Among the main reasons why I write this blog whenever I have the time is to help out new moms. So I have decided to dedicate this post to one particular thing new moms experience that is not so widely talked about, also known as postpartum depression.
After giving birth, new moms can go through crying spells, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, problems with appetite, sleeping or concentration, etc. These so-called ‘baby blues’ often begin two, three days after giving birth and can even last two weeks. Not everyone gets ‘the baby blues’. So if you are reading this – don’t get alarmed. But some do and for some moms, the ‘baby blues’ can bring about more severe symptoms, which can evolve into what is called postpartum depression.
The symptoms of this condition can comprise all of the abovementioned symptoms, but in a more severe form, as well as feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, overwhelming fatigue, withdrawing from friends and family, feeling that you are not a good mother, feelings of shame, etc., and sometimes even, thoughts of harming yourself or even your baby. Unfortunately, after I had my first bundle of joy, I went through a period of postpartum depression.
Although my condition was never so severe as to have thoughts of harming myself or others, it was nevertheless a painful experience. Most importantly, it was an experience where I was filled with conflicting emotions: on the one hand, I was overjoyed over being a mother; and on the other hand, I was overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and insecurity over whether I can be a good mother.
I was among the lucky ones however, I had an amazing husband by my side and amazing family and friends that did not simply allow me to withdraw from everyone. I mean, there were days when I was so irritable, that the simplest things could trigger me: I would rant at my husband if there wasn’t hot water right away, while he would calmly explain to me even some of the basics of troubleshooting tankless water heaters, in our case, basically because we didn’t have a recirculations system, it took just a few seconds for the hot water to be provided; or all those times I got so angry with him over not coming back from work on time, while he would gracefully explain that his company has taken on even more projects… Truly, I am so blessed to have a good family. My loved ones also encouraged me to find a good therapist, which helped me so much in the end.
After 3 months of therapy, I was back to my normal self. Of course, the type of treatment and duration of treatment will vary, and different things will work for different people. But it’s important to remember that if you have the ‘baby blues’ for over two weeks, there is help out there. Even though I went through this experience, I managed to deal with it quickly and come out stronger and happier than ever.