“Parenting – You are Not Alone” – Postpartum Depression

When a person becomes a parent  it is wonderful! I am not minimizing the beauty, wonder, and glory of becoming a parent – in whatever way that happens for you. It is not easy though and I have come to believe that we often do not speak of some of the hardest parts of parenting that are real to so many people. It is like we think that if we do not speak of them, they won’t happen…..but they do and then we feel alone. My hope with this series is to bring into the light some of the hard parts of parenting. So people know they are not alone and that there are resources and support out there for them.


The first topic is: Postpartum Depression. 

I had Postpartum Depression after the birth of my 5th child and I had no idea. In fact, looking back, I am pretty sure I experienced it after my twins as well. I felt awful inside and didn’t know that I didn’t have to feel that way. I didn’t know that it wasn’t expected. No one talked about it. After my 5th child was born I was so tired – I figured it had to be because I have 5 kids. I was so sad – I figured it was because I was tired, because I had 5 kids. I was so unmotivated and I was dragging myself through the days, making myself believe that I had no choice and it was because I had 5 kids. I felt so helpless and overwhelmed and guilty and had no idea that others did too. It wasn’t until after I felt better – that I realized how bad I felt. It wasn’t until later when people started to talk more about Postpartum depression that I realized that was what I had experienced and it wasn’t my fault and it didn’t just have to be that way. My experience only lasted about 7 weeks. That was my experience. Yours may be shorter and it’s still real and it may be longer and it’s still real. Regardless, you are not alone.  


The facts are that……

“Your body and mind go through many changes during and after pregnancy. If you feel empty, emotionless, or sad all or most of the time for longer than 2 weeks during or after pregnancy, reach out for help. If you feel like you don’t love or care for your baby, you might have postpartum depression. Treatment for depression, such as therapy or medicine, works and will help you and your baby be as healthy as possible in the future.”



Resources:  You are Not Alone!

NOTE: Below we will go through the symptoms more thoroughly and statistics etc., but I want to make sure you have the resources if you don’t get any further in this post. You are not alone!!



(As taken from:  https://www.postpartumdepression.org/resources/statistics/  and https://www.postpartumdepression.org/)

In the United States alone:

  • Approximately 70% to 80% of women will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.
  • The reported rate of clinical postpartum depression among new mothers is between 10% to 20%.
  • One recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses.

It’s important to understand that these numbers only account for live births. Many women who miscarry or have stillbirths experience postpartum depression symptoms as well.

  • When including women who have miscarried or have had a stillbirth, around 900,000 women suffer from postpartum depression annually in the US.

Postpartum depression is a global issue as well.

Across the world:

  • Postpartum depression affects tens if not hundreds of millions annually if all countries are accounted for.
  • One study found that postpartum depression rates in Asian countries could be at 65% or more among new mothers.

Sadly, it is believed that postpartum depression is much more common than these statistics reveal. Some medical experts believe that the rate of postpartum depression could be at least twice as much than what is actually reported and diagnosed. If symptoms go unreported and untreated, they cannot be accounted for in global health statistics.

Another important fact to consider about postpartum depression is that it can affect people from all races, ethnicities, cultures and educational or economic backgrounds. 




(Copied from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617)

Baby blues symptoms

Signs and symptoms of baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born — may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Crying
  • Reduced concentration
  • Appetite problems
  • Trouble sleeping

Postpartum depression symptoms

Postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, and may eventually interfere with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin earlier ― during pregnancy ― or later — up to a year after birth.

Postpartum depression signs and symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Fear that you’re not a good mother
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Restlessness
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

Postpartum psychosis

With postpartum psychosis — a rare condition that typically develops within the first week after delivery — the signs and symptoms are severe. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Obsessive thoughts about your baby
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Excessive energy and agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Attempts to harm yourself or your baby

Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment.



(AGAIN – Because they are so important!)









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