If after you give birth to your little bundle of joy and you don’t feel particularly joyful it can be very frustrating and hard to deal with. We all hear about postpartum depression, but we never think it could happen to us. You may do all the “right” things that are supposed to prevent it; breastfeed, meditating, exercise, eating healthy, do placenta encapsulation, and everything else you’re told to do. You may have never felt anything like it your whole life and may have been absolutely over the moon during pregnancy. Even if you feel prepared it can catch you off guard. It may be that everything was perfect at first but as the months went by it got worse and worse in a way you didn’t even know was possible.
There are things that can make it worse that you don’t even notice. Whenever you first give birth you usually have a lot of help. Family members may clean for you, cook, spend time with you, take care of your other children, your partner may be off of work, you may have a postpartum doula, and then suddenly you’re expected to do it alone. Your partner goes back to work, family and friends seem to lose interest, and you’ve already finished your contract with your doula. It may even be months since all this happened. Maybe it’s going back to work or expecting yourself to do everything you did before pregnancy. Maybe it’s being alone in your house all the time. Maybe your family and friends don’t take you and your problems seriously. Many times it’s just plain old hormones. A lot of the times you think it’s you.
Even though it seems like there’s information about postpartum depression everywhere we don’t know enough to recognize it in ourselves. When you don’t realize what’s going on it can feel like you’re going crazy and nothing will help! Part of the problem is there’s more to it than just depression. There are a lot of postpartum conditions that can occur. There’s postpartum anxiety that can leave you completely terrified, there’s postpartum psychosis where you may have delusional thoughts you know aren’t real but you feel them anyway. You could have hallucinations. That’s not even mentioning postpartum PTSD if your birth experience was way less than stellar.
I want you to know you’re not alone. Even though the very worst of postpartum psychosis is rare I’ve seen it happen in my clients. Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. Yet, we can still feel alone in our experiences. There are many things you can do to combat it but the first hurtle is recognizing it and accepting it. You’re not weird, you’re normal. It won’t be this way forever, you can get help. You’re not alone, there are so many people who are here for you.