New Moms: This is urgent!
Dear New Moms,
We need to talk. It's a necessary and urgent conversation.
If this is the only thing you read today. If you never read this blog again. If you're a guy and can't figure out why your wife sent this link to you. Whatever the circumstances- I'm begging you to take 5 minutes of your time to finish this page.
First off, you're not in trouble. This isn't a 'come to the principal's office' type of conversation. It's actually quite the opposite. We need to talk about something that is of absolutely no fault of your own.
It actually couldn't even be your fault if you tried.
Secondly, this may not apply to you at all. But the fact that it COULD apply to you or someone you know is what makes it necessary. Extremely necessary.
We know there's a 99% chance that your postpartum days aren't quite like you imagined as you were waiting for your baby to be born. Or maybe you've had previous children and you do know how much work postpartum life is.
This isn't JUST about the hard stuff.
It's not about the exhaustion, breastfeeding frustration, wishing you could sleep just one hour at a time, body changes, etc, that come with a new baby.
It's about the other hard stuff that we don't like to talk about.
Sometimes moms experience horrible feelings and thoughts and emotions and self-talk that they don't ever want to mention to anyone because their brain knows none of it sounds healthy. Instead of telling their spouse or medical provider about these things, they bury them deeper in hopes that no one will know what a "bad mom" they are.
We're talking about Postpartum Mood Disorders.
The American Psychological Association estimates that 9-16% of postpartum women will experience Postpartum Depression. That averages out to more than 1 in 10 moms. I don't do math well, but even I know that's statistically high.
Please read through the list of possible signs and symptoms listed below.
This is where we need you to trust us a bit.
We may not know you personally, but we do know (without a doubt) that if you're feeling any of these things, it's not YOU. We get it. And so will your doctor. Postpartum Mood Disorders are so common yet wildly underdiagnosed because women don't want to share their deepest thoughts.
Please. Be honest.
If you're struggling with anything listed below, please contact your primary doctor or OB or midwife or best friend or husband.... Anyone who will listen to you. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. We promise. We want you to see that light again.
Possible Signs of Postpartum Mood Disorders
_I can't sleep, even when the baby is.
_I spend much of the time feeling worried and/or anxious.
_I feel numb/disconnected from my life. There is little/no joy.
_I want to be alone most of the time and that is not normal for me.
_I feel anger or rage that is not normal for me.
_I'm just so sad.
_My thoughts are racing. I just can't be 'still.'
_I've had serious thoughts of hurting myself or others.
_I'm afraid to be alone with my baby.
_I have no appetite.
_I don't feel like I'm really bonding with my baby.
_I have scary thoughts about things that could happen to me or my baby.
_I feel a great deal of guilt and/or shame.
_I have an overwhelming worry that I'm not a good mother.
_I can't focus or concentrate.
_I think I'm hearing or seeing things that other people don't hear/see.
_I feel that I need to use alcohol, prescription drugs, etc. to try and feel better.
_I'm concerned/paranoid that other people are trying to hurt me or my baby.
_I've had thoughts that I 'should' hurt my baby or someone else.
_I feel like I'm losing it.
We can all agree that the above symptoms all sound miserable and horrible. And if we saw someone else exhibiting those symptoms, we would encourage them to get help.
If you're experiencing ANY of these symptoms, we're encouraging you to get help.
If you're too scared to make the call, contact us. We'll happily hold your hand (whether in person or virtually) and assist you in taking a step toward the light at the end of this terribly dark tunnel.
You're worth it.
And this isn't your fault.