May 29, 2019
Having a baby is a miraculous event. Anticipation, joy, and excitement are all surreal experiences associated with bringing a new life into the world. My husband and I have three healthy grown sons. When two of my sons were toddlers I vividly recall preparing for the birth of son number three. Working dual careers as a bedside R.N. in an intensive care unit, as well as work on the farm, I readied for the birth by preparing home and family for the new addition. What I didn’t expect was the Postpartum Depression that followed. More than the baby blues, the long-lasting feelings of sadness, anxiety, disconnect, insecurities, and somewhat robotic mindset of “I was just going through the motions” hung on for months.
I wasn’t myself. I ached to get to back to being me.
One in seven new moms will suffer from Postpartum Depression (PPD). The diagnosis is a serious medical condition that involves the brain and may occur during pregnancy or after birth. Easy pregnancy or problem pregnancy, first-time moms or mothers with multiple children may be affected. Regardless of income, age, race or ethnicity, culture or education PPD can get in the way of taking care of the baby and yourself. Other symptoms include unusual irritability, anger, inability to sleep, excessive crying, little interest in things formally enjoyed and scary fleeting thoughts. Anxiety in conjunction with depression may occur and a new mom may feel like she is the only person in the world who feels these burdens. She is not alone.
Risk Factors Contributing to PPD
Early Treatment Yields Feelings of Hope
Symptoms lasting more than two weeks indicate a serious condition. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a common screening tool utilized during routine physician visits. Honest answers to the questions will help your provider and you, develop a correct plan of care. Click here to take the test.
Talk therapy (counseling) with a health care provider to help you find ways to manage your thoughts may ease feelings of depression or anxiety. Medications may also be safely prescribed.
Other things you can do in addition to medical treatment:
Please know you are not alone in this experience! I experienced PPD but did not have access to the wealth of resources and support systems that are available today. I was also convinced that I had to handle it alone. If you or someone you love may be suffering from PPD, take the time to talk with a health care professional. Their job is to help you achieve Total FarmHer Health in both mind and body. Also by sharing with your health care provider and family, the symptoms will be significantly lessened and your joy will return.
March of Dimes -PostPartum Depression (PPD)
PostPartum Support International Warmline (Support Helpline and Screening Tools)
The BlueDot Project- What are Maternal Mental Health (MMH) Disorders
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