Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is just listen. I think we all get caught in a mindset of either trying to fix things or deciding they aren’t important enough to fix. The former will make you deliver the line, A healthy baby is all that matters! intent on making a new mother sure that she knows how lucky she is. The latter will make you deliver the line in a very dismissive way. Sometimes, we don’t need to understand someone’s pain or even help them conquer it. Sometimes the best thing we can do is say – I hear you. You are feeling those things and that makes them real.Â More
Topic: postpartum depression
So often, when we talk about the various degrees of post-pregnancy mood changes-whether it’s “the baby blues” or full on PPD-we sort of swipe it to the side and associate it with other people in order to not have to admit that we are feeling anything other than sheer joy at our new poo factories. More
Oh yes, did I mention that I suffered from depression before I got pregnant? Well, I did. It was not too severe, but just enough that I was on medication to keep me from dipping into that deadened, apathetic place. Being a research-oriented person, I had read quite a bit about depression and pregnancy, and I knew about the heightened risk of postpartum depression for those who had previously suffered from depression. I had talked with my partner about it extensively, and planned to resume my medication immediately after having my baby. I thought I was prepared. I was wrong. More
If you’re anything like me, and you have a few butterflies or a majorly aggressive moth rumbling in your stomach at the thought of labor, a recent study may give you one more thing to worry about. More
As a new parent, I heard a lot about postpartum depression. Most websites have tons and tons of information about the warning signs of PPD, beyond the baby blues. I definitely experienced the baby blues with crazy mood swings and hormonal surges just a few days after giving birth. More
Overcoming postpartum (or regular) depression is a process, and every day should be a celebration. If youâre waiting to wake up one day and realize youâre âbetter,â youâll be waiting a really long time, especially if youâre going it alone. I know that therapy and a healthier lifestyle are not a cure-all for depression. But they both make me into a better version of myself, a version that is a little more clear-headed when itâs time to make tough decisions or cope with painful circumstances. More
There are certain situations when – if you don’t have anything supportive to say, you should really just shut up. One of these situations is when a woman talks about a traumatic birth. If you find the words, You have a healthy baby and that’s all that matters! beginning to roll off your tongue – just keep them in your mouth. More
They say the terrible twos actually start around 18 months and don’t end until…when do they end? Ever? But sometimes I feel like my PPD leaves me really ill-equipped to manage these tantrums. It’s not so much that I “lose it” or fear I might hurt her. In fact, it’s more of the opposite. I don’t know if I’ve become desensitized to her cry because I’ve heard it so damn much, but my instinct is to do nothing. More
I am choosing to smoke again.
It’s strange wording it like that, because I’ve never felt like it was a choice before. When I first started smoking cigarettes in my early 20s, it just kind of happened — a cigarette here and there, usually at a bar, sometimes on the drive home from work. It evolved into a pack a day habit. Then I quit a month before getting pregnant with my daughter and remained an ex-smoker for nearly two years. More
Months ago, when we were going through a very rough patch in our relationship, my husband and I made a pact to not have any more children. Although our marriage has drastically improved, nothing major has changed in our situation to make having another child a viable option — we still have barely enough income, physical space and emotional energy to adequately care for the child we have.
So why, a few weeks ago, was I begging my daughter to give me some sign she wants a sibling? I blame it on my PPD. More
But if I could have taken this test, and a doctor or my midwife could have told me I was at a high risk for postpartum depression, I would have done some things differently.
I wouldn’t have committed myself to attachment parenting so wholeheartedly. More
You don’t necessarily need to be a reader of our Baby Blues column to know that postpartum depression presents many a parenting challenge (to say the least). Other stigmas continue to face suffering ladies as you can’t really roll up to your new mommy group and just start riffing about how spending time away from your kid actually makes you feel better. (Or maybe you do, in which case, you’re lucky). But now emerging science suggests that we may be able to discern that certain mommies are at risk for PPD before the symptoms set in. Or even before the baby shows up. Win all the way around, right? More
This is going to be a very unpopular opinion, but this column is about candor, so here goes. I’ve learned that “me” time is unhealthy for me. Dangerous, even. I must be working, surrounding myself with friends and family, doing for others, or sleeping. That’s it. More
Though I am, by no means, in as powerful a position as Quinn, I can definitely relate to the risk factor in going public with my mental illness. For me, the risk is more personal than professional. The definition of mother, in my mind, is someone who is strong, relentlessly loving and a martyr who constantly puts the needs of others above her own. This may sound extremely idealistic and unattainable to some of you, but I know one woman who fits this definition: my own mother. I’m sure my mom had private moments of desperation and frustration and anger, but she never revealed this side of herself when I was a child. More