Postpartum Depression Info - Please Read!
Q: Below you will find some info on Postpartum Depression. While most of us
experience a few days of the "Baby Blues" after the birth of a child, for at
least 1 in 10 women "the blues" don't go away and sometimes get worse. Many
women feel guilt, shame and isolation, afraid to tell partners, friends and
even their doctor. However, just like a physical illness, Postpartum
Depression is real and needs to be treated. There are several treatment
options available sometimes including medication and counselling. Some of
the most effective medications for treating PPD are considered compatible
with breastfeeding. This is not your fault. You did nothing to cause this
and help is available. Please tell your doctor if you think you may have
PPD. I am a social worker and survivor of PPD and I hope that by posting
this message on a monthly basis I can help other women seek out treatment
early and avoid going through what I did. If you have any questions or
would like more info please post it to this message or email me privately.
A:Some people think PPD only affects women who did not want their baby, women who are not good mothers, or women who are weak. PPD does not have anything to do with being a bad mother. PPD is very treatable, sometimes with a combination of medications and therapy. Don't let yourself suffer, you are worth more than that! Do these symptoms sound familiar? 1. ARE YOU ABLE TO SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS? Unable to sleep, mind racing all the time? While most postpartum women are tired, one with PPD never seems to feel rested. She might wake during the night even before her baby does and be unable to get back to sleep. "I was afraid that I was going crazy. I could not sleep, overtime I closed my eyes, my mind raced. When I told people that I couldn't' sleep, they would tell me that they understood, it's hard with a baby crying all the time. But I couldn't sleep even when she was asleep." "I cried constantly, could not sleep, even when my baby did. I couldn't make even trivial decisions, I felt emotionally detached from her, had no appetite, and felt anxious. How could I tell anyone this?" 2. ARE YOU GETTING OUT? Often women will isolate themselves, stop taking calls from family and friends. When we do go out we become experts at disguising our symptoms. "I became an expert at looking good for the doctor and nurses. I would pretend that everything was fine, but inside, I was hoping that they would see through my appearance. I just wanted someone to ask me, how I was really doing? I was too ashamed to bring it up myself." "I cried every time my husband left the house. I was afraid of being alone with the baby, fear of harming myself or baby, fear of interacting with the baby, and guilt for my weird thoughts. I desperately wanted to feel normal again." To physicians and other healthcare practitioners: Please take a minute to ask your patients a few questions about how they are feeling emotionally. 1. Have you had PPD before? 2. Do you have a history of depression? 3. Are you sleeping OK when your baby sleeps? 4. Any changes in your appetite? 5. Are you experiencing anxiety or panic? 6. Are you afraid to be alone with your baby? 7. Do you feel more irritable or angry than usual? 8. Are you worried about the way you feel right now? 9. What worries you the most? 10. Are you afraid you might loose control? 11. Are you afraid of the thoughts you are having? 12. Do you wonder if you are a bad mother? 13. Do you ever have thoughts about hurting yourself? 14. Do you find it hard to make decisions? 15. Does your partner know how you are feeling? 16. How do you feel about taking medication if it helps you feel better? 17. Are there other stressfull events that are impacting the way you feel? 18. Is there anything you are afraid to tell me, but think I should know?