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Navigating the Depths: Understanding Postpartum Depression

Updated: Mar 30

A new mother with postpartum depression smiling when she's sad

I had my baby girl on February 24th, 2020, weeks before the COVID pandemic hit. Not only did I have pretty much a pandemic baby, I then moved back to my childhood home, where I began my journey as a single mother, living with my father. I was thankful to have a home to go to, but navigating this new world - and body - was anything but easy, especially living with someone who was an active alcoholic and had no understanding how hard motherhood is (even though he had two daughters of his own). During this time, I cultivated a newfound respect for all that my mother went through, silently.

Welcoming a new life into the world is a joyous occasion filled with hope and anticipation. However, for many new mothers, the postpartum period can also be accompanied by unexpected challenges, including feelings of sadness, anxiety, and overwhelming fatigue. These experiences, often referred to as postpartum depression (PPD), can cast a shadow over what should be a time of celebration and bonding with your newborn.

what is postpartum depression?

a new mother with postpartum depression holding her baby

Postpartum depression is more common than you might think. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), around 1 in 7 women experience symptoms of PPD following childbirth. This statistic highlights the prevalence of this condition and underscores the importance of recognizing its signs and symptoms early on.

So, what exactly is postpartum depression? It's essential to understand that PPD is not simply feeling "baby blues" or occasional moments of sadness. Instead, it's a significant and prolonged period of emotional distress that can interfere with a mother's ability to care for herself and her baby. Symptoms may include persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, irritability, difficulty bonding with the baby, and thoughts of harming oneself or the baby.

why do people get postpartum depression?

A scrabble letter y on a white piece of cloth

Many factors can contribute to the development of postpartum depression. Hormonal changes, lack of sleep, physical discomfort after childbirth, and the stress of adjusting to a new role as a mother are just a few potential triggers. Additionally, women with a history of depression or anxiety, as well as those who experience complications during pregnancy or childbirth, may be at a higher risk.

getting help for postpartum depression

An orange circle life raft on a white wall of a pool

It's crucial to remember that postpartum depression is not a reflection of your worth as a mother. It's a medical condition that requires attention and support to overcome. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards healing and recovery.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may be experiencing postpartum depression, it's essential to reach out for support. Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and concerns. They can provide guidance on treatment options, which may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

In addition to professional help, self-care practices can play a significant role in managing postpartum depression. Gentle yoga, meditation, and mindfulness techniques can help alleviate stress and promote emotional well-being. Massage therapy can also provide relief from physical discomfort while promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Support from loved ones and peers can be invaluable during this challenging time. Joining a support group for mothers experiencing postpartum depression can provide a sense of community and understanding. Sharing your experiences with others who are going through similar struggles can offer comfort and validation.

A dark skinned arm and hand holding a light skinned arm and hand

Remember, you are not alone in your journey through postpartum depression. With the right support and resources, you can navigate these challenging waters and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before. Reach out for help, prioritize self-care, and know that brighter days lie ahead. We offer a postpartum yoga class guided by our seasoned yogi, Maddie Adams, that will guide you through restorative postures specifically for the postpartum body. Through this class, you'll also build your community with other new mamas, widening your tribe. Join us today and start building your mom tribe!


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