Postpartum Depression - Support Thread — The Bump
February 2017 Moms

Postpartum Depression - Support Thread

ShawllsShawlls member
edited January 2017 in February 2017 Moms
Please let me know if this should go elsewhere; however, I think it's important to have a dedicated thread for this topic, and I'm happy to go first. (Share personal stories, coping strategies, support networks/ideas/contacts). 

This is my second baby/girl (1st born Dec 7, 2014) and I am generally a very positive and glass-half-full person. I never thought Postpartum Depression would affect me. But, with my first, I had a precursor to PPD that is called "Adjustment Disorder" - it's basically a difficulty adjusting to my new reality. From my lens, I went from being a career-oriented high achiever (and larger breadwinner), to a stay-at-home mom on maternity leave with a baby. I felt out of control (when I was so used to being in control at work). Why is she crying? Why won't she sleep? What if she poops while we're out? Why isn't the weight coming off faster? Can't I just go to work? Didn't I already do "my part" by being the pregnant one? I am in Canada (for context) so that meant adjusting to a year off work (work that I love); that is a long time to 'lose yourself'. 

I only know it was called Adjustment Disorder because I spoke about it and sought support right away. I also took the proactive steps this time around to see someone about it (Psychiatrist), to ensure I'm better prepared this time to deal with the emotions of having another baby and being off work. The steps I took for support were to be open with my OB, who then referred me to the "Reproductive Mental Health" ward/department at my delivery hospital (where I saw the Psych). Other support avenues were my mom (who normally can be 'tough love', but is amazing now as a result of my openness), friends, and drop-in moms groups. I also found it really helpful to find other moms who planned to return to work (since I felt they would know how I felt). All of this really helped me through the emotions I was feeling, and the purpose of me sharing this is to say that support is everywhere, you just have to reach out.

I also wanted to share that this topic is also particularly relevant to me because a woman in my community recently committed suicide 2 months after giving birth to her first child. I did not know her personally, but it seems the pressures of being a mother (with some specifics around the pressures of breastfeeding), were the major contributing factors. I can't help but think: if only she knew how much support she had and that she in fact was doing her best, which was more than 'good enough'. Here is a recent article if you'd like to read it:

Once again, I am thinking that we can use this thread to share personal stories, coping strategies, support networks/ideas/contacts, and generally just be there for each other because having a baby is tough work (physically, emotionally, mentally) and we all deserve some support! 

Re: Postpartum Depression - Support Thread

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  • @Shawlls This is amazing. Thank you for starting this thread.
  • Glad to see there is interest and support in this thread. We are a community to each other. For the FTMs reading this thread, please don't panic or be scared. PPD may or may not affect you (and there is a spectrum too). At the very least it's good to know you have support if needed.
  • Thank you. I'm a ftm, but I've had issues with anxiety and depression since my early teens. (Now age 24) Since becoming pregnant, it's been the longest I haven't been depressed in a very long time. I'm hoping that my newfound mental health will stick around, but I know that because of my previous history, I am at risk for PPD. 

    Hugs to all!
  • ShawllsShawlls member
    edited January 2017
    @poetryandoceans I didn't catch the interview with her husband, but I'll check it out! It's so true that partners needs to be prepared too. (p.s. I'm in North Vancouver, if that's close to you!)

    And thank you for mentioning the labour expectations and Day 4 too. I remember feeling "so strong" after my unexpected c-section the first time...BUT, I had some set backs when others would say comments to me about "how disappointed I must be", which I wasn't (but can imagine how that would feel if I was in fact struggling with that).
  • I wonder if a FTM (me) can have antepartum depression? I'm not sure what to call it. Just a sadness that I'm 38 weeks and ready to be done being pregnant. I'm on maternity leave and alone all day (well the cats are here...). I'm just tired of being kicked and jabbed and being uncomfortable. I just want to sleep on my back. And I'm really tired of every time I reach out to my mom, MIL, or friend about how I'm feeling I just get the old "just you wait..." shtick and "you'll never have your body to yourself again..." I just wish I'd feel more encouraged or supported. Everyone is looking forward to/wants baby snuggles but seem to ignore my needs (DH is very supportive, it's everyone else).
  • @purplewriter I could have written that verbatim (except no cats here). This is my first week of leave, and I'm having all the struggles you mentioned. Add that to a pre-disposition for seasonal depression, a bitter cold winter, and no family for hundreds of miles--it adds up quick. If you need to commiserate, feel free to PM me!
  • @purplewriter I'm sorry you aren't getting the support you need and deserve. I'm also sorry you are feeling sad and uncomfortable. I'm also a FTM and maybe someone with more experience can chime in, but if you haven't already, I would bring this up with your doctor at your next appointment. They would be able to help you determine if your feelings are "normal" or something more. It might also help so that your doctor is aware just in case it turns into PPD. Just know you aren't alone! I'm glad that your DH is being supportive and you also have us here as well  :)
  • @MrsLittleMac @ColeBug89

    thanks for your support. Good to know I'm not alone in my struggles.
  • @purplewriter I agree with @ColeBug89 about putting this on your Dr's radar. Not only because they need to know to keep an eye out for PPD, but because primary care docs can often help put you in touch with resources in the community you may not know about. It sounds like you would like some in person empathy about your situation... perhaps a local moms group would be helpful? I know a store near me runs 4 weekly baby groups, grouped by age, so you get to meet other local women at the same stage of the game as you. Maybe there are similar resources near you?

  • @purplewriter I was wondering about antenatal depression in second and early third tri. I got to the point of taking several online quizzes to see if I had it and usually scored in the middle section-maybe yes, maybe no. I never brought it up to my doc or MWs, but probably should have. I cried so much and became so fixated on all the things I could no longer do. I just felt guilty that I wasn't enjoying my pregnancy even though it was so wanted and was very healthy. For me, things mentally have improved as the finish line nears but I feel you, and you're not the only one to feel the way you do. There's so much expectation to enjoy pregnancy as a special time, but the reality is that it's super tough and it's ok not to and doesn't mean we won't be wonderful, loving parents.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. PPD is something I really want to watch out for and this thread is a great idea. 

  • @purplewriter, I think @poetryandoceans had a great idea about a moms support group. That's really helped me a LOT over the years. I've forced myself to get out and meet other moms at these groups or scheduled activities even if I felt shy because it's helped so much to not feel isolated and lonely. It might make you feel better especially if there's some options for you and you can try a few different ones. This group right here is amazing for support, but sometimes there's nothing like having real in person friendships with other moms with similar age babies (or even just any other moms!) going through similar things.  
  • @purplewriter, I totally agree with @Jab3 about finding some in person groups. I have been doing some prenatal yoga this time around and it's given me a network of other women going through the same waves of emotions. Just know you aren't alone, and meeting other moms will provide some clarity on this!
  • @purplewriter   How are you feeling now? I think you had your LO I hope you are feeling better.  I just hit 38 weeks and I think I have it now too.  
  • @CornchipLA thanks for thinking of me. I had my LO 10 days ago. Things are a bit hard for me as it's super cold out so we can't really get out of the house. I had my mom come for a few days and more family is coming at the end of the month. 

    Today was my first day with the LO all day. He hates being put down so it's been mostly sitting on the couch and getting up to change diapers.
  • Does he like Netflix? :) Is it possible to watch tv with a newborn (FTM over here).  I understand that we will go through many ups and downs during this time.  The weather certainly doesn't help.  I'm certainly open to meds if it comes to it we all deserve a little help here and there.  
  • I think the time of year we're having babies can't be great from a PPD perspective. I've been feeling super cooped up with the baby lately. In one of my (many) middle of the night feeds last night, I decided I was going to make a point to go out for a walk today, even if it meant bundling up... Of course, I wake up to a bunch of snow, and it hasn't stopped falling all day. Hopefully it'll melt in a day or two, but for right now, I'm too paranoid of falling. I bailed on the ice once when the baby was inside, I have no interest in repeating the experience with him on the outside.

    I feel like the normal SAD/February blahs can make the postpartum time feel even harder. I've been wanting to bust out my SAD lamp, but they're supposed to be bad for babies, and kiddo is going through a "the only place I am happy is on mom's chest" phase, so that's out too...

    My husband has been taking the baby for a half hour or so every day so I can do some journalling and self-care, which has been doing a lot to keep me sane. Having to articulate my thoughts and feelings as I write them out helps me sort through them. That might be a strategy others could use? It's not weather dependent! ;) 

  • RachelbdRachelbd member
    edited February 2017

    Thank you for this thread! I am still pregnant (37 weeks), but I am pretty sure I have antepartum depression. I cry over everything, I feel like I am sucking as a mom to my 4 year old. I had a full blown panic attack the other day in front of him, and just have no patience and have been very snappy. I mentioned it to my Dr last week because I don't want to damage my DS, and also I am afraid it is a precursor to PPD. (I also have a diagnosed history of anxiety and depression previous to pregnancy, and I'm pretty sure I had PPD with my first son, but I never sought help).. She was glad I told her and made a referral to an affiliated behavioral health dr. I am just waiting for them to call and set up an appointment. I feel like there is shame/embarrassment around this type of things, and no one in my life really understands so it's lonely and isolating. It's nice having people who understand to talk to without judgement.

  • @rachelbd, with my younger daughter,  I was on Zoloft the whole pregnancy and ended up even upping my dosage at the end.  Antepartum depression and anxiety suck,  but good for you for being proactive.  This time I have been good with my normal dose,  but have had several bouts of melancholy,  and also snippy with my family,  so I know it's there.   The anxiety is much better this time,  which helps me. 

    Hugs, and it will all be okay! 
    Married - 7/29/06
    Ben and Maggie - 4/10/09 
    Mia - 6/16/11
    Surprise! due 2/23/17

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I'm starting to struggle big time. I thought I was doing okay, but can feel myself going downhill fast with both the anxiety and the depression. I have an appointment scheduled to see a psychiatrist in another week. I haven't been able to make it out to see my counselor who I usually see weekly so I'm really struggling. Since I've been out of the hospital, H has been taking the older kids out to try and give me plenty of time to rest, but I still feel like I can't fully relax.

     The kids missed almost the whole week of school (last week when I was in the hospital) from all the snow and H insisted on bringing them all day everyday and as much as I missed them all, it was so damn overwhelming. Now that I'm home I keep getting these shitty panic attacks where I feel like I can't breathe. Just feeling really lonely and isolated too. Anyone still around to talk to? 
  • @Jab3 hey lady. I'm about to head to bed, but wanted to take a second to let you know I saw this and I'm thinking of you. It sounds like you're being proactive and reaching out to access your local support system which is fantastic. While you're waiting on your psychiatrist appointment, do you think your counsellor would do a Skype session, if getting out of the house is too much? I know a lot of counsellors will use that tech in special circumstances, and I'd say a long time client struggling postpartum would definitely qualify.

    in the meantime, you could try googling the self care website 'you feel like shit' - the name sounds a little ridiculous, but it walks you through the basics of self care when you're feeling overwhelmed, and it can be a really useful tool for people who need a little bit of support accessing the supports they already have around them.

    sorry I have to log off now, but don't forget that the nights are often the hardest, and tonight will end in a few hours. *creepy Internet hugs*

  • lemieuxklemieuxk member
    edited February 2017
    @jab3 I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time, but I do think it's understandable that the stressors you've already been dealing with plus pp hormones and stress have intensified your anxiety and depressive symptoms. Doesn't make it any easier though! Would your therapist be willing to come to you for a session or two? Some agencies allow this or maybe you could do a phone session? I'm around if you need support!

    As for me, I called to make an appt with a new therapist today. My mood has been all over the place and after a month on the hospital, two weeks in the nicu, and a month of having to keep baby home 24/7 I'm really feeling the stress. At first I felt really happy about my birth experience but looking back on it now I feel kind of sad. I just need a space to process all of what's happened and try to heal.

    I also feel a lot of pressure to ENJOY EVERY MOMENT BECAUSE YOU'LL MISS IT WHEN IT'S GONE THEY'RE ONLY LITTLE ONCE. I know that's true in a way, but in another way this phase sucks. I haven't slept more than 3 consecutive hours in 6 weeks, I'm the heaviest I've ever been, my boobs are perpetually in some sort of discomfort, and sometimes my baby screams for no reason. I do love and enjoy my daughter in ways I never imagined AND I would kill for a full night of sleep. I can feel both at the same time.

    Edit: why does if always autocorrect to of 
  • Thank you for the link @poetryandoceans, I'll definitely check that out! And you're right, the nights are the hardest because there's too much time to just sit in the dark with it all quiet and overthink everything. 
  • @lemieuxk, I think you're definitely right about all the stressors I already had playing a big part in all the emotions being intensified right now postpartum.  I used to have a counselor that would come see me weekly where are used to live, but where I'm currently at they don't offer that (even under the circumstances unfortunately.) I was able to talk her into doing some phone sessions with me though so that should be helpful at least until I'm actually able to get back into the office.  Thanks for letting me know you're there, believe it or not it helps! I've learned over the years that holding everything in and trying to play it cool and act like everything's fine when it's not is the worst thing that I can do. 

     I'm so glad that you booked an appointment with a new therapist today. I hope that's really helpful for you and please know that I can be here for you as well. You have gone through so much with the birth of your little one and when everything happens in such a whirlwind way like that, how are you supposed to be able to process it all? That was so much for you to have gone through.  It's almost like once we have even just a minute to take a step back from it all, that's when everything that's happened just hits you like a ton of bricks. I hope the therapist that sees you has some experience in dealing with this sort of thing and can really help you out. Let me know how it goes!

     I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I literally laughed out loud when I saw all in caps how you're tired of the phrase enjoy every moment while it lasts, they're only young once type of deal. I couldn't agree more. People adding the pressure on to make sure your cherishing every single moment while simultaneously dealing with all the mood swings and ups and downs of parenting (especially in the postpartum period) is insane. I know people mean well when they say stuff like that and it is true in the grand scheme of things, but when you're right in the thick of it, it just doesn't help to hear shit like that being said.  It just makes the emotional roller coaster you're already on seem even more out of control. My if always AutoCorrects to of as well LOL  i'm surprised this thing even let me type out this much. It's all whacked out today for some reason. 
  • @Jab3 I'm glad to see you've found some options to help alleviate your stressors and anxiety. Nighttime can always be overwhelming and I hope these new phone sessions and in home visuals can help give you relief. Just remember it does get easier- you've done this before and you can do it again! Hugs!

  • I am just going to pop this into this thread because I don't know where else to put it.   6 days post partum here,  on Zoloft (but needed to refill yesterday) but I am a mess with very legitimate reasons.  They rushed my grandmother from the rehab facility to the emergency room yesterday and now she is officially considered hospice.  I am very,  very close to her, and I can't stop crying.   We have been at the hospital,  I have had to either bring the baby with me or pump,  and it is not at all what I need to be doing at less than a week.   

    I know its a mix of genuine sadness and baby blues, hormones, but this week I am so worried about depression spiraling down.   I am already having trouble eating and drinking anything.   There's not much time for sleep and rest.   

    Married - 7/29/06
    Ben and Maggie - 4/10/09 
    Mia - 6/16/11
    Surprise! due 2/23/17

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Huge hugs @partyof6? And I'm not even a toucher. 
  • I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother @Partyof6?. It must be so much to handle, especially with a newborn. I am glad that you are taking medication to help and if you aren't already, it might be a good idea to talk with a therapist. I hope you are able to lean on family/friends during this time, and you have us here as well for any support you need.
  • @Partyof6? So very sorry to hear about your grandmother, I know how close you are to her from you mentioning it before. Life sucks at timing things doesn't it? Not that there's ever a good time to lose someone you love dearly, but a week out from giving birth is so not what you need to be dealing with right now. I don't blame you for being worried about a downward spiral, but the good thing is how aware of your mood you clearly are and how this is all affecting you. Is the Zoloft still helping you? I'll be thinking of you and so sorry you're going through this right now of all times. 
  • @Partyof6? I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. There's nothing really comforting one can say to you right now. I'll be praying for your family, especially you. There is so much going on and I hope there will be comfort for you somehow. ((Hugs))
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @Partyof6? Hugs! I'm sorry you are overwhelmed and dealing with all of this right now. Try to take a few minutes to eat and drink, if nothing else it may help you clear your head for a few minutes before going back into the situation with your grandma. It is incredibly hard when a family member is near the end, even without a new baby. 
    Rainbow baby Dean is due 2/17/17!
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