Your beautiful baby is 2 months old. They’re sleeping through the night, eating like a champ, and the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. But you’re still sad, anxious and feel so overwhelmed. Your hormones have taken hold of your body, and they don’t intend to let go….
You’re not alone!
The National Institute of Health reports that one in eight women suffers from postpartum depression. So, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I am very fortunate that I only had the baby blues (goes away after about 2 weeks postpartum), and only with my third child. But I have seen friends suffer through it; breaking my heart for them each time. Every one of them felt the same way: alone. But the reality is that postpartum depression is pretty common, so don’t be ashamed to reach out to friends and family (and especially your doctor) if you notice any of the following:
- Feeling sad or hopeless nearly every day.
- Losing interest in or not getting pleasure from most daily activities, and feeling this way nearly every day.
- Sleep too much or not enough. You may also have trouble sleeping, even when your baby is sleeping.
- Feel restless and not be able to sit still, or you may sit quietly and feel that moving takes great effort. Others can easily see this behavior.
- Feel unusually tired or as if you have no energy.
- Feel unworthy or guilty. You may have low self-esteem and worry that people don’t like you.
- Find it hard to focus, remember things, or make decisions. You may feel anxious or worried about things.
You should call your doctor immediately if you are thinking about harming yourself or someone else. There are antidepressants that can be prescribed. Even for nursing moms! If you’re a little more crunchy, like me, there are things you can do in anticipation to help prevent the onset (which can happen anytime in the first postpartum year).
After my third child, I opted to encapsulate my placenta and take daily doses… Sounds much better than saying I ate it. This helps regulate your body hormonally and thus helps out with those pesky blue thoughts. Make sure you’re eating well and getting enough sleep. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Meditate and exercise everyday. Get outside. Go for a walk. Talk to people. And laugh! Laughter can cure just about anything.
Most importantly, never forget, you’re not alone!