For mothers who have recently given birth, the expectation is for them to be filled with joy and love for their little newborn and eager to snap back that body and get back to business as usual.
But maybe you don’t feel joy. What if the thought of being alone with your baby scares you? Or maybe you feel anxious about going back to work and leaving your baby with a sitter. What if your body just doesn’t feel the same after birth? Is this normal?
The reality is 1 in 7 women will experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Unfortunately, many of those women will suffer in silence and not receive the help they need. Shame and stigma has robbed new mothers of the postpartum experience they deserve.
Here are a few common symptoms that you should be on the lookout for:
- Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless – like you don’t deserve to be a mother
- Feeling disconnected from yourself or from reality
- Feeling extreme sadness – crying more than usual, not interested in normal activities
- Unable to sleep
- Inability to concentrate or think clearly
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling irritated or angry – experiencing bouts of rage
- Thinking about running away or leaving your family
- Feeling like your baby is a stranger – not able to bond or connect like you want to
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
The symptoms of postpartum depression (and the intensity of the symptoms) can vary widely from mother to mother. Some of the common symptoms might be brushed off as “normal” for a new mother by family, friends or even medical professionals. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!
If you feel like something is wrong, advocate for yourself. Find someone who will listen and take your concerns seriously.
Tyese Knight is a mommy of 2, mental health advocate, aspiring postpartum doula and blogger at Strong Mom Sad Mom. She started her blog as a way to share her story about healing from Postpartum Depression. Strong Mom Sad Mom blog is all about motivating moms with mental illness and encouraging all moms to care for themselves first. Tyese spends her time watching baking competition shows, traveling, decorating her home, hosting family gatherings and writing. This busy mom is fueled by hilarious mom memes, snacks, and green tea!
Make sure you connect with Tyese on her social media!