Postpartum and the Depression that can accompany a new baby
by Refuge Intern, Angela Davenport
You’ve spent the last few weeks preparing your home, your family, and a nursery for your new arrival. You couldn’t have imagined anything more exciting than welcoming your new addition! What you have imagined holds a strong resemblance to the movie scenes: a baby wrapped in a freshly washed blanket, one you are sure will be around until at least kindergarten, you rocking your baby to sleep, and finally drifting off to a peaceful sleep, waking each morning to a healthy, growing baby, and you, all smiles and abounding joy.
That could be how it started, maybe now you’re wondering where your abounding joy is. Maybe now you’re saying, “I didn’t bargain for this!!” or “Who am I?”
Are you overwhelmed, are you experiencing periods of anger/rage, episodes of crying and weepiness, maybe you are experiencing an increase in anxiety, accompanied by a decrease in appetite, excessive worry, maybe you’re even experiencing nightmares and flashbacks of a birth that didn’t go as planned.
You may have postpartum depression. You are not alone. “Approximately 950,000 women are suffering from postpartum depression.” Many times with all of those overwhelming feelings and thoughts, we mothers begin to tell ourselves that we are bad mothers, that we don’t deserve our baby if we can’t keep it together, or worse, we don’t seek the help that we need because we are afraid of what others may think of us as a new parent.
To take care of our new baby we first must take care of ourselves. It sounds selfish, I know, I’ve been there, BUT we mothers can’t neglect ourselves, we must start nurturing ourselves to nurture our children.
If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression here are some things that you can do:
1. Call your PCP or OB/GYN
2. Call your support person; let them know what is going on. Have a steady resource available for you. This could be your spouse, a parent, and a best friend.
3. Are you ready to talk about it? Call The Refuge Center for Counseling. Counselors are here and waiting to walk with you on this journey. Many counselors here are moms, some may have been exactly where you are, and they are prepared to help you heal and nurture yourself.
Visit us at www.therefugecenter.org or call us at 615.591.5262.