Being a mum can be one of the greatest and most beautiful things you can be. It’s my greatest joy I never knew existed. But, and it’s a big but…it’s so draining- both physically and mentally. My brain is constantly thinking of several things for the baby and kid that I my brain never shuts off.
- Am I doing enough?
- Am I showing enough love?
- Am I present enough?
- Am I being selfish by wanting to put baby into nursery?
- Why can’t I do everything perfectly?
- And so on and so forth…
Before having my babies, I was a little worried about the physical changes- that was about it. Everyone talks about the weight gain, the stretch marks, baby vomiting, headaches, lack of sleep etc. However, no one usually mentions how easily you can slip into depression the first few years of having a baby. It’s so common there’s a name for it: postpartum depression.
While this shouldn’t put people off having children (too much at least), because- let’s face it- children are absolutely amazing, it’s important women are aware of what they’re really getting into.
I’m writing this while having about 4 hours of broken sleep so I sometimes have to dig deep to remember their beautiful smiles and the full body cuddles I get from the kiddos!
The Rise In Mental Health Awareness
Fortunately, the tone in conversations about depression have become more positive, and they’re really looking to help new mums on a practical level.
More people have been (in my opinion) very brave and opened up about their struggle with mental health, including the UK royal family. Aside from the iconic Princess Diana’s experience with post-natal depression, which she openly shared, Prince Harry spoke on his as well. In 2017, he shared how losing his mum at the age of 12 has affected him to date. Plus, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle spoke on her challenges with being overly critiqued while pregnant.
According to research, about one-third of mums in the UK have reported feeling depressed. 25% of that number also, admitted to being lonelier after having kids.
What Is The Cause?
The burning question for me has been: what is the reason for post partum depression? With new mums, it has been put down to various factors (some are individual of course), but the common factor seems to point to hormones, stresses, expectations and/or major life changes. Whatever it might be for mums, it is refreshing to see more people and organisations speaking about it. Not just speaking about it, but also, offering different solutions.
Why You Should Seek Medical Help
If you struggle with depression or any other type of mental illness, please do seek professional help. Many people can find talking to a professional intrusive, but in my experience, talking to a trained professional is the best way forward.
Here’s why it’s a good idea;
- A professional will help you identify what reason(s) might be for your depression. Depression affects individuals for different reasons. Knowing why is the first step to healing
- Personalised treatment. The reason for depression varies from individuals to individuals, and so does the treatment plan. A professional will work with you to create a plan- specific to your needs. So, it should hopefully be effective
- Build Your Confidence. Professionals aren’t necessarily just there to prescribe drugs. They can also work with you to boost your mood & self esteem. I know in my case self esteem hit rock bottom too. Seeking help from a professional will help your confidence levels
- Stick with the process. With a professional, you can be sure of a that they’ll use their training and experience to help you back to a better you
Mumernity has a beautifully candid post on this.
It really does get better x
“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”- Nicholas Sparks