6 Moms Share What Postpartum Depression Really Feels Like — and How They Asked For Help
This article was originally featured on What to Expect, a pregnancy and parenting brand helping every parent know what to expect, every step of the way.
After the birth of your baby, it's normal to feel a whole lot of different emotions. Excited at the arrival of this little person you've been carrying around inside for the last nine months. Nervous about taking on the big role of Mom. And, maybe, a bit sad, anxious or overwhelmed by all of it.
For the first two weeks after the birth of baby, up to eight in 10 women experience what's commonly called the "baby blues," or weepiness, irritability, exhaustion and trouble sleeping. After the rush of labor and delivery is over, your hormones readjust and you settle into your new life at home, it's common to go through this slump. However, if those feelings linger longer than a couple of weeks, or if they become so intense that they interfere with your ability to care for yourself or your baby, you may be among the estimated 5 to 25 percent of women suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).
If you think you might be experiencing PPD, you might want to brush it off, thinking that you have no reason to feel sad or that you can work through your emotions on your own. But talking to your doctor is essential to get you the help you need — for the health and safety of both you and your little one. Here, six women who suffered from PPD share what it felt like for them and how they overcame it.