After my last daughter, Addilyn, was born I really struggled with emotions for a few months. Maybe it was a bit of postpartum depression because I fell under some of the symptoms, but what is true postpartum depression (PPD)?
PPD effects 10% to 15% of women, but a lot don’t end up getting help for it. There is such a stigma on “mental illness” that women feel shame in asking for help or sometimes don’t even realize what they are feeling is not “normal”. PPD is more severe than the typical “baby blues” that most women experience after birth. PPD lasts much longer and usually needs some kind of treatment to get over. Sometimes it affects how the mother functions and she can’t go about her normal daily routine. If left untreated, it can really effect the whole family.
In my own experience I simply felt angry a lot. I felt like I was always taking my anger out on my husband and my other children and I only wanted to focus on myself and Addilyn. I didn’t feel connected to my other children or my husband and I withdrew from my friends. It was kind of like I went into my own little world of me and Addilyn and I didn’t care about anything else. The littlest incident could make me snap into an angry mom/wife, but all the while I didn’t really even realize how I was acting and how much I had withdrawn myself from my friends and family. My husband tried to help and point out that there was something wrong, but I would just get defensive and angry at him for saying so. Finally, my parents came to visit, I had a great talk with my mom, and somehow my eyes became open to “something is not right” and that I needed to get some help. I had been seeing a wonderful therapist, Jann Jennelle at Guided Motion, all throughout pregnancy that does bodywork, talk therapy, massage, and Myofascial Release. I had used her to get my body aligned for ideal birthing since we were planning a home birth. We became very close and she also became a confidant to me throughout pregnancy and helped me through some personal issues as well. After Addilyn’s birth and when I finally realized I needed some help, I went to Jann for some talk therapy and Myofascial Release work. Thankfully, I was able to resolve all of my issues and become “myself” again. I began to feel happy again and reconnected to my family and friends.
Looking back, I never imagined something like that would happen to me. After birth is supposed to be a wonderful, happy time bonding with your new baby and becoming a new family. However, having PPD isn’t a sign of weakness or an inability to control your emotions. Reaching out for help doesn’t mean that you can’t control your own self; it’s a very needed factor to the healing process and creating a great family bond with your new baby. Before resorting to medicine, though, I would highly suggest seeking help from a therapist like Jann who does Myofascial Release. She looks at the body as a whole and believes that physical and emotional trauma can be held in the body, but can be released with bodywork. She can really work with you emotionally and physically to get you back on the right track and feeling like yourself again.
Here are some of the signs of PPD:
- Feeling sad, guilty, irritable, or angry
- Having trouble concentrating
- Feeling disconnected from or not interested in your new baby
- Having thoughts of hopelessness
Did you experience baby blues or even postpartum depression after the birth of your baby?