One of the things I love about the Lamaze book, Giving Birth with Confidence, is the collection of real-life stories and comments from people who have experienced pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenthood. When you know that you share some of the same thoughts and feelings as others, you feel less alone. Feeling less alone when you're having a difficult time can help ease those feelings of difficulty. Today, I share with you a section in the book on what others have said of their experience with postpartum depression. For the best resources on postpartum issues -- and to find real help -- visit Postpartum.net.
(The following was excerpted from Giving Birth with Confidence, 3rd Edition, by Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, FAAN, and Charlotte DeVries)
Mothers Speak Out: What Postpartum Depression Feels Like
- I felt overwhelmed by guilt because I wasn't happy. How could I be so sad and ungrateful with such a healthy, beautiful baby?
- Everything felt hopeless. I simply was not the mother that I had hoped to be for my baby.
- I should not be crying every day -- but I am.
- Becoming a mother is a wonderful, amazing gift. It was terribly embarrassing for me to not feel so wonderful after having my baby.
- Expectations for being a new fabulous mom are high. I felt like I failed immediately and had to just keep it a secret.
- No one wants to admit that they have postpartum depression. I didn't. How could I actually say out loud the dark thoughts that were going on in my head about my baby, my partner, my life?
Mothers Speak Out: What Helps
- Finding out that how I was feeling -- that postpartum depression... was normal.
- My husband helped to point out that the signs of depression even though acknowledging it made me feel like a bad mom.
- I'm not sure. Other women empathized with me but no one ever really called it postpartum depression.
- Eventually, I sought help through counseling, but I think that I waited six months too long by trying to manage it on my own. My marriage suffered because of it.