When I went for my 6 week postpartum checkup my midwife went over the difference of the baby blues and postpartum depression. Like I previously stated, I scored high on my postpartum depression questionnaire so she wanted to see how she could help me.
The way she further assessed how I was feeling was by telling me to put myself in the situation she was going to say. Someone comes over and cleans my entire house, runs some errands for me and watches my baby while I take a nap; do I feel happier when I receive this help or am I still feeling the same emotions? I stated that I would still be feeling the same. That’s depression.
When you go into labor, that’s your body telling you it’s tired of making and carrying this baby around. What your body doesn’t know is that you still need to take care of it once you deliver. Your body is exhausted and it’s normal to feel tired and emotional. The baby blues is common in most women after giving birth. The symptoms are a more mild version of postpartum depression. It’s important to ask for help if you’re feeling this way because all moms need a little break. If after you receive the help you’re still feeling these emotions you should seek help.
I reached out to my Ob’s office before my 6 week appointment because I wasn’t feeling like myself. They quickly set me up with a therapist but it wasn’t until my 6 week appointment that I was set up with a psychiatrist and group therapy with other moms.
Having a team that screens for postpartum depression is huge! I’ve learned that there are insurances who don’t screen for postpartum depression and some doctors don’t screen for it because they’re poorly educated on the subject and/or have no one to refer you to. If this is your case you need to fight for your mental health! If it wasn’t for all the support I’ve received I don’t know where I would be today.
It’s also important to know that it doesn’t stop at postpartum depression. I also suffer from postpartum anxiety. As I’ve listened to podcasts and read other Mom’s blogs I’ve learned that you can also suffer from postpartum psychosis, postpartum OCD, and PTSD. These are the ones I’ve heard of and there may be more. To all moms and future moms, take care of your mental health. It’s not worth it to suffer in silence and it’s not fair to our children to have moms who aren’t fully present.