I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the “We are the Face of Motherhood: A Series on Postpartum Depression” campaign.
Please consider buying a PPD Awareness t-shirt, all proceeds go to help mothers in need.
One of the most important things when it comes to PPD is being able to recognize the warning signs and how to handle those. I would love to list out all of the signs and give a definitive list on what to do.
However, one of the hardest things about PPD is that it is different for every mama.
That is one reason this campaign is so important. It will give you the opportunity to hear real life stories of mamas and their experiences with PPD/PPA.
Rather than making a list, I have a great video that can help. This is an EXCELLENT resource as it is put out by an OBGYN where I used to work. The video includes information on what PPD/PPA is, the symptoms of PPD/PPA, the 3 treatments of PPD/PPA, and the role of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your body.
As a heads up, it is 25 minutes long. But it is SO worth watching! She talks about the things I mentioned for the first 15 minutes, and answers questions the last 10 minutes.
(If the video doesn’t work, you can find it on this site.)
Something I love from this video is when she states:
“About 20% of women have postpartum depression. In any other form or any other place in the world, something that happens to 20% of people is going to be considered normal.
So just know it is so, so common and so normal at 20%. Don’t feel like it’s anything bad, your hormones have been thrown off and it is just something that needs to be treated.”
A couple of other great resources I can offer…
First, a great article that explains the symptoms perfectly can be found at this website. Postpartum Progress is INCREDIBLE! It not only has articles about PPD and anxiety, but it has women who actually tell their story. By reading these stories on the website, it gives you someone to relate to and help you realize that you are not alone.
Second, here is a blog post about The 5 Stages of Postpartum Depression. This helps to outline what is happening stage by stage of PPD and can put feelings into words for mamas that are struggling. You can eventually reach the last stage, acceptance.
“Coming to accept PPD could just mean that you have more good days than bad days. It does not mean that it will go away because you have accepted it. It does mean that you have found room in your heart to learn how to cope it.”
Later this month I will share my story with you. For now, please remember that “Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing… it’s a flaw in brain chemistry” (And I Will Make Thee Whole: Helping Families with Mental Health Concerns, page 6).
Depression and anxiety are liars! They tell you every single minute of every single day that you will never be good enough; that you don’t deserve to even be a mother; that you deserve to have PPD because you are weak. This is one of Satan’s greatest tools and I finally understand why. If Satan can attack the very core of your soul and tell you that you aren’t good enough, it affects everything you do as a mother.
You have done nothing wrong to deserve having PPD/PPA. You are not a bad mama. You are the exact mama that your babies need. Never forget that.
You are more than what your thoughts say you are. You can do this.
Think you or someone you know may be struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder? Please contact your health provider including your OBGYN or family doctor.
Need more information? Visit Postpartum Support International for great information on maternal mental health and more.
If you fear you or someone you love may be contemplating suicide or facing a mental health emergency, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline and get to your nearest emergency room.