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    Do You Fear Postpartum Depression?
    Andie_WebMD_Staff posted:
    As new moms, we discuss everything to prepare us for that special day our bundle of joy arrives, from cribs and car seats to breast or bottle. One thing that does not get much discussion, however, is how Mom will cope with all these new changes. Did you know between 10-20% of new moms experience Postpartum Depression ?

    Let's face it, we are not born with a parenting manual, and sometimes the responsibility of raising a new baby can be overwhelming. Postpartum depression symptoms are very different from the "baby blues," a heightened emotional state that can hit 80% or more of new moms in the first days after the baby is born. True PPD can happen during pregnancy and continue well after delivery. If you're already feeling a bit of the blues, Dr. Schwartz's Depression Community can also offer support to help you cope.

    According to WebMD, there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of postpartum depression , including a history of depression during pregnancy, poor support from family, partner, and friends, or high life stress, such as a sick or colicky newborn, financial troubles, or family problems. Even Dads can experience PPD .

    Have you discussed PPD with your doctor, partner, or close friend/family? How are you preparing for those first few emotional weeks after baby arrives?

    If you or someone you know has experienced PPD (or even a bit of baby blues) please share your story to help other moms prepare here.

    Baby in the tummy, it's all up to mommy. But once the baby's had, it's bragging rights for Dad
    opsiedaisy responded:
    This situation is a bit extreme but I'll share it anyway:

    A friend of mine gave birth to her 3rd child in 2005. She had a LOT going on. She and her husband were divorcing, there were financial troubles and she was gradually becomming sicker with alcoholism... as she used it to cope. By the time her newest reached 2 months she had gotten to the point where she wouldn't respond to her crying, and spend most of her days "spaced out". The eldest child, 11 at the time would try to help out by feeding and doing her best with changing diapers, but my friend was clearly overwhelmed with caring for all three (11, 4 and newborn). The fact that her husband was out of the picture prior to the birth only made it worse. It was when a neighbor and good friend stopped by to check on her that her "bottom" was realized. While her eldest had been in school she told her best friend that she didn't think her mom wanted her and her siblings anymore because she was no longer cooking or bathing them. A guidance counselor, who witnessed the conversation and saw how upset she was stepped in to get more info. Rather than calling social services, she contacted the neighbor knowing the close relationship they had. Her friends and family interveined to help her get the treatment she needed with the alcohol and agreed to care for her 3 children as long as necessary.

    It took time, but she made it thru and today she is the overjoyed, overlyproud, SINGLE mother of three beautiful girls. When you ask her about her story she just says she fell down for a bit, but acknowleged that she always knew she had to rebound for her kids. It was just that she didn't know how to start and having a circle of people that cared, and wouldn't allow her to face it alone was the deciding factor in her regaining her self confidence and health.
    Olivetre responded:
    When I had my DD three years ago, I did have a little PPD. What my issue was, my husband worked three hours away and stayed there during the week but was home on the weekends. He stayed home for a full week to help adjust but when she would get fussy if she did quite down he would take her and could get her to calm down quickly. After a few days of this I broke down and told him that he needed to let me do it since he would be gone most of the time. Once I realized that I could do it I was fine. There were times when there was a little hiccup and I would call a friend of mine and she would come over. Once she was there I could calm down and feel better. I think that it was better knowing that there was someone that I could always talk to when you needed.

    This time I think it will be better since my husband is now able to be at home everyday.
    AJ__Sparrow responded:
    I admit, I DO fear PPD, although I don't know if what I experienced in the past was that or not. I do know that it wasn't fun. I didn't, however, neglect my family, stop eating, or anything so drastic as that. It was more like a dark cloud had descended on my life, and I had to fight through the first few weeks to get out of it. Part of it is that I always have a hard time adjusting to new living situations. When DD was born, I was going from having no kids to having to suddenly devote my life to this little person who I loved, although didn't really know yet. It was so hard, because it was such a shock and I wasn't prepared for it and I didn't know what I was doing. By the time she was 2 or 3 months old, though, life was a lot better. With DS, I had to adjust to having two rather than one, which would have been easier than going from none to one, except that he had a lot of problems for the first few months of his life, from jaundice to tongue-tie to his extreme difficulty in nursing, to his trouble gaining weight. He was almost admitted to the hospital on two different occasions, and I suffered from horribly painful mastitis. I worried a lot about him, but I also had to work a lot harder trying to keep him healthy and trying to get him to thrive. AND I had to be a good mom to my 3-year-old too, AND a good wife, AND take care of was SO hard, and I felt SO tired and lonely and unhappy much of the time (I don't have family who live close, or many close friends, and my husband had to work).

    This time I don't know what to expect. I am definitely looking forward to meeting my new daughter, but really, really don't want to go back into that difficult phase of having a new baby: trying to adjust to a new person in the family, trying to get sleep in spite of a child who sleeps more in the day than at night, trying to get onto nursing, getting used to nursing the baby CONSTANTLY which always makes me feel like I've turned into nothing but a source of milk,trying to bond with the new little one, AND still being a good mother and wife to the rest of my family. Not to mention having my hormones out of whack. I thought that it was an awful stage for everyone, but various people I know seem to have no problem with it at all, even saying that they LOVE the new-baby stage. I really don't like the new-baby stage, much as I like new babies... I hope it's easier this time. I hope...
    Me, DH, DD (4/15/04), DS (1/29/08), and Number 3 (EDD 8/9/11. It's a girl!)
    opsiedaisy replied to AJ__Sparrow's response:
    well, they say 3rd time is the charm! think happy thougths, I'm sure it will be much better this time around. Hugs!
    Andie_WebMD_Staff replied to opsiedaisy's response:
    I love these stories that all of you have shared! I especially like the comment that your friend made when she said she "knew she had to rebound for her kids"!

    PPD is real, just as any type of depression is. And it shouldn't be looked upon as a weakness or be associated with any stigma that says you are less of a mom.

    The important thing is to reach out and find support like most of you have already mentioned. Testimonies like these help us raise awareness and put needed information in the hands of those that may be hurting.

    Thank you to each of you for sharing!

    Baby in the tummy, it's all up to mommy. But once the baby's had, it's bragging rights for Dad

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