Postpartum Depression (PPD), for those who are not aware, is one of several perinatal mental illnesses that affect women after birth. To break it down, perinatal refers to conditions that occur during and after pregnancy. There are different disorders covered under this umbrella, and Postpartum Progress outlines that very clearly in this post.
As a Postpartum depression survivor, I share my experience and suggest some of the things you may need to avoid if you have Postpartum Depression. Note that as stated in the Medical Disclaimer Page, this blog is not run by a medical professional, and as such, it is advisable to check with your doctor if you suspect you may have symptoms of postpartum depression.
Read More: Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
- Comparing your journey with other moms
I recall how much of a struggle this was for me, because more often than not I’d read stories of other moms who had triumphed and kicked PPD in the butt and then wonder why I did not seem to make much progress. All these, forgetting that life is all about one’s individual races. Add to this the fact that many moms I was subconsciously comparing myself with, had kids who were way older than my son, and therefore had, for lack of a better word, the ‘advantage’ of time.
By virtue of that fact alone, they were in a different phase of their journey altogether. You need not compare what you are going through with another mom’s experience because the dynamics are different; the ages of their kids, their support system, their medical progress among others, which brings me to the next point…
- Too much social media
In this day and age where we breathe social media, it is easy to log in and attempt to numb the pain that PPD causes by scrolling down the timelines and hitting the ‘Like’ button on picture perfect posts. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but when you are constantly online, there is always the tendency to, again subconsciously, think everyone else is doing so much better than we are.
While this could be true, it certainly doesn’t do you any good because it saps your energy away and fuels all these crazy defeated thoughts. When I was deep in PPD, and learned that this was a trigger for me, I kept off social media time and again. Sometimes I would deactivate my account, because, who needs triggers when you are least stable?
Read More: Triggers of my Postpartum Depression
- Negative/ Unsupportive people
The last thing you need when you are struggling through PPD is a circle of negative and unsupportive people. Sometimes, it helps to stay away from them temporarily, both physically and virtually. One of the key pillars for recovery after PPD is a supportive network. Spend as much time as you can with positive people, and those who, while they may not understand what your depression feels like, make an effort to be present and learn. It also helps to get a support group. For those in Kenya, you may want to check out this group on Facebook.
- A crammed schedule
With motherhood, comes the challenge of a full schedule, sometimes leaving no time for a breather or self care. But here’s what I have learned over the years – many most of the time, you are better off well rested than with a squeaky clean house and cranky. I’m learning to take some time off for self-care, why? Because the dishes and laundry can wait. Plus, when all is said and done, the chores never really end.
Read More: A Letter to A New Mom
Lastly, remember there is nothing to be ashamed of if you are struggling with Postpartum Depression. Use the contact page to get in touch if you need professional help, and I can link you with a trained professional who can walk this journey with you.
** While at it, please check out @PPDKenya, I am raising awareness on PPD in Kenya using that platform, Any insights will be appreciated**