New Moms: dealing with depression

I wrote a long, long time ago about my baby blues or whatever they’re called… because it’s not talked about enough and these categories have been defined, but make you feel like you don’t fit in any of them. Eight out of ten new moms get baby blues….. that’s 80%! That’s huge. But you always think it won’t happen to you, right? You think… I love that baby in my belly sooo much and I sooo can’t wait till they’re here, I won’t be depressed or stressed or hormonal at all!

Most likely? Wrong.

And the problem with society is that it’s not talked about enough. It’s so common and so normal, yet when new moms actually experience and go through it, they feel alone. They feel like something is wrong with them, they aren’t doing something right. When Ryan was born, I kept hearing other new moms online say things like “my heart is exploding, I’ve never felt so much love before!!” or “I’m so happy and so in love, I can hardly stand it!” Me? I stared at the wall and cried, while Ryan sat in my arms. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I feeling the things those other moms were talking about? Either they’re in the minority of moms who really ARE super happy-go-lucky-make-you-want-to-puke or… they’re lying. And that’s where women aren’t getting the help they need. They’re being lied to, they’re being misled, they aren’t being informed.

And these categories of depression? I had more than “baby blues” but I never considered it full-blown “post-partum depression” and was never diagnosed either. Some might say PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). My c-section was absolutely traumatic, that’s the perfect word, but I don’t think I had PTSD either. Who knows–and really, who cares–it just matters that I didn’t feel alone, that I could talk about it and relate to other women going through the same.

Why am I bringing this up now? Well, I want to try to avoid this depression at all costs with baby #2 that we’re soon TTC. And I just got an email from my mom–an article called 12 Depression Busters for New Moms. It *almost* made me cry because it’s all so true and something I wish I had known or had access to long ago. But it’s hard to make someone listen and CARE unless they’ve gone through it–which makes it too late. The only thing we can do, as a society, is make people more AWARE. And that means we need to talk about it more often.

So how to beat the depression?

Talk about it!!!!! Find others that can relate, that you can rant and rave to, that will listen and empathize and make you NOT feel alone.

Get out of the house. I didn’t leave the house until Ryan was ONE MONTH OLD! What the hell was I thinking?! That’s depression. I don’t even mean you have to get out of the house without your baby, take them with! Just get out.of.the.house.

Get some help. And I don’t necessarily mean psychiatric/medical help. I mean…. a babysitter. A nanny. A friend. A grandparent. Call on whoever you can to come over, even if just for an hour. Even if you don’t leave the house, but you can at least go in the other room, ALONE. For some YOU TIME. To feel human again, to feel like yourself. It’s a complete world shift when you have a kid. Your life is upside down, entirely different than it was before. It’s too easy to lose yourself.

Something I learned from the above mentioned article is that a lack of sleep can actually CAUSE mental disorders! It’s imperative that you get some solid, uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis. This goes along with my point above–get some help. It’s hard enough trying to function on little sleep–but add to that a crying baby, having no idea what you’re doing, an entirely new life you’re trying to adjust too–anyone will get stressed and cranky. But don’t let it reach the point that it makes you crazy, literally.

I love the last point in the article–humor. Don’t forget to laugh. When I’m having a terrible day and Ryan is the stereotypical crazy tantrum-throwing, boss-of-the-house toddler and I’m about to effing lose my mind and pull my hair out? The BEST thing I can do is stop. Drop everything. And laugh. Grab Ryan and tickle him like crazy. Make funny faces and noises. Run around the house in circles after him. It works wonders on not only Ryan’s behavior and mood, but on MINE. Stress and anxiety melt away and there’s relief.

How do you beat the blues?? Did you experience any after your baby was born?

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