Strong Start Day – A Look at Postpartum Depression

by Janice

Did you know that more children are born on October 5 than any other day during the year?

Postpartum Depression Awareness

On this day when so many babies are born and so many women become mothers, we wanted to take a moment to address an important issue – Postpartum Depression.

Bringing a new baby into the world is a joyous occasion, but for many new moms it is also a time of fear, anxiety, and tears. Susan and I have both talked about our experiences with postpartum depression.

You’ve heard our PPD stories. Today, our managing editor, Lolli, shares her story with PPD.

Lolli’s PPD story

Pregnancy was never easy on my body. With a heart condition and a bad back, pregnancy hurt. But I endured it 5 times because I wanted my children so badly.

After my first two babies were born, I went through the typical aches, struggles, and questions of being a new mom. But I got through the newborn stages and headed in to parenting toddlers. When I got pregnant with my 3rd, I figured that I was an old pro. This time it would be easier.

Instead, after my son was born I struggled to feel like myself again. He was a strong, healthy baby. He nursed well and slept decent hours. I adored him, as I adored my two older daughters. But something was different.

My body refused to recover. I had mastitis 3 times, I developed sinus infections and even a few ear infections. Where I had been tired with my first two babies, this time I was exhausted. I struggled every morning to find the desire to get out of bed.

A year went by with little change. My baby boy grew, and yet I felt stuck. I didn’t enjoy being a mother anymore. In fact, I didn’t find enjoyment in much of anything during that time. I rarely smiled or laughed. I was on survival mode, going through the motions of being a mom. My heart wasn’t in it.

My biggest problem, though, was that I didn’t recognize that anything was wrong. I didn’t know what to look for, and I didn’t know that what I was experiencing was something that could be helped.

I didn’t seek help during that first year because I was so consumed in my depression to recognize that I was depressed. Luckily, a wise friend noticed how I was coping and asked the right questions. I was able to get help, but even in the midst of getting help and getting better, I mourned the loss of a full year of my son’s life that I could have enjoyed.

I went in to my next two pregnancies much more aware of the signs of postpartum depression, and for the first time in my life I sought medical advice and help for my ongoing problems with anxiety, which only heightened after my year with PPD.

I always thought that PPD was something that first time moms experienced. Since my year with postpartum depression after the birth of my 3rd child, I have cautioned friends that it can happen to anyone, new moms or seasoned. Don’t hesitate to seek help. It DOES get better. And it’s better to start on the road to recovery sooner rather than later.

~Lolli

 

Strong Start Day – You can help

Today our good friends at Postpartum Progress are conducting a major fundraising campaign to raise awareness and support for Postpartum Progress so that they can execute exciting new projects, including:

  • developing a compelling national awareness campaign for postpartum depression
  • creating & distributing new and improved patient education materials for distribution by hospitals (the kind new moms won’t throw away!!)
  • translating our “plain mama English” information and support into Spanish and other languages

 

Only 15% of all women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders ever receive professional treatment. This means that each year hundreds of thousands more women and their children may suffer from the negative effects of untreated PPD for the rest of their lives. They may not even know that they have Postpartum Depression because it’s not a one-size-fits-all illness.

To those of you who have had postpartum depression, and especially those of you who are in it’s grasps right now, I promise that it does get better. But no woman should have to go through PPD alone. Get help. Give help.

Help Postpartum Progress create stronger families, one mom at a time.


DonateNow

 
Written by Janice Croze.

Janice Croze and her identical twin, Susan Carraretto, are the bloggers behind 5 Minutes for Mom. Both Janice and Susan struggle with depression and anxiety, but they prove that life can be lived successfully and fabulously even while battling mental illness.
You can talk with the twins on Twitter at @5minutesformom and on their Facebook Page.

 

Photo by Lolli. Please do not copy.



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lolli October 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for letting me share my story! This is the first time I put it down in words.

Reply

2 Janice October 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Thank you SO much for sharing today Lolli! Telling our stories is so important — and I hope the right women read yours today.

Reply

3 geraldine knight October 7, 2011 at 2:57 am

i suffered severe PND in 2000 when i had my son… it was that debilitating that i was unable to look after and care for him – my sister 40 miles away looked after him whilst i slept in her spare room for 3 months. my husband bonded with my son (in between working and trying to be at home with dog) and they have a FANTASTIC relationship now. i persuaded husband after 5 years to have another (he refused to go through all that again with another baby!). and my 2nd child a girl was so fab – she slept !!!!, i never knew that motherhood could be soooo unbelieveably wonderful! unfortunately after 5 months i gave up breastfeeding there and then and plummeted (its the hormones i reckon) and head straight bang and unexpectingly into PND again. it wasn’t even neally as bad as first time as i cared for my girl 24hrs a day and knew why i was ill (was still the most horrendous time though). A terrible illness :-( Geraldine, 43, England x

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4 JUNE October 10, 2011 at 8:45 am

Oh Lolli, Can I ever relate to you and your story. 22 years ago when I gave birth to my one and only daughter,(fourth in the line) I went through a very tuff time also. What should have been the greatest moment in my life was in actuality a sad time for me. I was living down in Amarillo, TX. at the time, and I remember just wanting my Mother there at that time, whom lived up in Illinois. I felt so lonely and had such low self esteem. At age 33 I also was trying to get my drivers licence back then, and had failed the driving part of it already 2 times. So I tried one more time two weeks after I gave birth to my daughter. A girlfriend took me to the DMV and I took the test again. Luckily this time I passed, but with feeling so depressed with myself and every thing in my life, I didn’t even have the eight dollars to pay for my pictured drivers licence. My girl friend paid for it. I eventually snapped out of my PND, and life got a whole lot better for myself and my family. But I will never forget the feelings of loneliness and utter pain that I went through at that time in my life. I have to say all these years later that I am so happy now having these children in my life, they are all such a great joy and gift from God. All are grown and moved away now, but love every minute still just being their mom. Thanks for sharing your story with all of us. And yes it does get better. June-

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