finding the beauty in life

Thursday, August 25, 2016

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION


common signs of postpartum depression


So let's get real, as a person who suffered from anxiety and depression pre pregnancy, I knew there was a pretty good chance that I would suffer from postpartum depression. I was under no illusion that a baby would suddenly make any of my mental health struggles go away and, as much as I thought I'd prepared myself, I totally under estimated how I would feel post pregnancy.
In an effort to make this post 1000% honest I'll admit that although my doctor said my anti depressant/anxiety meds would be safe during pregnancy I made the decision to stop taking them prior to the second trimester. I wanted there to be absolutely no possibility that my baby would suffer side effects from my anxiety meds. Being med free was extremely difficult, and it was the first time in a long time that I had to rely solely on my coping mechanisms which , if I'm being honest, are not very strong. Despite the struggle, I somehow managed to make it through the remainder of my pregnancy using what little coping mechanisms I had and the will to do better for my daughter. 

Post pregnancy is a completely different story. I spend most of my days torn between the astounding amount of love I have for my daughter and constant feelings of loneliness and doubt. Lonely because a very close friend did not agree with my decision to have a child, and decided they couldn't support my pregnancy. This caused me to isolate myself from other friends, for fear that they may do the same. Doubt, because as someone who constantly worries, I am constantly doubting my parenting ability. Losing the connection with friends and my constant struggle of doubting my parenting abilities has definitely led me to sink into a slight depression. 

While I wish I didn't have to deal with postpartum depression, and honestly who does. I have found ways to deal with what has become my reality. Here are a few things I've done to help with MY postpartum depression. 

1. I remember to tell myself everyday "your doing the very best you can."  Parenting is something new to me and I have to be okay with the fact that I will have uncertainties and I will make mistakes.

2. Communication is key! As soon as I felt myself slipping into a depression I made sure to tell my partner as well as those closest to me, mainly my family. Just getting my thoughts and feeling off of my chest helped a lot. 

3. Talk to your doctor. I am so fortunate to have an understanding and caring family physician. This definitely made it easier to talk to her about what I was going through, and to trust her treatment recommendations. 

4. It's okay to do something for yourself! I felt guilty for even buying a lipgloss after baby was born because I thought a dollar spent on myself was a dollar taken away from her. However, my doctor and those around me assured me that doing something for myself was essential to my role as a new parent. If I don't take care of myself then how can I take care of her. 

5. BREATHE! Sometimes when I find myself getting frustrated with what's going on around me I have to remember to take a step back and take a deep breath. 

Overall I'm just making sure to show myself a little compassion. 
If you have any tips on how to deal with Postpartum Depression please leave them below!


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