When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was worried about the impact of postpartum depression on my recurring bouts of clinical depression. Suffering from a mental condition like bipolar disorder comes with enough stress, but I stopped taking my medication to protect the health of my fetus before I started trying to conceive – so I was doubly stressed with thoughts about how I would react after birth.
My personal story is not your story
There was a brief bout of depression after I gave birth to my first child, but my depression. My depression centered on the lack of attention I received after the baby was born. I was so used to getting all the attention and the belly rubs that when the baby came I wanted the same attention. I soon realized that other mothers felt the same way and moved on. I did not suffer from baby blues or postpartum depression, but that doesn’t mean your pregnancy will be the same.
All pregnancies are different and all new mothers react to motherhood in their own unique way. No new mother is immune to baby blues or postpartum depression – not even celebrity moms. Bryce Dallas Howard, Amanda Peet, and Marie Osmond all suffered from postpartum depression.
What to do if you feel depressed
There is a difference between feeling sad and feeling depressed. If you feel lonely, sad and more apt to cry than usual – you may be feeling a bit those baby blues. This is normal and most new mothers feel something along these lines. If you feel extreme sadness or disassociation with your baby – tell your obstetrician, a family member or a friend. You CAN get help and it is OKAY to get help.
I went on to have two more pregnancies. The second was a bit more difficult and the third was just plain depressing, but other medical problems and pregnancy complications attributed to my feelings of depression. Not once did I truly suffer the postpartum depression I was so scared of when pregnant with baby number one.