Hopeful BULLSHIT

BY KATE HOVDESTAD

When it’s Not Just Baby Blues: Recognizing the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

by | Mar 26, 2021 | 0 comments

From the moment you discover you’re pregnant, you’re inundated with the word should: What you should eat; whether you should exercise; whether you should have your hair colored; and the list goes on. One of the most prevalent is that you should talk to your doctor if you think you have postpartum depression – but how are you supposed to know what to look for when the infographics hanging in your doctor’s office are so vague? To top it off, you only see your provider once after giving birth at six weeks, and the onset of PPD can occur any time in the first year postpartum.

Web MD Postpartum Depression Infographic

I never considered harming myself or my baby. As a person who has suffered with chronic depression I kept looking for the signs: Not wanting to get out of bed, or only eating because I was supposed to – but they never came. It wasn’t until about four months postpartum that I stopped having interest in things, didn’t want to be touched, and – most importantly – was constantly on edge. Everything annoyed me. I found myself screaming about everything. I also felt enormous guilt any time I raised my voice at our baby. I was constantly overwhelmed. One ‘wrong’ thing would ruin my mood for a whole day.

I kept telling myself (and my husband) that things would get better.

“When the baby sleeps better.”

“When the baby sleeps through the night.”

“When I’m not breastfeeding so much.”

“When I stop breastfeeding.”

But things never got easier.  

If you recently had a baby and you’re feeling even a little off or just not like yourself, you can take the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale test online. This isn’t a diagnostic tool, but it can be helpful to identify your symptoms. You can also find providers to reach out to who specialize in Perinatal Mood Disorders in your area on postpartum.net.

One in seven women will experience postpartum depression. Please know that PPD doesn’t just go away without treatment, and it can get worse. You don’t have to feel alone. Please reach out and get help. I did and it was the best thing I ever did for my health, my marriage, and my baby.

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