I honestly do not remember a whole lot of anything that would be considered Post Partum Depression after giving birth to Noah. He was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for weeks after his birth. I was a young, first time mother. Because of Noah’s special needs, we qualified for some family counseling through the hospital which allowed me to vent about whatever I was feeling be it hormonal or just new mother fears. That was very helpful.
Now I beleive that as a birthmother the postpartum depression gets thrown in with the grieving process that a birthmother is going through so it is kind of hard to tell what exactly is post partum and what is grief that any other birthmother experiences. Or at least this is what I think probably happened to me.
My manager at work is actually the one who pointed out that he thought I had postpartum depression. He gently took me aside and said that his wife had gone through it really badly after their third child and he felt like some of the things (crying, anxiety, mood swings – and all of that was just what he was witnessing at work!) were some of the same symptoms his wife experienced. He told me it doesn’t have to be this way; I didn’t have to feel like this, and he urged me to call my doctor so I did.
I made an appointment and went to the doctor very shortly after that. Unfortunately, I did not get to see the doctor I had seen all through out my pregnancy. As I begin to explain to the doctor that I thought I had postpartum depression as well as why, the fact that I was a birthmother came out. The conversation didn’t go too well after that but I was able to get an antidepressant which really helped.
Postpartum depression affects many women and although birthmothers may not be parenting their children, they still may experience post partum depression. I did not know of the Blog Her Mother’s Act until Jenna posted about it last week, but after reading about it, I definitely think it’s time that we all start understanding and educating ourselves about Postpartum Depression as it is a real illness that many new mothers face.