While most of my blog topics have been positive in nature, this one is more serious because it’s SO important.
I had NO idea how common postpartum depression is for new moms.
In fact, postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 600,000 women will face postpartum depression every year.
WOW – that’s a BIG number.
It’s no surprise that this photo of a vulnerable mom from Arizona holding her three-day-old son went viral just last month after it was posted on Facebook.
Postpartum depression affects SO many women. Whether you’re a new mom or a know a new mom, it’s important to recognize the symptoms.
The photo sparked a conversation about the struggles of being a new mom.
Dr. Mary Pease at IU Health says the postpartum period is the first 12 months after birth.
“Most studies and practitioners define postpartum depression as depressive episodes that occur with in the 12 months of delivery. Most common symptoms are anxiety and panic attacks, irritability and anger, feelings of inadequacy, guilt, excessive crying and debilitating fatigue,” explained Pease.
Thankfully, there is help.
There are several local groups that give moms tools to take care of themselves – LET GO – so they can better take care of their family through the tough times.
Many of the groups focus on a practice called mindfulness.
“Mindfulness can be a single moment of taking a deep breath. It doesn`t need to be a complex meditation practice. I had a mom say a great moment is after you buckle your baby into a car seat and you close the door and you’re walking around to get into drive and you’re able to realize I have a moment here to really breathe,” explained one social worker.
Pease says moms most at risk are those with a past history of depression and those dealing with stressful life events, like fighting in your marriage or a lack of social or financial support.
Postpartum depression is a very real problem.
Doctors watch for postpartum depression and always follow up with new moms the weeks after delivery.
"During their hospital stay, a routine screening test is administered to uncover women whom are at risk. Their physician can then review the signs and symptoms with them before they go home. The patient may also be seen back in the office sooner than the traditional 6 week postpartum visit to see how they are coping," explained Pease.
If you need help, the best place to start is with your doctor.
They can usually get you medication and give recommendations for therapists and support groups. Many hospitals, including IU Health, offer postpartum support groups which can be invaluable.
Be sure to share YOUR experiences using the hashtag #PencePregnacy on social media.
All moms face hard moments, but it's easier to do it together.
#Twinning at 28 weeks
Follow my journey on social media, using the hashtag #PencePregnancy
You can also follow me on my social media accounts: