Postpartum depression can hit new moms like a truck. And for many moms, it’s just so hard to come out and say it.
Everyone expects new moms to be happy once they meet their little angel. But that’s not always the case. While there is the joy of having a new baby, the unspoken stress slowly needles itself into the mind like a knife. Eventually, those feelings start corrupting the once happy feelings you had. Tears, irritability, loss of appetite — all these things may sound like textbook depression. But there’s an additional factor for postpartum depression: being unable to look at one’s baby.
Why not come out and say it?
While there are a lot of places that offer therapy and services for these things, postpartum depression will create a little voice in a mom’s mind telling her that they shouldn’t avail of it. “I’m supposed to have this together!”, “When I wanted a baby, I knew this was going to happen!”, “Other moms can do it! Why can’t I?” — these are the common thoughts that pop out of nowhere when overwhelmed moms are alone with the baby. Or the worst one that really hits home: “You wanted this.”
All the more the guilt and blame drop like a heavy boulder that you wish would go away.
The Mom Guilt becomes more real
Fighting against the instinct to place one’s baby’s needs above all else is a tough battle. When some try, there are feelings of guilt that we know as Mom Guilt. These intense feelings can drive some moms to dive into caring for the baby with reckless abandon to themselves. The drastic changes from body clocks to activities can overwhelm anyone. For moms, it’s not just themselves anymore. They need to think about the baby because that’s what maternal instincts do.
These feelings are not wrong
Because society deemed these feelings for a mom wrong, they would rather not come out. But the truth is, these feelings prove that moms are just as human as anyone else. These feelings can even manifest in the form of psychosomatic weakness (i.e. paralysis, sudden muscle weakness), suicide attempts, or impulsive decision making. Society often glorifies moms for being selfless and the sort that there’s been little to no room for validation of the depression and negative feelings they have.
But new moms, we would like to tell you, “You’re not alone. No matter what those voices say, we are here. There are other moms who know what you’re going through and we will help you. You don’t need to have it all together. We’ve got this together.”