Postpartum Depression 101: The Personal Side
Until I was almost 30 years old, no woman ever spoke to me about baby blues or postpartum depression. I knew a little bit about postpartum depression simply because I love learning about mental health and am obviously a therapist. But no one shared with me how a dark depression can descend on mothers (and even fathers) after a baby is born—even a baby that is wanted and planned for.
Until my friend “Jenny” came along. (Her name is not Jenny, but I am sharing her story with permission because it is raw, honest and helpful.) Years ago, I remember her telling me, “It is totally normal if you don’t bond with your baby right away.” I stared at her wide-eyed and confused. “What?” I asked her. And then she repeated herself.
I was always told by the women I revered most that having a baby “was the best thing that ever happened to them” and that as soon as they looked into their baby’s eyes they felt “bonded forever.” So, younger me did not know how to digest what my friend was saying. She went on to tell me that her sister who adores children and has 6 of her own shared this with her and it was life changing. Guess why…my friend had 2 children who came with their own unique birth experiences. When the first one arrived she felt instantly bonded. With the second baby—it took close to a year for my friend to feel close to her son.
Jenny said that because her sister had ALREADY told her she may feel this way, it reduced her worry and anxiety and encouraged her to keep taking care of herself and her baby to promote positive feelings and experiences. I say all of that to say that whatever feelings and symptoms you or your partner are experiencing around the birth of your baby—they are most likely very normal. At Life Enhancement Counseling Services we are here to support you on your journey into and through parenthood and we understood the myriad of moods and challenges new and seasoned parents face. Please contact us today at 407-443-8862 so that we can support you with whatever is coming up for you. Our seasoned mental health counselors are waiting to assist you.