The Month of May is nationally known as Mental Health Awareness Month. It would be an absolute injustice not to talk about an area of depression that affects many new moms. In fact, it would be unfair. You or someone you know may be suffereing or have suffered from:
Postpartum depression is depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood and fatigue.
Lets face it, motherhood is TIRING! It’s a huge adjustment, especially for a brand new mom. I myself had to adjust to being a new mom, going back to work, completing my masters degree online, and breastfeeding full time! It’s little things- for example, going to my son’s first doctors appointment, I forgot his diaper bag at home! I was not used to leaving the house with more items than my purse! Thank god I didn’t leave him! 😩😂
In the African American community (and other minority communities), mental health is not a topic that is talked about. In fact, it can frowned upon if you are suffering. In this way, many suffer in silence. Many experience the symptoms, but chalk it up to other things that may be going on in their lives.
“Give it to God”, “You’ll get through this”, “You’ll be fine” they say! Rather than “Lets get you some help”
Chrissy Teigen, wife of John Legend opens up about her personal experience with PostPartum depression in Glamour Magazine’s March 2017 issue.
Initially, Teigan kept quiet about her condition- mainly because she didn’t know she was suffering. Everyone else around her saw the signs and even today she still struggles to accept the label coining it “PostPartum”. She explains that when you add the word “Depression” there is a certain stigma attached to it. This couldn’t be truer in the African American community. Most don’t believe in these labels, seeing a therapist or counselor, or even admit to themselves that something may be wrong. For all moms, I think it may be the embarrassment attached to it. Many may judge you thinking that you don’t love your child. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Chrissy shares how her baby girl, Luna, was the only bright thing in her life- yet she couldn’t seem to drag herself out of the house most days. Surprisingly, she shared how she had physical ailments related to her PostPartum depression. She went to the doctor complaining of daily aches and pains and even vomiting. This was shocking to me as I was able to relate.
No, I did not suffer from PostPartum- Well I wasn’t diagnosed, but after my son was born, my marriage began to crumble. I was sad all the time, crying and refusing to talk to family and friends (all my family and friends are in NY while I relocated to FL) I remember them calling each other asking if anyone had heard from me. I didn’t think anything of it- just my normal coping mechanism when I wanted to be left alone. When my son was around 4 months, my hands and wrists began to ache. I eventually saw a Doctor who discussed with me how your body changes after pregnancy and it appeared I was suffering from the early stages of Carpel Tunnel. The thing is, most of the symptoms he described didn’t fit me! All I knew was that I had pain so I ended up getting the cortisone shots in both hands to relieve the pain. But as Chrissy said, NONE of this sadness was transferred to my son. I naturally attributed this sadness to my failing marriage.
I am not one that is against counseling, therapy or treatment. I knew what PostPartum was but was also going through a tough time personally. Statistics show that 1 in 8 women will experience PostPartum depression, however only 15% will seek treatment. Let’s change these statistics- especially in the African American community! I encourage you to seek help if you have the slightest idea that you could be suffering. Do not allow anyone to make you believe your symptoms are not real- You are not alone… and there is help!
For more information including symptoms and treatment please visit http://www.postpartumprogress.com
#postpartumdepression #postpartum #depression