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: http://globalnews.ca/news/3186634/husband-of-florence-leung-releases-emotional-statement-about-ppd-pressure-to-breastfeed/?sf51457637=1
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!