GUEST POST: Could you be a mom with postpartum depression or anxiety?

feature Allison PPD post

Today’s post is written by Allison Loftus LPC of Flourish Counseling Center LLC in Rochester, MN. Allison and I are working together through the month of May to cultivate a community of support around postpartum mental health for mothers and families in the Rochester and Southeast Minnesota area.

Thank you, Allison for tackling this with me!

Could you be a mom with postpartum depression or anxiety?


I had no idea I suffered from postpartum depression. I thought I was just a “bad mom” who couldn’t get her act together. I convinced myself that if I just tried harder, I would have a renewed interest in life and my new baby, more energy, and fewer tears.  But the harder I tried the more hopeless and worthless I felt.

Finally three years after the birth of my third child and midway through my schooling for my MA in psychology and counseling, I reached my breaking point. After weeks of crying and thoughts of just wanting to end it all, I called my family Dr. and was diagnosed with major depression.  I started on an antidepressant and started therapy.  Among many things, in therapy I learned I was not a bad mom I was depressed. I did the best I could and my children would be okay.

All moms need support postpartum; some moms need extra support.
Are you a mom who could use a little extra postpartum support?
 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, it maybe good to talk to your family doctor or contact a counselor who specializes in postpartum mental health.  

  • Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
  • Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
  • Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?
  • Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
  • Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
  • Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?

 

Did you know 15 to 20% of women experience significant symptoms of depression or anxiety postpartum?

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Depression and anxiety runs in families. If your mom had postpartum depression or anxiety you are 20% as likely to experience it.

Factors that increase a mom’s or dad’s vulnerable to PPD or PPA

  • A personal history of depression or another mental health concerns
  • A family history of depression or another mental health concerns
  • A lack of support from family and friends
  • Anxiety or negative feelings about the pregnancy
  • Difficulties with a previous pregnancy birth, or adoption
  • Previous pregnancy or adoption loss
  • Marriage or money stress
  • Stressful life events

PPD and PPA does not discriminate.  It can affect not only moms post birth but moms post-adoption and post-miscarriage or stillbirth.

 If you think you might be experiencing PPD or PPA talk to your family doctor or a counselor who specializes in postpartum mental health. (Here is a link to a great resource for learning more about postpartum mental health.)

I still can’t believe I was half through my MA in psychology and counseling before I got a clue that I had depression.  The good news is I got the help I needed and you can too!

There is always hope and help…you just need to take the first step and ask!

And remember you are great mom!
Allison Loftus LPC

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