A big topic that is not talked about when it comes to motherhood is the emotions you will go through, I’m talking depression and postpartum depression and everything else in between. The black community loves to ignore this very critical subject and pretend it does not exist. (can i get a witness?) But lets focus on the postpartum aspect of it.
If you’re a new mom like myself, with not much support you’re probably stressing. (I stress everyday, i cant seem to help it now) If you have been feeling a lot more sad, angry, frustrated,can’t concentrate, can’t eat, isolated or anxious, you may be going through postpartum depression. The funny thing about postpartum depression is that it does not have to come right after you deliver. PPD can come a few months after delivery or even after a year. Know the signs and be aware of your feelings. PPD comes in all shapes, from crying to having suicidal thoughts.
There are going to be times when your baby is crying like crazy and you’re ready to lose your sh*t. Does this make you a bad mom? NO! It is okay to have these feelings. Sometimes you will even regret becoming a mother in the first place. When you bring a life into this world, all the doubts you could ever have start fill your head. You don’t dare tell people because you know they will look at you crazy and judge. Little do they know PPD affects more than 90% of women. That percent is even higher amongst black women, and we suffer quietly to be “strong”. You do not have to be ashamed or guilty for going through this. Your body just went through a huge task and now everything is different.
Let me tell you my PPD story real quick. I had already been diagnosed with depression. While i was pregnant i was already struggling from the beginning. I could not even go to church because I felt everybody was staring at me and judging me. the anxiety i felt! CHILEE it was so bad. Fast forward to delivery day and I am holding my baby in my arms but for some reason I did not feel over joyed. I was happy, don’t get me wrong but I felt like i was stuck in a daze, as if reality didnt set in yet. Those nights after I left the hospital were rough. I cried almost everyday and I had no idea as to why I was crying. My baby cried, cried and cried and it made my depression so bad that I wanted to kill myself at a point because I thought i wasn’t good enough to be a mom. One night i decided to call my health center, and i told them how I was feeling and i went in the next day. After discussing my options, I was prescribed “Zoloft” an antidepressant. After only a week I felt so much better, took it for a month then i stopped. Why? Because I wanted to fight my depression without medication. And I’m going to share what worked for me and what may work for you too.
How to cope with Postpartum Depression without medication?
- Talk to your doctor ASAP.
- Try therapy.
- Do NOT turn down help. even if someone just offers to bring you a meal, its a thing off your to do list
- Excercise! get active and start working on that bod.
- When you’re at your whits end, step away from the baby, go to another room and recollect yourself.
- Do not forget about yourself. Do things that make you happy, like getting your nails done or shopping
- Try breastfeeding. research studies show that breastfeeding can help decrease the risk of PPD.
- Take deep Breaths.
- Join a support group. There are many mom groups on facebook you can just search!
- Be social. Talk to your friends and family or whoever youre close with. Isolation is the last thing you need now.
- Eat better.
- Speak good things to yourself in the mirror everyday.
I am 3 months in, and I still have my days where i feel very low. I still get super frustrated to the point i’m in tears. What I’m saying is, dealing and getting over depression is not something that will happen over night. Postpartum depression is not something to be overlooked. You are at risk for harm and so is your child. PPD happens to most of us and it is OKAY. Get help and do what you need to do! Do not let anyone try and down talk you because you are trying to get better. If you’re ever in a place where you feel like harming your baby and there’s no family/friends around, CALL 911 immediately. You need as much support as possible being a mom and there is nothing wrong with that. Until the next post..
Peace, Love & Melanin