Postpartum to some is the year after childbirth but to others it can be
Postpartum Bipolar Mood Disorders
or some combination of the above. There are 15-20% of women that experience more significant mood changes during or after giving birth, and those are just the reported statistics. While the symptoms can appear anytime while pregnant or within the first 12 months after birth the return to “normalcy” can last much longer.
I had postpartum anxiety, ocd, and depression. Thankfully I recognized I wasn’t feeling right and sought help right away. I also have no shame in sharing my experience. It is a common thing for women to experience mood disorders while pregnant or postpartum and yet we don’t prepare for this extra challenge to parenthood. I just knew that my family has a history of mental health issues and that the exhaustion and transition to parenthood can only account for so much, the baby blues if you will. Upon realizing I was getting worse instead of better after a couple months I started seeing a therapist and then chose to use medication plus a whole lot of soul searching and education on the topic.
Experiencing this has probably been one of the best things in my life because I have had to acknowledge and get to know myself better than I have ever thought possible. It has made me grow and be more willing to connect with others.
I now hope to spread knowledge and hope for other soon to be and new moms. There is a wonderful resource called Postpartum Support International that provides education and support groups. If you or someone you know might be suffering from a perinatal mood disorder (can be pregnant or post birth) here is a general list of questions to help guide you to whether you or they should seek help.
Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders Overview
- Are you feeling sad or depressed?
- Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
- Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
- Do you feel anxious or panicky?
- Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
- Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?
- Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
- Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
- Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?
This is a heavy topic that I will be posting about periodically but I am also focused on the lighter side of life. Come back for some upcoming posts on all things Fall ❤ Katie