Reset, Advocate, Speak Up: Understanding Postpartum Depression
Trust me, I am not a Debbie Downer especially during the holiday season. However, this is the time of year when depression is at an all time high and we must be our sister’s keeper.
Real talk: Postpartum depression (PPD) is recognized as mom’s silent killer and one in eight women will be affected. PPD is a clinical depression usually affecting women right after childbirth, and can last anywhere from a few months to years and, at the core, is super scary.
I over-stand PPD, and experienced it when my daughter, Sofia, was a mere six days old. I was not treated with medication, but the anxiety, depression, and panic attacks did stop me from working and leaving the house for at least 12 months. I battled back and got help.
Personally, my saving grace, was building a bond with my baby while breastfeeding during that low-point. Taking baby steps of having a connection with my child kept me semi-sane and hopeful.
It’s time to press reset and start having an honest dialogue about your mental state.
Know the symptoms of PPD, which includes more than just a case of the baby blues and generally gets worse over a period of time:
- Restlessness, anger or irritability
- Worthlessness or guilt
- Fear of hurting your baby or yourself
- Overly worried about the baby or not concerned about the baby at all
- Little or no energy
- Headaches, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, or fast and shallow breathing
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor eating habits
- Trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions
- Little interest in things you used to enjoy, including sex
Post-Partum Progress says that, in fact, more mothers will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses this year than the combined number of new cases for both sexes of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.
To all the moms suffering with PPD, know you are not alone. I empower you to press reset, seek professional help; tap into your inner-strength and most importantly, NEVER give up.
Reset Tips to Reclaim Yourself:
- Recognize and understand you have PPD.
- Pray for guidance and strength.
- Take baby steps; walk to the corner, leave the house, hold your baby for a few seconds more each day.
- You must let someone into the darkness
- Make your mind up; it’s your business to commit to getting better and off medication (if prescribed). You can beat this with W-I-L-L!
- No judgments. Stop beating yourself up.
- Meditate on a time/period you felt powerful and in-charge AND each time you get anxious remember to simple EXHALE.
- Say this prayer every day and journal as often as you can to release your fears and create new beginnings.
Karen Taylor Bass’ Reset:
Believe in your heart – not your mind
Know you deserve a fresh start
Have the power to trust
Recognize the mind is powerful; however, the heart can be the deciding factor when you want to WIN
Release yourself today, extend your arms, close your eyes, and release all of your expectations and turn it over to a higher power
With faith is CONFIDENCE. BELIEF. GUTS.
Trust yourself and know God will give you more when you realize you DESERVE better