dr might call CPS on us if we show anything less than a perfect view of ourselves at that 6 week appointment. So we are silent. We don’t reach out. We don’t get the help we need.
I suffered with PPD silently for a long time, not realizing it was okay to reach out. Now that those hard first months are over, I want to be sure other moms are given the chance to reach out for the help they need. To know that Post Partum Depression is a normal, and okay part of motherhood, and something that doesn’t have to be faced alone.
I asked on my Facebook Page for other moms to give words of advice to those who might be in the thick of PPD and I was overwhelmed by the responses. So many women from all different walks of life, willing to share and grant hope to those facing a difficult time right now.
If this is you, please call your OB/GYN. Talk to your spouse about it, reach out to another mom. You don’t have to do this alone. You are an awesome mom. Depression and all!
Enough from me, here are some beautiful words from DOZENS of moms who have walked the road of PPD and want to help you feel loved and realize what an amazing mama you are. Please remember – None of these words are written by doctors or psychiatrists, mine included. We are not medical professionals and I definitely recommend you talking to a medical professional if you feel you may be suffering from PPD or any other sort of depression. I hope these stories help you on your way to healing and encourage your heart today, but they should not be taken as medical advice in any way. (hugs)
Moosey says – “For me, both times, I prayed and exercised like mad. Know that it is okay to cry and keep focusing on one goal at a time. I am 7 months PP and I still get spurts of depression. Just know that you are not alone!”
Ashley shared – “I had it, but never got the needed help. I was a first time mom with a child who was born with severe heart defects. I thought my feelings were normal based on that, and truthfully, never even considered ppd. I believe everyone should be tested – beyond the simple questions the pediatrician asked at one of his appointments that I lied about, because I was embarrassed.”
“I have it and I was so ashamed of the stigma. I didn’t want people to look at me with concern over whether or not I would harm my children. That seemed to be the only cases of PPD that ever got any publicity. I worked long and hard and still struggle with it. The best thing I ever did though was tell people with a wonderful sense of humor. I’m breaking down the stigma of PPD by telling people about my own personal struggle with it and you should be applauded for talking about it as well.” – Tanis
Kathryn says “I think more people need to know that not only is there PPD there is also post-partum anxiety. I had severe anxiety afterwards and no one told me or checked on me (doctors). I think it’s something that needs to be talked about more along with PPD.”
“It real. There is help. Get the help! The only thing I regret is not getting help sooner. It’s like a fog has lifted.” -Heather
“I had it with my first two. It’s important to realize that it manifests itself in different ways. With my first I was super sad and emotional all the time. With my second I was super anxious all the time. It was helpful to have someone to talk to. – Candy
Amanda shared her story – “Knowing that it can strike later in the first year would have been helpful for me. I knew I was struggling in the first 10-12 weeks post partum, but then we got settled into a routine and the fog lifted and I started feeling more like myself (albeit a very tired version of myself). Around 6.5 months postpartum my endocrinologist adjusted my thyroid hormone down closer to my pre-pregnancy level and that teamed with going back to work for 25 hours a week sent me off a CLIFF. It was a downward spiral like I’ve never experienced before and it was very hard to acknowledge it as PPD because I felt like that window had already closed and I shouldn’t be dealing with ‘that’ anymore. I eventually was able to right the ship (found a new doctor who listened and changed my thyroid med formulation, which turned things around in 2 weeks). I learned that big changes in routine, medication (even though neither of then ‘looked’ big to my pre-pregnancy self) can make a big difference and if you aren’t feeling ‘right’ then you probably aren’t…and it’s ok to reach out and find help.”
It’s nothing you did or didn’t do. It’s not your fault. Your baby needs a healthy and happy momma and by taking care of yourself you are taking care of your baby.” – Nicole
“I had it and the most important thing I can offer is hope. I just wanted someone to tell me I would feel like myself again and I just want to tell other women that you will feel like you again and that the rain does stop.” – Kathy
“Other moms need to know it’s ok to lose it once in a while, the people around you love you and understand it’s hard.” – Elaine
“If baby was sick or hurt, would you seek care? Do the same for you!” – Nicole
“My best advice is find someone who you can trust like a parent or spouse or friend and talk to them about your feelings. There is also hotline numbers you can call and talk to someone without giving personal information.” – Michelle
“Get help! If you’re sad for longer than you think you should be, PLEASE talk to a therapist or psychiatrist. I had it with 3 out of my 4 babies and medication and therapy were the best investments I ever made.” – Melanie
“You are not alone!” – Ashlee
Ashlee says – “I want you to know that you are not alone!!!! I had it and the depression started during the pregnancy but was then diagnosed as PPD as soon as she was born. I struggled for almost two years after she was born. The darkest time was right before it got better.
“I want other moms to know that Post Partum Depression and Anxiety can actually start before you deliver and that seeking help via medication and/or talk therapy is okay. It doesn’t make you a bad mom.” – Mackenzie
“Post Partum Depressions doesn’t make you a bad mom” – Mackenzie
“If you see your friend struggling, ask her. And ask her again. And ask her again. Be gentle and loving and persistent. I had 1 friend whose response was “are you sure it’s not just harder with 2?” and another who gently encouraged me to see my OB to have my hormones checked about every 3 weeks for almost 5 months before I finally went. I’m so thankful she really saw me and gently and lovingly and consistently encouraged me. I needed her and I didn’t know it.” – Sarah
Vanessa shares – “A girlfriend brought it to my attention (that I may be suffering from PPD) around my first Mothers Day which was 5 months postpartum. One thing I wish I understood is how important it is to accept help. You don’t have to do it ALL by yourself and trying may cause you and your family more damage in the long run.”
“I had it with my second pregnancy and refused to acknowledge the problem even though I knew it was there. I finally did and got help. You are not alone!” – Katie
Jolene says – “I had it with both my kids. My advice is don’t allow denial to rule you and accept any help offered and don’t be afraid to ask for help!”
“Please mommies, if anything feels different to you, talk to your doctor. And don’t be scared to tell anyone. I let it go for a couple of weeks and they were the two scariest weeks! Get help and get on medicine if you need to. It’s ok!” – Jenny
Did you have post partum depression? Add your words of encouragement in the comments and we just might make a part two! I think this will go a long way in encouraging other moms. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! And you are an awesome mama!