23 answers

Suffering from Postpartum Depression

Ever since I had my son 5 months ago, I have felt very bad all the time. I cry a lot and have mood swings. I feel very overwhelmed by everyday things and I sometimes feel like I'm failing at everything, especially at being a mom. My poor husband doesn't really know what to do for me and I feel bad for him because he gets the brunt of all of this. I've heard that a lot of other moms suffer from this, but all the other moms I encounter seem like they have their life totally under control. I guess I just need some reasurrance that I am still normal and hope that I won't feel like this forever. If anyone knows about what I'm experienceing, please let me know how to cope. Thanks.

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Trust me nobody with children has thier life totally under control, maybe slightly controlled kaos. I get down once in a while also, start crying for no reason and think no one is on my side. But we'll get through it. If you need someone to talk to just let me know. You can write me personally. I am a married mother of 10 yr old step son, 6 yr old step son, 2 year old daughter and 6 month old son.

You know what sweetie? We ALL feel like that, even if you see other mommies that look under control, I am CONVINCED they are putting on a 'game face', and are probably just as big a mess, if not bigger, when they get home!!! Being a new mommy is not easy, it is a great, great joy, but it is also extremely terrifying at the same time.
I make life of it, but if you do think you are having a real bout of depression I would see a healthcare professional to get you 'over the hump'.
Hormoes suck though, don't they!?!?!

Good luck!!!

More Answers

Hi J.,
I have totally been there. I had postpartum depression very badly after the birth of my first daughter. I felt terrible and completely overwhelmed. I just remember saying over and over to myself "I cant do this". My doctor put me on prozac and at first I was very reluctant -- but it was by far the best thing I ever did. It was like someone had opened the window for me. I felt better almost immediately. I would highly suggest talking to your doctor. You may not want to go on medication -- but take my word it is a major relief not to feel so bad. --B.

While what you are feeling is very normal, you really need to get some help and support. There are several postpartum depression support groups in Denver. You can google "postpartum depression support groups Denver." You'll love having other people to talk through it on a regular basis! I'm so sorry you're feeling this way--it is hard, but there is relief to be found!

J., it sounds like the same thing I went through 2 months ago! I think I could have written that. I am a first time mom of a now 7 month old girl and my husband at the beginning always told me that I wasn't my self, but it didn't get bad enough for me to do anything about it until the sleep deprivation accummulated to an unbearable point. I would like to share my story with you, but its too long for this board. My email address is ____@____.com you would like to chat, please email me.
C.

J. -
Let me say that first I commend you for reaching out for help and a better understanding of what it is you are going through. I too, am a first time mom of a 7 month old and experienced post-partum still to this day. Granted they are in bouts due to my period, but they are still there. Post-partum is a very real emotional experience so don't feel as though you are abnormal or weird. Post-pardum can last up to the first 3 years of a childs life. Please don't forget that you have a lot of new responsibilies being a mom and I am sure that if you are not working that makes a huge difference as well. Having outside adult contact with others makes a huge difference in your transformation back to who you are. Your body is chemically rebounding from having your beautiful baby and needs some time. As many others would advise, talk to your doctor and be sure to get out of the house and have some alone time no matter how hard it may be. I had the hardest time leaving my son to have a moment or two to myself, but you will be amazed by how much better you will feel and how much you actually needed the time. You are doing the right things and need some time to get back to yourself and having the support of others will do amazing things. You will be amazed by how many other moms feel the same as you. Don't ever forget that being a mom is not an easy job and the only raise you will ever get is from the wonderful things your child does. Good luck to you and know you have support!!!!! Your are doing great!

M.

Well I would like to say that you are definitly NOT alone! I had a son four months ago and I know exactly how you feel. I have a three yr. old daughter and I felt so overwhelmed. I still do in fact. I lash out at my husband all the time. Thank God he loves me and puts up with me. You will get into a routine and you will get to know your son inside and out. Things will get easier. When I first brought my son home I panicked because I was so tired and he would not go to sleep. Like I said already I have an older child and I drew a complete blank on what to do. Now my son sleeps all night long, I know his cries, and his personality. It is totally normal to feel the way you have been. Just remember that if it gets any worse to tell your doctor.

L.

I'm so glad you wrote! I suffered horrible depression about 8 mos. after my first daughter was born. My husband had this great job doing a talk radio show and I was so desperate and hysterical, I pulled him off the show so he could take over child rearing for awhile. I thought it would never go away. The good news is it did!

I had depression as a kid from the early loss of my mom, a semi-madman for a father and a very lonely childhood. I told my OB that and he said to watch out because many times women who suffered with depression as kids will experience it after giving birth. I didn't know that the brain actually expands and contracts when we have a child and my brain was already chemically off from trauma as a kid.

I had a second child (can you believe it?) and it didn't really come back until she started walking and getting into things. It was triggered again when I was so outer-directed all the time, no time for me to even concentrate on anything, just preventing her from killing herself with a safety pin or a stapler or what have you! It seems to be lessening. I started going to a group called Recovery Inc. in Santa Fe. I got a lot of insight into why my second child being so outer directed was making me depressed. And it was because my siblings and I were always outer directed, taking care of my dad's feelings so as not to make him angry, always on the look-out for an explosion from my dad that sometimes came out of nowhere. Today I take a lot of time for myself. I dump the kids on my husband and thank God I am NOT GUILTY at all. My two year old is in a preschool that is willing to take her 8 am-3 pm and that has been a lifesaver! Can you find a little daycare that could take him, even for 3-4 hrs. a day?

I would suggest also watching what you eat. I found my low feelings were triggered by sugar. I had to eat really bland but that was OK. I went to a chinese herbalist and got some tinctures that you refrigerate (no alcohol in them) and that helped too, providing you're not breastfeeding. I told him I was depressed.

If you want to communicate directly with me, please do. You're not alone. I will help you walk through this as much as I can!

Much Love, C.

Itend to be a little emotional in general, so I was really worried I would have post partum as well, before I had hear, I was told that taking Omega -3's would help with post partum and it is great for her brain developement as well. I take them now and I seem to do all right, I don't cry very often, and I don't feel like such a failer at being a wife and housekeeper (haveing a supportive husband helped with that too!) The purest form of the supplement I found was Krill Oil, you can get it from http://www.mercola.com/ there is alot of other helpful information there! I realize that your postpartum depression sounds a lot worse than mine was, but you never know, I like to turn to natural remedies before the other stuff! Good Luck!

Hi!
Although what you're experiencing is "normal" for a lot of moms, it sure isn't easy....I know first-hand after having my last son. The good news is that there are lots of studies that show a natural way to help. Using Omega-3 fatty acids (such as those in flaxseed and fish oils) can eliminate depression for new moms. While you are pregnant/breastfeeding, the baby takes all of its' nutrients from your body - including the good fats your own body needs. When you deliver the baby, your horomones are out of whack, you suffer from a lack of sleep with a newborn, the demands of taking care of someone 24/7, and putting your own needs last, all create a receipe for feeling overwhelmed and depressed...especially if you don't have a good support system with a partner/family.

Try to sleep when the baby does, drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and supplement with Omega-3. I take it daily, and it is amazing how much better you can feel! There are capsules if you don't like adding flax seed oil to smoothies, etc.

Here are some great articles:

http://depression.about.com/cs/babyblue/a/fishpostpartum.htm

http://www.npicenter.com/anm/templates/newsATemp.aspx?art...

http://www.barleans.com/literature/flax/122-postpartum-de...

Good luck!

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