Prior to having kids, I heard several moms talk about postpartum depression and how they battled their hormonal highs and lows after having their babies. Hearing this scared me, and I mean really scared me. I wanted a baby but I was terrified of PPD and I never wanted to face PPD and the horrible effects that it can have on a person, especially with all that’s thrown at you as a new mama.
I had my daughter on March 3, 2019 and most of the time, I felt like I was on top of the world.
Then, several months down the road, winter hit. Winter mixed with postpartum hormones, didn’t mix well for the state of my mental health. I knew I was struggling with postpartum depression, even though it didn’t want to initially acknowledge it.
I felt sad. My heart felt heavy. I felt alone. My desire to get out of bed, completely shut off. A million questions cluttered my mind. Was it seasonal depression? Was this just my hormones playing tricks on me? How can I fully be present for my baby, when I felt so incredibly sad? What could I do to help cope with how I was feeling?
With tear stained eyes, I grabbed my phone and asked some of my local friends and family to pray for me, communicating how I was feeling. I also decided to take a break from social media, for a few months, deleting all apps off of my phone.
Those were the first two steps I took. So what can you do if you feel the same?
Number one, remind yourself that you’re a great mom. You were made to do this and although it may feel very heavy and defeating, as you’re in the thick of it, you CAN do this. Your baby has no idea what you may be feeling, and let go of any guilt that may be creeping into your mind.
Talk to your doctor! Getting medication may feel like too much. Do you really need it? Are you really that bad? Maybe it will get better soon? Throw all of those questions aside and think about how your number one priority is that you need to try to be the best version of yourself, for your baby. If the word medication crosses your mind for a split second, call and get a prescription immediately. I promise you, you will not regret it. You may not feel like you need to take the meds, but your baby may need you to. Looking back, I wish I would have been aware of this and settled my pride, and taken meds. I was worried about a huge list of things and I was also breastfeeding and was truly just scared to take meds. However, there are several medications that are safe for breastfeeding, so don’t be afraid!
Next, prioritize yourself. All of your old ways of caring for yourself, all of your passions, and even your hobbies can really get lost when you pick up the title of motherhood. But prioritizing yourself is so incredibly important. Daily showers, a touch of makeup (if that’s your thing), and getting dressed for the day are simple ways to prioritize yourself and make you feel ready to take on a new day.
Find something that makes you feel like you again. Is it heading to Target and strolling the aisles alone? Is it sitting down for coffee with a friend? Is it getting into a normal exercise routine? Whatever it is, find ONE single thing you love, and pursue it. I encourage you to start small! Pick one thing a week to help shift your mind, and with each passing week, add more on to your plate, if you feel comfortable!
Ask for help or talk to someone who will listen. Whether its a friend or a family member, a doctor, or a counselor, ask for help or talk it out, and don’t be ashamed.
Looking back, I realized that while you are living in it, it feels like you’re never going to get out. But there is hope at the end of the tunnel, as long as you’re willing to prioritize your needs and put in a bit of work to find your old self again, you will feel better, I promise. You were 100% made for motherhood. *Big virtual hug from me, to you*