Having a baby is hard—they don’t call it ‘labor’ for nothing. And then? No rest for the weary. You’re suddenly and wholly responsible for this fragile, helpless being. Top that with some serious sleep deprivation, turbulent hormones, and the cultural expectations around bonding, bliss, and being “mom enough,” and you’ve got another kind of rude awakening on your hands—one not precipitated by middle-of-the-night feeding requests.
It’s no wonder that, through no fault of their own, 9-16% of moms will experience postpartum depression. Indeed, a mix of genetics, hormones, predisposition, support (or lack thereof) and stress lay fertile ground for the illness.
Once silenced and written off, women with postpartum depression are, thankfully, gaining a voice. So this week, we’ll amplify that voice through some mythbusting—plus, eight symptoms to watch for.
Mythbuster #1: Most postpartum depression doesn’t start ‘post’ birth. In fact, in fully 50% of moms with postpartum depression, symptoms begin during pregnancy, not just after the baby is born. Additionally, for many moms, anxiety, not depression, is the first inkling that something is wrong.