A bit about my pregnancy and birth.
My baby was born just past 40 weeks. I had an induction. I also had an epidural with a forceps birth. It was my first baby.
What I felt after the birth.
At first I felt run down. I assumed it was normal since I'd had a difficult birth. But it never went away and nothing was really fun. I spent a lot of time questioning if becoming a mother had been a wise move. That only made me feel more depressed.
After awhile I started having nightmares. So then I had trouble getting to sleep because I was afraid of the nightmares. It was all a vicious circle.
I tried to blame everything else. It was winter. It was my first baby. My husband worked second shift and I was alone a lot. Finally I saw something on TV about postpartum depression and recognized myself. It was scary.
My OB was not very helpful. I had mentioned feeling down at the 6 week check up and was told it was normal. I called and went in at 3 months. She said to basically get outside more.
Honestly we had another family tragedy that occurred and allowed me to shift my postpartum depression to that cause. Then I went through the process of dealing with that and did get better, despite the lack of help I'd received with my postpartum depression.
- Get help early on, don't wait until it's bad.
- Talk to people honestly, even if it's just your friends.
- Have someone checking in on you.
- Get help with baby care. You can still breastfeed and then hand the baby off.
- Go easy on yourself!
- Prepare for the help you may need.
- Have the name of some specialists in postpartum depression should you need it.
Did you try therapy?
I didn't try therapy. My OB said I didn't need it. I did spend a lot of time talking to my friends openly and honestly.
Did you try medications?
My doctor thought about medications, but said I could check back in a few weeks if I wanted. I never came back.
Have you had another baby? Did you have PPD again?
I did have another baby. I prepared myself this time by having lots of help at home, like a postpartum doula. I also ensured that I got good sleep and ate well. This helped a lot. I did have some mild depression, but nothing like the first time.
Anything else you'd like to share?
If your doctor tells you to go away without helping you - get a new doctor.