5 Simple Things To Do With Your Child When you Struggle with PPD

If your a mama that is currently struggling with postpartum depression, I get you. I know how hard it is to be emotionally and mentally there for your kids, for your family, for everyone else in your life. Some-days, just making meals may feel like a marathon– so how can you give your all to your children? Below, you will find 5 simple things to do with you child when you struggle with PPD.

 

 

5 Simple Things

 

 

There were a lot of days where I just felt maxed-out, I was barely holding on by a thread and surviving was my motto. Some days, I felt like I was doing the bare minimum as a mom, but that was the furthest from the truth! Looking back, my boys were fed, healthy, and more importantly–happy.

During my darkest days of PPD, I got by with one step at a time, hour by hour, day by day, and I’ve learned one very important thing– you don’t need to be a pinterest-perfect mom for your babies. They won’t remember that ridiculously cute snack of grapes and kiwi in the shape of turtles, or that craft you conjured up to make hearts using celery and paint– but they will remember how you were there, and how much you loved them.

Before you read about 5 simple things to do with your child when you struggle with PPD, you should check out my self-care for those that suffer from depression.

You need time to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

5 Simple Things

 

 

And if you need more self-care ideas, here is a free list.

5 Simple Things

 

5 Simple Things To Do With Your Child When you Struggle with Postpartum Depression

 

 

 

1. Cuddle with your baby.

5 Simple Things

Cuddling with your baby has so many benefits (for both of you!) and it may be the single most easy thing to do to bond as well as catch some much needed rest.

I found that co-sleeping, no matter how controversial it may be, is amazing– the baby and toddler cuddles are so sweet and knowing that it won’t last forever, make it that much more precious.

 

2. Put on some TV and sit down with them.

5 Simple Things

I’m not ashamed to say that my boys watch TV, and it’s a perfectly fine thing to do. Honestly, the television can be an amazing tool on days when you just don’t feel up to par and the kids need a little entertainment.

So go ahead– put on some Moana or Coco and snuggle up to your babies. I promise, they’re brains will not go to mush.

 

 

3. Read them a book.

5 Simple Things

Reading to your children is so beneficial, and it’s something simple that you can do with them. Do you want to know the best part? You can read them the same book, 10 times over, and they won’t get tired of it. You can also have your child read to you–something I would have my son do a lot when I was at my lowest.

 

 

4. Take them outside.

5 Simple Things

On the days when you feel down and isolated, getting outdoors can be the best mood booster–buckle up your kids in the stroller and go for a walk, take them to the park, or go through the forest for a stroll.

And the best thing about taking your kiddos outside is– anything will basically entertain them. My boys could play with mud, sticks, and rocks all day long.

 

5. Turn on some music.

5 Simple Things

Music can make you feel good, and your kids can find fun in it, too. Turn on some tunes and dance with your kiddos, they will find the silliness in it and laugh along with you!

 

I hope you enjoyed my list of 5 simple things to do with your child if you struggle with PPD. What do you think about my list? Shoot me a comment and let me know what you think!

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

I’m not sure why I’m just making this post now, but it’s better late than never, right? I know that I talk a lot about my struggle with postpartum depression, and I talk about other postpartum issues, and now I will talk about the truth about postpartum depression and the resources to help you.

 

The truth about postpartum depression and the resources to help you

 

 

If you’re not familiar with my story, I struggled with postpartum depression after my second son was born. He is now 15 months and I am, slowly, getting over it– but it’s been no easy journey.

I kind of knew that something wasn’t right, but for many many months, I pushed those feelings aside. I thought that it was the baby blues hitting me at full-force and eventually, I would feel better again but man, was I wrong, because what I was really dealing with was postpartum depression.

 

You can read my post on the differences between the baby blues and postpartum depression.

I wish I knew a lot sooner that I was really going through postpartum depression.

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

I’m here to reach out to other mamas that may be going through the exact same thing that I went through.

Postpartum depression is a very serious condition that, when treated early enough, can be treated fairly easily. However, if treatment is delayed, it can take much longer to overcome the postpartum depression– again, I’m speaking from my own personal experience.

Maybe you are unfamiliar with postpartum depression and have no idea what it even is, because let’s face it– postpartum issues, along with mental health, aren’t talked about nearly as much as they should be. I want every mom to know what postpartum depression is, and the truth about it, because you can potentially save a life.

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and Resources for Help

 

Not sure what the signs of postpartum are? Here are the 8 common signs:

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

Now that you know the common signs to look for, let’s get to the truth about postpartum depression.

 

 

What causes postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is caused by all of those crazy hormones fluctuating after baby is born. Unfortunately, there is no preventing postpartum depression, but the good news is, the sooner that PPD is diagnosed, the faster it can be recovered.

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

 

Postpartum depression is a serious condition.

If you are displaying the signs listed above, and they aren’t fading away within 2 weeks, then there is a strong chance that you do have PPD.

Postpartum depression IS a serious condition that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later– the sooner you can get help for it, the better!

As soon as you have ANY thoughts of extreme sadness or even harmful thoughts, that is when it’s time to seek the help that you need.

 

There are so many resources out there.

Going through something as scary and isolating as PPD may have you feeling like you are alone in this but I want you to know, you are not!

There are so many more women out there that have been through this then you think.

There are A TON of resources for mamas, just like yourself, that are going through the exact same thing.

Here is where you can find some great resources for postpartum depression, along with other postpartum issues (such as PPA or postpartum psychosis.)

 

Included are lists of helpful websites, articles, facebook groups, telephone numbers and more.

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, PLEASE reach out to these resources immediately, you can also reach out to me. I am here and I will listen.

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

My favorite resources on postpartum depression.

 I have listed some of my favorite websites that I go to for support on PPD. (these resources are included in my post above, but to save you some time, I listed them below. If you would like to see the full list of resources, you can find them here.)

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

Postpartum depression is NOT the same as the baby blues.

Like I stated above, there is a BIG difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues.

If your extreme sadness and anger are NOT going away, then you don’t have the baby blues. Please let someone you trust know this!

There is a big misconception about this and it needs to be fully addressed– postpartum depression is way more serious then the baby blues so if you believe that you have PPD, trust in yourself and get the help you deserve.

 

Postpartum depression doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom.

The mom-guilt that comes along with PPD is fierce and unforgiving– but it doesn’t make you a bad mother and it especially doesn’t mean that you don’t love your baby.

Don’t let the monsters in your head win the fight– you are an amazing and strong mama that can overcome this!

Please remember mama: there are SO MANY women out there that will understand and support what you are going through, so please now this and reach out.

I want to hear about your postpartum depression journey– share your story with me, and other mamas. I offer a safe platform to get your brave story across to mamas that are going through the exact same struggle as you. <3

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

I didn’t know any-thing about postpartum psychosis until I saw the movie Tully (not giving away any spoilers!) and did a little research. Man, was I surprised– sometimes, I feel a bit ignorant when it comes to women’s health and the dozens of postpartum issues I have once failed to acknowledge. A lot of people may be blindsided or even unaware of what postpartum psychosis is and that’s why this post is so important to read and share with ANY and ALL of your soon-to-be-mama friends.

I need every women out there, pregnant or not, to read this post and absorb what this condition is about– because frankly, it’s downright frightening how dangerous postpartum psychosis can be, and there needs to be talked about.

 

 

 

 

What is postpartum psychosis?

 

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

 

 

 

there is a dramatic difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. you can read about them here.

 

 

 

What are the symptoms of postpartum psychosis?

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

 

 

 

in one of my recent posts, i talk about postpartum anxiety and how to cope. you can read about that here.

 

 

 

 

Did you know that women with bipolar disorder are more prone to postpartum psychosis?

 

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

 

 

 

Prevention for postpartum psychosis.

For women with known bipolar disorder, taking medication during pregnancy as well as immediately after, greatly reduces the risk of postpartum psychosis.

And while there is no data to guide women whether or not medication should be taken, it’s best for doctors to monitor women that have a bipolar disorder. It’s especially important to be monitored postpartum and for a trusted person to know about your condition.

 

 

How postpartum psychosis is treated.

In many cases, hospital admission is necessary where the proper medication can be distributed.

Family support can be available through therapists and family counselors.

 

Resources.

this is an amazing resource guide. there is a list of doctors for the United States, Canada, and Australia.

 

this is where you can find statistics on postpartum psychosis.

 

this is where you can find information on postpartum psychosis.

 

You are not alone.

While this may feel like an extremely lonely and scary time for you, I want to reassure you that you are not alone.

Struggling with a postpartum issue is one of the most daunting things that I have been through…I want you to know that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you or someone you love may believe to have postpartum psychosis, PLEASE seek out the appropriate help– there are people out there that will help you, and there are people out there that NEED you! <3

 

Help is there for you.

 

 

 

Have you seen the movie Tully? If you have, what do you think of it? I want to hear your thoughts on it and if you believe that it was a good portrayal of motherhood/mental health.

Amanda’s Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Story

Amanda’s story

{previously featured on Legally Mommy}

 

 

 


 

I never wanted to be a Mother.

I never fantasized about baby names, or nursery décor. I didn’t swoon over infants. In fact, I was terrified of them (and still am).

I had grown up, an only child, in an alcoholic and abusive home. To this day, I remember virtually nothing about my childhood: it’s been completely erased in my mind. I grew up quickly, with an insatiable (and unrealistic) desire to succeed. I was a perfectionist in every sense of the word.

The law school days

When I was accepted into law school in 2011, my boyfriend (now fiancée) and I decided that I would move 3 and a half hours away to another province to attend school while he’d stay here in the house we had bought the year before. I was excited to begin a new adventure. I knew I would miss him, but I (mistakenly) thought I was strong enough to get through the year on my own.

Once I moved and began school, I experienced the crushing loneliness and abandonment I had experienced in childhood all over again. I was alone, and I had no one. I was miserable, and quickly fell into a depression. I had always been prone to anxiety and depression, so this came easy to me – and without much warning. I began to fantasize about what I presumed would be my ‘happily ever after.’ For the first time in my life, I wanted to be a Mother. It was foreign and new, but I adopted the idea with my usual fervour. I wanted someone to need me, and to never leave my side. I thought having a baby was the answer. After my first year of school ended and I moved back home, we started entertaining the idea of starting a family. The timing was horrible, but my desire consumed me. I thought I was ready.

Weeeeeee’re pregnant?!

Fast forward to October 10, 2012, a day I’ll never forget.

As soon as I saw “YES +” glaring back at me on the pregnancy test, my stomach instantly sunk. It was not at all how I expected to feel, but in that moment I had absolutely no control over my emotions.

We had wanted this. In a sense, we had planned this – I just didn’t plan on it happening so quickly.

I instantly began to feel anxious. I dismissed it as normal pregnancy nerves. In hindsight, I should have talked to someone about it right away. We also found out that my maternal serum screening numbers had come back a bit high, and we’d have to have a “level 2” or higher risk ultrasound done. We were lucky to see our baby girl at 10 weeks and again at 12 and 20 weeks. At our 20 week ultrasound, they noticed some spots on her heart: a ‘soft marker’ for Down Syndrome. They said it was likely nothing, but they offered us an amniocentesis just in case. We opted not to. They sent us home, and told us that these ‘bright spots’ were fairly common. My fiancée spent the rest of my pregnancy with “99.6%” written on his arm in permanent marker: the chance our baby would be born without Down Syndrome.

The odds were definitely in our favor, but I was still terrified. Not only because of these markers – but also because I didn’t feel one bit ready for motherhood. No amount of reading, nursery prep or prenatal classes changed that. I never once had that ‘peaceful’ feeling. I was terrified for 100% of my pregnancy. As I mentioned, I had always been an anxious person, but pregnancy (and – as I’d later learn – Motherhood) amplified that anxiety past the point where I could handle it on my own.

Absolute denial

As my due date approached, I was in complete denial. And when I went into labour five days past my due date, I tried to convince myself that the painful contractions I was feeling were just braxton hicks contractions. I was SO not ready.

My labour was fast. When I reluctantly arrived at the hospital, I was promptly admitted when they discovered I was 7 centimeters dilated. There was no time for an epidural. Labour was the easy part, even completely un-medicated. Our daughter was born four hours later, perfectly healthy. I felt numb. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing a million miles a minute.

Life after baby

Things got even worse when we left the hospital. My daughter developed a particularly awful case of acid reflux, and she was nursing around the clock. When she wasn’t nursing, she was crying constantly from the pain. She barely slept. When she did, I tossed and turned in bed beside her – anxiously anticipating her next cry and my next session of breastfeeding torture. I spent more nights than I wanted to hunched over her on the couch, trying to get her to latch until the sun came up. I barely ate that first month. Or slept. I just cried and cried. And that sums up the first month of her life.

The sadness and anxiety just wouldn’t go away. I was terrified to be alone with her. I refused to go out in public because I was constantly fearful that I would be judged for being a terrible mother. I felt zero connection to my beautiful daughter. I became resentful of my partner, and it almost broke us. I made plans to run away. I knew I couldn’t go far, but I just wanted to disappear and start over again. I tried to explain how I was feeling to my best friend – anyone who would listen. But no one could understand what it was I was going through. I searched high and low for support, and googled “Postpartum Depression” more times than I can count, only to be left in the dark. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. It was like a bad dream that never ended. I came across this list and instantly recognized myself in all the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Reaching out for help

Finally, a lifesaving Public Health nurse told me to head to the hospital and see the on-call Psychiatrist. I waited there for hours in the family waiting room, crying as I watched infomercials about sick babies as part of a fundraiser for a local children’s hospital. It was one of the first times I was away from my daughter, and I panicked knowing that she was low on pumped milk and would soon need to be nursed again.

When the Psychiatrist finally emerged, she told me I had three options: to be admitted, to take medication, or to do nothing.  She admitted that she had zero knowledge of how the drugs she was prescribing me were secreted into breastmilk, and told me I would have to discontinue breastfeeding immediately. She prescribed me Zoloft, a sleeping pill and Ativan. I debated and cried and cried some more. I hated breastfeeding with a fiery passion, but it felt like the only thing I was doing right – even though my daughter still cried in pain most of the time. But she was growing and it was because of me. I immediately stopped breastfeeding. I felt numb. Like a failure. Relieved. All at the same time. To this day, I still well up breastfeeding posts and photos. I feel like the world’s biggest failure. I even tried (unsuccessfully) to re-establish my supply when my daughter was six months old, because the guilt was all-consuming and exhausting.

Over time, after taking the Zoloft and talking with a therapist weekly, I was able to function a bit better. I was still paralyzed with anxiety, though, at times. I didn’t like leaving the house. I didn’t like when my daughter cried in public. I constantly felt –  and still do, sometimes – that I was her babysitter, and I was waiting for her real Mom to come pick her up. I sometimes forgot that I was even a Mother. I didn’t feel like one at all. I kept wondering: “when will things feel normal again? When will I get my old life back?” And I couldn’t, for the life of me, accept that this was my new normal. Every piece of my life was unrecognizable. I was a mess, and I hated every minute of it. Still, to this day, I can’t stand it when people ask: “Can’t you just not remember life before her?” Because all I CAN remember is life before her. It’s life AFTER her that’s a blur.

I have a long way to go, but I’m slowly getting there. And my beautiful daughter, who I love more than anyone else in the world, is turning 2 today. She’s the reason I will continue to fight for support for women like me experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety.

 

Read more

Is it the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

Hi there, new momma.

You are probably totally over-whelmed at the moment….perhaps you’re reading this right now at 2AM to pass the time away while nursing your new bundle of joy.

Or perhaps you’re awake crying because…well, hormones.

I get that– because I’ve been there.

 

 

I even talk about it on Scary Mommy.

Excuse-the-mess.com
Read my story here

 

After my first son was born, I would sit up at odd hours of the night just crying. My hormones were everywhere; feelings of sadness, loneliness and isolation. I would burst out crying at the most random times and then feel totally normal. This craziness didn’t last too long, thank god, and after about two weeks I felt pretty normal.

So after I gave birth to my second son and those feelings not only didn’t go away but were more intense, I didn’t know what to do.

 

Why was it different this time?

I felt EXTREME feelings of depression, sadness, isolation, GUILT, ANGER, anxiety and a TOTAL lost of interest. It was like a smoke-cloud was put over my head. I was in a fog and I did the bare minimum to make it through the day. Even the SMALLEST task, like getting dressed or making dinner, felt like a marathon.

I thought back to how I felt after my first son was born– all of the crazy emotions and depression– but that was like a family member spending a two-week visit in my house. Here…then gone.

This time, my depression felt like a stranger invading my space, my mind and my body. And this stranger didn’t leave– no matter how much I begged her to.

 

 

Excuse-the-mess.com

 

*I am in no way a doctor, therapist, psychiatrist or rocket scientist. I’m just a regular mom that has dealt with postpartum depression and therefore, I am sharing my own personal experience and diagnosis. If you or someone you love believes they have PPD, please reach out for help and see a doctor immediately.

 

Resources:

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It wasn’t the baby blues.

The months leading up to my postpartum depression diagnosis, I believed that I had the baby blues; and the truth of it was, postpartum depression wasn’t something that I even heard of.  The generation before me, like my grandmother and mom, all referred to these feelings as the baby blues– but there’s actually a huge difference between the two.

The difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression.

*based on my own personal experience.

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Do any of these sound familiar to you?

If you are shaking your head yes and you identify more with the right side than the left, then I have something I want to say to you.

 

My message to you, mama.

If you believe that you’re suffering from postpartum depression, I want to tell you to PLEASE seek out help. I understand all of the feelings that you’re going through but mainly, the guilt. I get that.

I want to tell you to not let your guilt of feeling like a ‘bad mom’ get in the way of you asking for serious help. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to admit that this could probably be postpartum depression.

There are resources out there. There is hope!

Do you know what’s not okay?

It’s not okay to pretend like everything is fine when you feel like crumbling. It’s not okay to put your needs on the back-burner. It’s not okay to deprive your-self of happiness.

It’s smart to ask for help– your family will be forever grateful for it!

 

So mama, I hope this helped you out to distinguish between whether you believe to have the baby blues or postpartum depression.

One more thing to please remember.

Only YOU know how you are really feeling– if it’s been weeks and your feelings are getting worse, it’s not the baby blues. Seek out professional help because the longer you wait, the longer it will be to overcome your PPD. {again, I’ve been there.}

 

Stay strong, mama!