Postpartum Depression

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First, before I start this post, I just want to give a big thank you to everyone who visited, read, and commented yesterday. I am truly thankful, humbled and honored that you took time out of your day yesterday to read my little piece of the Internet. I surpassed 2,000 views of all time and set a personal best for total number of visitors yesterday. I know some blogs get as many hits in one day as I’ve had for my whole existence, but for me, just cracking triple digits in one day is thrilling. All the feedback has been great too. Special shoutout to my dad who share yesterday’s post and made me feel really special.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what I want to talk about. Postpartum depression.

Sorry for the depressing topic on a Monday morning, but people who have known me for a long time also know that I like to bring attention to important issues. And postpartum depression is one of those.

I consider myself very fortunate to never have suffered from postpartum depression, though I’ve written in the past about my struggle with prenatal depression. I know many people – too many people, some of them dear friends – who have struggled with postpartum depression. It is not something I would ever wish on anyone. I think postpartum depression can be a double edged sword sometimes because you are in the time of your life when you are expected to be happy, when you really want to be happy, especially if you were looking forward to this baby coming and especially if you tried for a long time to have this baby.

And mental illnesses are still so stigmatized. Even depression, even though we have commercials and magazine ads peddling depression drugs, is still stigmatized. I tend to see one of two things happening. Either people with depression are treated like they are crazy people or they are treated like it’s all in their head, like they can just get over it. You would never tell someone with cancer or even a broken leg to just get over it and it was all in their head, so I don’t see why people still tell people with depression that – especially given all that we know about depression and the causes behind it. Especially when it comes to postpartum depression and it’s relation to the major hormonal shifts that happen during pregnancy and after birth.

Anyways, the reason I’m talking about this today is because of an article I read about a new study done on Internet-based therapy for postpartum depression. The study showed promising results and I think it is great for a couple of reasons. One, because being on the Internet makes it much more accessible to a wide range of people and women, especially considering the challenge of even finding childcare sometimes. And second, because I think women are already turning to other moms to find support on the Internet. I have seen it and I myself belong to a Facebook group addressing this very thing. It’s a great idea to bring the treatment to where the women already are. I hope that because of this research, this option will become more available to women as another weapon in the arsenal to fight postpartum depression.

If you have a story about postpartum depression that you would like to share, please contact me. I would love to listen and I would love to post it here on my blog if you’d like a space to talk about it. And even if you just want to talk, I am so willing to listen.

Lastly, in case you are reading this and you feel you may have postpartum depression, here are some resources for finding help with postpartum depression. There is help. There is hope. And you are not alone.

Postpartum Support International
Beyond the Blues – At the bottom of this article there is a 24 hour phone number for moms in Wisconsin and information about Milwaukee’s crisis nursery
Resources for Women Experiencing (or At Risk for) Postpartum Depression – Wisconsin resources listed by county with information about what they offer and their fees
Postpartum Progress
Online PPD Support Group

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