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!

I was already taking anti-depressants before I gave birth to my youngest son. They switched me from Prozac to Zoloft because they said Zoloft was safer to a breastfeeding baby. In the long run, after the first 3 months, I couldn't shake the feeling of dread every morning. I quit breastfeeding to return to my normal meds. Depression is a serious issue, and at times it comes on without warning. If you ever wake up feeling like you're living in a nightmare, you NEED to talk to somebody. I would talk to someone and consider the possibility of medication (even if only temporary). These early months in your babies life should be the most joyous and proud moments of your life. You NEED to enjoy them. If you can find something to help you, YOU, like so many other women, will wonder why they wasted so much time trying to fix it with time. Your baby needs his mom. And you need to enjoy your baby. Talk to your doctor before you miss one precious moment!

I know what you're going through. There's no shame in it. But, at times, there is medical help. Take it!

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.

I felt a lot like that 3 years ago when my daughter was still an infant. My best friend had a baby 9 months after me and never suffered a minute of depression. From the day after delivery she was super mom. At the 9 month mark I was still having trouble getting basic chores done. I had some other problems too that ended up being called "psychotic" but I didn't see them as a sign of a problem until afterward. In the end I saw my doctor for my 1 year check up and told her I had to have a severe thyroid problem because of all the issues I was having. She was very patient and kind and informed me that I had no thyroid problem but that I was seriously depressed. I started taking anti-depressants at my doctor's and husband's urging and that made such a world of difference for me.

What you are going through is fairly common, but not "normal". You shouldn't make yourself suffer one more day of this. Call your doctor and get some relief.

M.

I was the same way with my son (3 years ago) only I did not recognize it or get any help. I would definitely call your doctor and feel free to send me a message if you ever want to talk. I have been there and would be happy just to be a person you can talk to about it if you need.

T.

J.,
you definitely need to ask your doctor for help. Antidepressants might work great, and it's nothing you are going to need the rest of your life, it's temporary, for a few months. When I had post-partum depression, some friends (and my husband)wanted me to exercise...yeah, that's great except that when you're exausted and feel like you can't stay on top of things, the last thing you want to do is to exercise...
Ask your doctor for a support group, he might know of one, that helped me a lot. My husband was very supportive also, maybe too suportive because he cooks, cleans, and takes care of the baby, it made me feel even more "inadecuate" as a mom... but talking about your feelings with other people, especially other moms who are going through it and your family might help a lot. Good luck!
Oh, and there's not perfect moms out there! We all try to manage, but my kid is two years old and I still feel like I need a Manual!
Why don't they teach you these things in high school? :)

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!!!

hi J....YOU ARE STILL NORMAL and you won't always feel like this. i understand all your feelings as i too was postpartum blue...1st-if it is at all possible, i suggest you see a doc for his/her input and hopefully some good sound help. 2nd-accept this as best you can and be aware, it will ease up and let you get back to where you want to be. feelings are fickle and unfortunately, sometimes we trust them to be the truth about us...but it is not! wife and mom is something you are from now on and some days are better than others, but on a bad day, you have not failed...try to find a suitable way to cope with getting a little off-track from time to time. love yourself the way you are and you will be able to be more loving to dad and baby!! when you are up to it, seek support from your friends and family...and avoid anyone who is not.
i would enjoy hearing back from you, if it would please you!
God bless...take care, T.

Hi J.,
It is normal to feel overwhelmed at times as a new mom, but you shouldn't feel like that all the time.
Do you have time for yourself?? You need some at least every other day, even if it is just an hour here and there.
Do you exercise? It helps. Maybe start the day with a stroler walk or run.
I wouldn't necesarely take drugs before trying alternatives.
G.

You are totally normal!! After I had my twins I felt sooo happy for about 5 weeks. Then all of a sudden I felt like I was living in a horor movie. Nothing made sense to me any more. I was sad and scared. I was afraid that if I told anyone they would think I didn't love my twins. Luckily my OB GYN asked me about it at my 6 week check up. She told me that post partum is very normal. She started me on Zoloft and in a few weeks I felt better. I really didn't want to take drugs - I felt like it was a psychological problem and there must be something wrong with me. My doctor explained that there was nothing psychological wrong with me. The surge of hormones from the end of my pregnancy coupled with extreme lack of sleep was coasing me to not manufacure enough seratonin. Seratonin makes us feel happy and normal.. Zoloft would raise my level of seratonin. It is just like a diabetic taking insulin. Zoloft is safe with breastfeeding. I nursed two babies while on it!!
I am very glad I got help. I felt like I was missing my baby's first months because I was so out of it with the depression.

I definately recommend that you see a doctor to get some anti depression drugs.

But also -- these things really help.

Get a full nights sleep. If your baby is not sleeping through the night get the book Bsbywise and follow it! But in the mean time go to a hotel if you have to and get a full night's sleep.

Excercise every day. The YMCA (I go to Christown) will include childwatch as part of your membership once the baby will sit up. If you can't go to the Y then put the baby in a stroller and get walking. Excercise really helps depression.

Get out in the sunlight at least an hour a day. It will elevate your mood.

Talk to friends. Once you start mentioning depression almost everyone has a story about it. I have made a vow to myself to never hide my depression in case someone needs to talk about it.

I also find that prayer/ meditation helps. But don't fall into the trap of thinking that depression is a spriritual weakness. It is no more so than a broken arm. You will get through it and you owe it to yourself and your children to get help.

Sending you love,

C.

Dear J. I know first-hand about this I suffered for 3 months before I ended up in the ER do take this serioulsy call your doctor tell him what is going on. it sounds more like a chemical imbalance and not the baby-blues. I was against drugs also untill I realized I needed more help. I have had post-partum with all three of my pregnacies but the last child was off the chart.I was on a antipressant for a year but one thing I know now I wish I would of said something sooner I knew I wasnt right.Get help now it starts to work fairly quickly God Bless and I will pray for you...Love In Christ Vickie

I felt the same until my son was about 6 or 7 months old... then everything kinds of fell into place. Not that I would say it's normal but a lot of mothers go thru it. I didn't seek "doctor help" I just let it ride. Before I knew it I ws happy old me again with an amazing little guy to play with! I think alot of it has to do with the sudden LACK of hormones our body produces once the baby is born. But who knows. If you feel like it is to the point where you can not preform you everyday functions - then by all means - see a doctor!!! Your little guy needs a happy mommy :)

Best of luck!!!
K. H.
Passion Parties Independent Consultant
www.4everpassionate.com

J., it sounds to me like you may have a little post-partum depression going on. It's VERY common. After I had my first baby, I got depressed - but didn't acknowledge it until she was almost a year old.

Talk with your doctor. They may give you some anti-depressants to take. Just don't do nothing.

All mothers feel overwhelmed and are emotional. And first time mothers may feel this more than mothers who have multiples. Being a mom is a lot to deal with and a lot of learning and feeling inadequate. But, if you're feeling this more than 50% of the time, it may be time to seek outside help. When I talked with my doctor, he made me feel better - like I wasn't a failure. And, the drugs helped.

Talk with your doctor and see what options there are for your. Anti-depressants aren't for everyone. Your doc may have a different approach.

I wish you well. I've been there and did NOT enjoy it. Take time to take care of you - it's one of the most important things you can do.

J.,

Well the only thing I will add to all the other responses is in case you had a Mirena IUD put in. I suffered from depression seceral months after my 2nd son was born. Drs. assured me the hormones would not go through my blood stream. Finally, just as a last resort before anti-depressants I did research on the Mirena IUD- SO many women on the message board had the same reaction. I had it taken out and replaced it with the regular copper IUD. I've been fine since.

Just thought I'd mention this just in case. But I've heard great things about anti-depressants helping just get out of the gloom.

Best of luck,
S.

I to had postpartum depression with all 3 of my children. The first was so bad that my family and doctor were worried that I may hurt my self or my child. After getting on medication (paxil) and getting out the house by myself or with friends and just talking it was a great help. Also, have you talked to you doctor? There is a lot that can be done for you. The first thing you must remember is that you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you if you are on or go on medication to help you through this. I was on the medication and it made a huge difference. Another thing to do is get out with just your husband for a date night and do something fun and carefree. I hope that this helps you. If you ever need someone to talk to about this please let me know. I really do understand what you going through.
B.

Hi, I am 27 and mother of three i suffered from postpartum to the point it put me in the hospital for a time. I have good news even tho i still struggle with depression and hormon imbalence sometimes, i am well now. If you would like to talk to me about my experinces please contact me.

L.

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