Bringing a new life into the world is a moment of joy and celebration for many mothers and fathers. However, for some, the period following childbirth can be filled with overwhelming emotions, anxiety, and sadness.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious condition that affects millions of women worldwide. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of postpartum depression. I will discuss its causes and symptoms. I will also provide available support systems to help parents navigate this challenging phase of parenthood.
When I gave birth to my first child in 2001, I remember a great deal of focus on understanding that the baby might experience challenges or purple crying. Purple crying is when an infant has long periods of crying and resists being soothed. I was given a video to watch and given tips on how to manage those moments. Not much focus was placed on my own emotions outside of the baby.
So when my daughter was born 7 weeks early and spent 30 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital while I was sent home, it was no wonder as I was not prepared. I look back on those days. I know I struggled to focus on my own mental health care and prioritized hospital visits and meetings with the doctors and realized I could have used some professional and emotional support. However, no one can prepare you for experiencing PPD.
Symptoms of postpartum depression may include anger, guilt, fatigue, irritability, crying, and lack of
concentration. The person may experience depression, fear, and/or racing thoughts.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) reports that 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) affects countless women worldwide, yet the stigma surrounding this condition often leaves new mothers suffering in silence.
Men and women can both experience postpartum depression. Men who have partners experiencing PPD are more likely to report similar symptoms. 1 in 10 men report experiencing postpartum depression.
It’s important to raise awareness of postpartum depression and create a supportive & understanding environment for affected parents. By breaking the silence, we can foster empathy, compassion, and meaningful change in how society perceives and supports parents battling PPD.
Postpartum Support International is an organization that provides support to parents but also training to medical providers (i.e. doctors, therapists, nurses, etc….).
Check out their website: https://www.postpartum.net/
PSI offers virtual support groups across the world. They offer support for many subgroups such as military families, trauma support, and Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). All the groups are free to participants. The organization also offers a HELP Line (800) 944-4773 for non-crisis situations.
If you or someone in your family are in need of personal support for PPD, seek a therapist who has Perinatal Mental Health Certification (PMH-C). This means the medical provider has been trained specifically in helping perinatal clients and their families.
Postpartum depression is a challenging journey that no parent should endure alone. By
understanding the complexities of this condition and fostering a compassionate environment, we can help new parents find the support and strength they need to overcome postpartum depression.
Let us stand together in raising awareness and breaking the barriers surrounding this vital issue.
Nicole Wallace is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor with over 20 years experience helping adults and children with overcoming trauma, managing life transitions, and developing coping skills. Nicole specializes in helping women heal from anxiety, depression, trauma, and life transitions. Women are often consumed with providing care to others and sometimes we don’t slow down to address our own needs. She provides a caring, non-judgmental therapeutic environment within her practice with the intention to help women process any past trauma and begin to prioritize their own needs. Nicole is certified in the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy teaches an individual to recognize the connection between thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Nicole is founder of Transformation Counseling and Consulting, PLLC.
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