“He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 MSG
By: Jennifer Mullen
When my first-born was about 8 weeks old, we made a trip to my hometown to go to her family shower. I was afraid to let anyone hold her. I was so anxious the whole time. One of my aunts looked at me and said, “Those hormones are bad. Nobody told me to expect them. Nobody talked about it back then.” Then she ended the conversation as if it was a hush-hush topic.
I have found, however, the more I am open with sharing about my struggle with postpartum depression, the more others can relate. I even had a friend of mine from college contact me on Facebook asking me about my experience. Later she told me that if it were not for my openness, she would still have it hidden from herself and her husband. She is on the road to healing as well as I.
Postpartum Depression is a serious matter, and I will not be silent on this issue. It is up to us to share with one another and to be proactive in our own healing. I am planning a three-part series to tell my story.
The following is the schedule of posts in this series:
- More Than Baby Blues– February 6, 2012 –I will share my story of my experience with postpartum with my first-born.
- Techniques that Helped Me with Postpartum Depression– February 8, 2012— I will outline some strategies that worked for me to cope with postpartum depression and what others could do to help those struggling.
- Round Two: Manna From Heaven – March 6, 2012— I will share how my experience with postpartum was different the with my second born and how God carried me through it.
Meanwhile, educate yourself. There are many resources online that can help you or a loved one understand more about this condition.
Postpartum Depression is NOT a weakness–spiritual, emotional, or any other. It doesn’t mean that you are a horrible mother. It is a physiological reaction to hormones that can be a complication after giving birth. It is NOT something of which to be ashamed! You should not feel guilty of not feeling the bliss that you expected. You can get your joy back There is hope, but it will not simply go away. You must be proactive in your healing process!
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I only wish to share my story and inform others who might be struggling with this condition. If you feel you might have postpartum depression, please contact your health care provider. Together you should make a plan to address your condition. I have been praying for you. You are not alone!
The following information can be found at the Mayo Clinic website:
Postpartum depression symptoms
Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Postpartum depression symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Intense irritability and anger
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Loss of interest in sex
- Lack of joy in life
- Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Severe mood swing
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
Untreated postpartum depression can last up to a year or longer. Sometimes untreated postpartum depression becomes a chronic depressive disorder.