Life should be rainbows and unicorns right when you’re holding your baby for the first time, right? It should be love at first sight, you should be on a silver cloud, feeling like you’re the luckiest person in the world.
Unfortunately, for many women, that is not always the case.
Sure, some lucky moms get to experience this feeling. But there are plenty of others that feel like they never want to get out of bed again. That feel totally overwhelmed. Not like “being a new mom is hard”, but like you shouldn’t have become a mother in the first place.
Here are three things that most people don’t know about postpartum depression:
Before we start, we want to let you know that you will get better and you will feel normal again to bring out your inner parent for your baby.
1. Breastfeeding your baby cuts the risk of Postpartum Depression in half
According to new research under a large group of new mothers (14.000), breastfeeding your newborn cuts the risk of Postpartum Depression in half. However: wanting to breastfeed your child, but failing to heightens the risk of depression. This study was posted in the Journal of Maternal and Child Health.
The benefits for your child are long known, as the World Health Organisation advises to breastfeed your child for at least six months. The benefits for breastfeeding moms weren’t well documented yet. But if you are pregnant and you want to breastfeed your child, it is important you search for help. Breastfeeding is something that you need to learn. And when you reach out to a lactation consultant when you’re still pregnant, your chances of successfully breastfeeding your baby increase significantly, and your chance of depression will decrease.
2. Postpartum depression doesn’t always start right when you had your baby
Sometimes the depression can start before you even had your baby, and is called antepartum depression. Some mothers get better right when they have their baby, but not all moms are that lucky and stay depressed.
And sometimes you feel great during pregnancy (okay, no one feels great walking around with a huge nine-month belly, but as good as you can possibly feel), you have your baby and you fall immediately in love. The first few weeks are in fact rainbows and unicorns. And then, after a few weeks, you wake up and the thunderstorm hits. Or it sneaks up on you, you feel worse and worse as time goes by. You feel detached from everything, even your baby, you feel overwhelmed, unable to do even the most basic things. This too is called postpartum depression.
3. You are not alone
Even though it often feels like it, you are not alone. There are many other women that feel the same way. And it is important to get help. You can’t do this alone, you don’t have to do this alone. Go see your physician and get a referral to a psychologist. Find support groups, online or IRL. Unfortunately, postpartum depression can hit the best of us. Don’t be afraid to find help and reach out to those closest to you. Did you find this list informative? What things do you feel other moms should know about postpartum depression? Let me know in the comments.