Last week, I was saddened to read about Florence Leung, a new mother from BC who had been showing signs of anxiety since giving birth to her first child two-and-a-half months ago and had been seeking treatment for depression. Unfortunately, Florence lost her battle. While reading Florence’s story, I just kept thinking: it could have been me. If it wasn’t for the help that I received, and the support of my family and friends, it could have been me. It could have been any one of us.
The most ironic thing about being part of the Bad Moms Canada team is that I legit felt like a bad mom shortly after my daughter was born. Like, the worst mom ever. I never thought that one day I’d be back to feeling great, and able to help others through sharing my experience.
I wanted to shine the spotlight on this very important topic. There is so much information online, and it can be overwhelming to navigate. One of the very best websites that helped me, and continues to help me is Postpartum Progress: http://www.postpartumprogress.com. It’s incredibly helpful, and written in a way that everyone can understand. Another great site is the Canadian Mental Health Association: http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/postpartum-depression/#.WDO0xTtlp7a
Who does postpartum depression affect?
Postpartum depression can affect anyone. Although it’s more commonly reported by moms, it can affect ANY new parents—both moms and dads—and it can affect parents who adopt.
What is postpartum depression? What are perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and what are the different kinds? http://www.postpartumprogress.com/frequently-asked-questions-on-postpartum-depression-related-illnesses
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety?
There are many (maybe lesser-known) symptoms that I experienced, and are worth mentioning. Visit this link for a very in-depth list of symptoms: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/the-symptoms-of-postpartum-depression-anxiety-in-plain-mama-english
- You don’t feel bonded to your baby. You’re not having that mythical mommy bliss.
- You feel nothing. Emptiness and numbness. You are just going through the motions.
- You feel hopeless, like this situation will never ever get better.
- You can’t concentrate. You can’t focus. You can’t make a decision. You feel like you’re in a fog.
- You feel like you should be able to snap out of it, but you can’t.
- Your thoughts are racing. You can’t quiet your mind. You can’t relax.
- You are really worried all the time.
- You are afraid to be alone with your baby because of scary thoughts or worries.
- You’re having trouble sleeping. You are so, so tired, but you can’t sleep.
- You are afraid that if you ask for help, people will judge you. Or that your baby will be taken away.
What is the treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety?
Recovery is possible! Treatment will be unique for each person, and may include: counseling, various forms of therapy, support groups, self-care, medication, regular exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep.
New Mom Mental Health Checklist
Six Stages of Postpartum Depression
*image below taken from the following metro.co.uk article*