Postpartum depression can start any time during pregnancy and up to a year after your child is born. Many people think pregnancy and childbirth should be a joyous time. For some, it is full of tears and sorrow. For a short period of time this is considered part of the process. If you have symptoms that last longer than a couple weeks you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
I have had three pregnancies and I have three children. I experienced postpartum depression after the birth of each child. The postpartum depression I experienced during and after my first pregnancy was very difficult, with grueling symptoms. During the pregnancy I was consumed with the belief that something terrible was going to happen to my unborn child. I was exhausted all the time. It took very little to bring me to tears. At the time I didn’t know to seek help. I assumed this was how things were supposed to be. I assumed everyone must feel this way. With no friends or family members available that had experienced pregnancy or child birth, I had no one to talk to. A year after my son was born I finally reached out to my doctor for help. With so many resources available, getting the help you need today is so much easier. Don’t allow yourself to suffer alone or in silence. Find a support group at the very least. Your prenatal care provider should be able to provide you with the resources you need.
I found a great website that lists the symptoms of both postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, and has suggestions for help. A great source of information and it is easy to read and understand.
The Mayo Clinic website is also a great resource for postpartum depression information. This site contains information on what changes can be made in your lifestyle at home that could help diminish symptoms. They go as far as suggesting preventative measures. This kind of thinking is what made my second and third experience with pregnancy and child birth much easier. I still had symptoms of postpartum depression. I was proactive in knowing what symptoms I might experience and how I could make them easier to handle. Sleep was the biggest contributor towards easing postpartum depression symptoms.
All three of my children were born by c-section. With my first child this was not planned. After 36 hours of labor, a c-section became necessary. When I was pregnant with both daughters I was informed of what risks were involved in both vaginal and c-section deliveries. With my first daughter the deciding factor was being able to have a procedure that I was already familiar with. There was really no question with the second. I again chose to go with what I knew.
Every pregnancy and child birth is different from the next. Each of us experience things in a completely different way. The best thing you can do is approach pregnancy and child birth with a very open mind. Do your homework though, know what the possibilities are. Just don’t make any assumptions. You don’t have to assume you will experience postpartum depression symptoms. Just know that if you do, there is so much support available. You don’t have to do it alone.