Katey’s Postpartum Depression Story

This guest post is an extra special one in the Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series because it comes from a mother who isn’t a blogger or writer or maternal mental health advocate.  She’s only begun her journey with postpartum depression and yet she felt so compelled to speak out about it and help save others from the same pain she’s been experiencing for the past year.

Here is Katey’s postpartum depression story…

Katey's Postpartum Depression Story

*This post may contain affiliate links*
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of runningintriangles.com.  Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


As a women who has struggled / is currently struggling with postpartum depression it is so terrifying for me to share my story and share all of the very raw parts of what makes me who I am.

But there is so much importance in sharing our stories with others and coming together and being supportive of those women who are battling with this everyday.

Postpartum Depression Resources
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I have battled with postpartum depression for about a year now. When I first started experiencing signs of it I did not want anyone to know, I begged my husband to keep it a secret.  It wasn’t until my 6 week postpartum follow-up that I spoke up and got the help that I desperately needed.

Before I had my baby, my sister-in-law talked a little bit about postpartum depression and I remember thinking “that will never happen to me.” The sad thing is, this isn’t something we just choose or ask for.

It’s not just “in my head.” Or something I can just tell to “go away.” I dreaded the thought of what others may think of me if they knew what I was going through and that dark thoughts that fogged my mind. I felt embarrassed; ashamed; weak.  Honestly, words cannot describe it.  My postpartum has come and gone in waves.

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My baby was born on March 8, 2017. The days leading up to her delivery were very overwhelming. I had just flown back home from being out of state for a couple of weeks. When arriving home I got the flu and couldn’t stop puking.

I called my doctor the following day because I had some light bleeding and thought maybe my mucus plug had fallen out. When I went in I was pumped with fluids from the dehydration all of the puking had caused. My OBGYN was on call and when she came in to check my baby basically she told me that she could see her head and that I was in threatened preterm labor and I needed to stay to be monitored for the next few hours.

That day I went into the hospital I had gone alone, and drove myself there. I didn’t realize how advanced this was going to be. My husband was deployed at the time and luckily I was able to get a hold of him and he was able to book the first flight home. We lived across the country from family and so I had no family near. My mom flew out that next morning.

I had gone home the night before and was told I would need to come back in the following day to get my second dose of steroid shots. The first one had been in my leg when I had first gone in the day before. Basically it helps a premature baby’s lungs develop quicker since they may come early. When we arrived back at the hospital they did a swab check and sure enough my water had already broken and I was informed I would not be leaving the hospital until after my baby was born.


At that point it was about 11:00 and I was dilated to a 2. Around 2 we were transferred to another room/my delivery room. By about 5:00 pm I was dilated at a 7. I was given some medicine to move along faster. Contractions began quickly and it was the worst pain ever but I was given an epidural shortly after and was told I’d begin pushing around 11:00 pm. My epidural was a life saver: basically the best thing ever. When I began pushing my mom was in the room as well as my husband. They kept telling me to push harder and I literally wanted to pass out. They kept telling me I was getting closer but it still felt like forever.

I heard the most beautiful cry and was handed my baby. She was the most precious thing I ever laid eyes on and the tears just rolled down my cheeks. My baby was quickly passed off and I heard “she’s losing a lot of blood.” apparently I bled more than usual but I had a good team taking care of me.

My baby was in the special care unit for a week after being born. Every time I had to go home at night I worried about leaving her, I worried she would have an oxygen spell and something bad would happen and she wouldn’t come home. I think that’s where the very start of my anxiety began.

It should have been a happy time after my baby was born, and it was, but also I don’t remember a lot because I was in such a dark place. I remember feeling darkness and anxious all the time. I didn’t feel like I knew my own child, I just felt cold and broken. All I did was exist.

14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression
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As our families were traveling out to see our new baby I remember going places and all I could see was right in front of me and everything to the side of me was toxic. I felt like I was suffocating and I just kept telling my husband that I needed to go home. I felt fine but also I didn’t. I didn’t know what was wrong with me other than I felt like i was having some sort of out of body experience.

After my baby was born I wasn’t able to produce enough milk to nurse her. I was trying everything and nothing was working. I was the biggest joke and the one thing I was created to do I couldn’t even do and I was so defeated and mad at myself. I felt like it was my fault and I was starving my baby and she would never like me or I would never measure up or be enough for her. It made me really sad and I got a lot of crap from other people. My husband kept telling me not to quit and keep trying but it was exhausting it seemed like all I was doing was pumping and nursing and then nothing was coming out so then I had to end up supplementing anyway. I began hating bonding with my baby, I hated skin to skin because every time I did it I got sad knowing that I wasn’t enough for her.

Eventually those emotions began destroying my relationship with my baby and my spouse. I was really angry. And I didn’t want to do anything other than lay in bed, I didn’t feel like I was good for anyone or anything and I told myself I would be better off if I was just dead. My doctor recommended that I stopped nursing and when I did I felt better and I began to finally accept the facts.

But the sadness and the anxiety began to effect other parts of my life and I began having multiple panic attacks daily and lots of suicidal thoughts. At that point I knew It was more than just baby blues or more than just “the nursing situation.” It was more aggressive and I needed help because this wasn’t something I could fix on my own.

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I didn’t have any intentions on telling anyone but when I went to my 6 weeks postpartum follow up I was eager to get the help so I could get rid of the pain I felt. My doctor and husband were the first to know and they were very supportive in getting me help. I began medicine and seeing a therapist but after a while I didn’t feel that the medicine was helping so I stopped taking it and slowly my anxiety and depression began to go away.

And I felt that I was cured. It wasn’t until my baby was about 8 months that my postpartum depression came back. It wasn’t super bad but it was there. At this point I wasn’t seeing a therapist anymore and I still hadn’t gone back on my medicine. I got right back into therapy and I thought that was helping. And then my postpartum went away again. So I stopped seeing my therapist.

how to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
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My baby is a year now and my husband is currently deployed. And my anxiety and depression has been pretty bad for about 6 weeks now. I don’t really know if this is more than just postpartum but I have found that it helps to talk about it.

When I am at my worst I feel:

empty, broke, lonely, darkness. I feel like I am not worthy of love. My entire body feels overwhelmed, my heart aches, I feel weak and tired and really really sad and I have a really hard time getting done any of the things I need to get done. I feel like I’m just surviving and hoping that I’ll just make it through the day. Most often this is triggered on gloomy days; when I’m alone or I’ve been in the house for longer than I should be.

I’ve had some pretty intrusive thoughts such as:

jumping out of a moving vehicle, jumping out of the airplane emergency door while I’ve been flying, jumping out of my window, and crashing my car. These were some of my deepest darkest thoughts when I first had my baby. I don’t really have these thoughts anymore but I know that I need to get a good hand on this now so I don’t have these thoughts arise again.

My biggest fear is:

not being able to get things under control, my mind overpowering me. Losing my loved ones: not being enough or measuring up. Failure of being a bad mom or not being enough for my child. Disappointing or letting my baby or my spouse down. I watch as my child gives me kisses and calls me mama and wants to be cuddled and rocked at the end of the day and In her eyes I know that I am a hero, and she needs me and that helps me to keep on going. But my mind convinces me that I’m not worthy of all of that and then I spiral down and I let it get the worst of me.


End Your Depression Book

Often I sit here and I feel alone. Lately more days than not and all I want to do is break down. I keep searching for something even though sometimes it feels like I’ll never reach it.

I know that I am not the only one experiencing this. I know there are so many other women out there going through the same struggles. Chances are thoughts you have had, I’ve had to. I am here for you. And we can fight this together. We should not be ashamed or hide away because we are embarrassed. Let us all grow and help one another overcome this daily battle. I will continue fighting and I will not let myself be a victim of this.

Postpartum Depression Gift Guide


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Mother’s Day can be difficult to celebrate for a woman suffering from postpartum depression.  It’s a day that reminds her of the pain and shortcomings she’s felt since becoming a mother.

But Mother’s Day is an extra opportunity to make the woman in your life feel EXTRA loved and remind her of the amazing task she has undertaken in being a mother.

Here are some ideas for Mother’s Day gifts for mothers with postpartum depression.

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression
Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


A Personalized Necklace

GracePersonalized on Etsy

A necklace with her children’s names engraved on it will remind her of who she’s doing all of this for in the first place.

A beautiful option is this fingerprint necklace from GracePersonalized on Etsy.  Having a necklace that contains her child’s fingerprint, hand or footprints will remind her that she created an entire unique person.

But the kids aren’t the only things keeping her going.  I like this lovebirds necklace from MenuetDesigns on Etsy because it speaks volumes of how important a strong support system is.

[For more ways to offer support, read: 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Something That Won’t Die

DIY Succulent Terrarium Kit from NimusSucculentShop on Etsy

Cut flowers wilt and die and there’s nothing she can do about it.  Get her something that she can watch grow and blossom.  Growing something will bring her a sense of pride.  So instead of flowers, get her a potted plant or a terrarium.

If she doesn’t have a green-thumb, get her a book about gardening instead.  There are also foolproof ready-made herb gardens available.


Matching Mommy & Me Outfits

ByMissSally on Etsy

Bonding with baby can be tough for a mother with postpartum depression.  Matching t-shirts, outfits or hats might seem cheesy, but it can make her feel more connected to baby and remind her of the special connection they share.


Postpartum Depression Resources
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Monthly Subscription Box

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In the category of gifts for a mother with postpartum depression, monthly subscription boxes should be at the top the list!  Chances are, she doesn’t want to go out and shop for herself.  Even some of the basic necessities she needs become less of a priority for her.  Having something delivered to her door is a wonderful surprise that she can look forward to each month.

Here are a few that I would recommend for a mother with postpartum depression:

The Mommy Mailbox – a box full of things designed specifically to brighten up a mom’s day!

Ellebox a.k.a. the period box.  (This one might be a little personal, depending on your relationship.)  Mothers with postpartum depression can dread “that time of the month” especially because they haven’t had to deal with it during their pregnancy (and possibly longer if they were breastfeeding) so it becomes just one more thing they need to handle.  The addition of the mood swings and cramping can become overbearing for someone who’s already suffering so much.  Take the stress out of it with this monthly subscription box.

Stitch Fix – There are a lot of fashion subscription boxes available for women but what I love about Stitch Fix is that you’re not charged for anything unless you actually want it.  You’re sent a box of items each month to try, you buy what you like and then send the rest back.  It is one of the best gifts for a mother with postpartum depression who would rather sample clothes in the comfort of her own home than head to the crowded mall.

Hello Fresh – My favorite subscription box – A FOOD box!  Appetite changes are a big symptom of postpartum depression and many mothers find themselves not eating at all, or eating too much (and it’s usually junk food).  Having fresh, ready-to-make meals delivered to the door makes it easy for mothers with postpartum depression to get the nutrition they need and avoid the guilt of not being able to cook a family meal.

InstaCandy – who doesn’t love candy?  Getting a box of candy delivered to your door every month is sure to brighten up the darkest of days.


A Customized Photo Book

Mixbook.com

Photos can have a lot of meaning for a woman with postpartum depression.  Looking back at pictures of happier times can be an excellent way to relieve stress and help keep her connected to those memories.  Creating a photo book filled with pictures of baby can also help to connect her to her child and reduce some of the guilt that often comes along with missing out on those first few months.

A photo book is sure to be something she will cherish long after she has recovered from the darkness of postpartum depression.

You can create fully customized photo books and/or prints at Mixbook.com Plus get a welcome gift just for signing up or use code MOMSHIPA (before April 25th 2018) to get up to 50% off.


Self-Care Products

Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat, Car/Office Chair Massager, Neck, Shoulder, Back, Waist Massager Pillow [Speed Control, Bi-Direction Control] ? Black
Walmart.com
It goes without saying that self-care is SO important for moms to keep up good mental health.  This category of gifts offers such a wide variety of choices, depending on what’s most important to the mother in your life.

A robe, bath bombs, spa sets, beauty products, or a neck massager are all great gifts for her to use on a daily basis to make sure that she’s getting in regular self-care.

The best self-care gifts for a mother with postpartum depression are things that she can use regularly, don’t consume too much of her precious time, and can help her relax and take care of herself.

For more information on self-care, check out the Love Your Life Self-Care e-course.

[Related Reading: Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]


Aromatherapy

AROMAGEM® CHROME
Saje Wellness

Essential oils and aromatherapy can have a big impact on a mother with postpartum depression.  A simple way to purify her environment is buy using essential oils in a diffuser like this one from Saje Wellness.

Another option would be some diffuser jewelry – check out this line from GaiaGypsyStrands.com 


A Personal Assistant

Amazon.com

You know what mothers with postpartum depression REALLY want?  A personal assistant…

The Amazon Echo smart speaker connects to “Alexa” a voice-based personal assistant.

The best part is that Alexa will respond to anyone’s voice, as long as they call her by name.  So older kids who ask a million questions a day or want to hear their favorite song over and over again – can now ask Alexa instead of Mom.

Alexa can also look things up online, tell jokes, keep notes, make lists and reminders, play music and make phone calls – all completely hands free!  It’s one of the best gifts for a mother with postpartum depression who is suffering from a severe case of foggy brain!


Journaling Equipment

Indigo.ca

Writing about postpartum depression is one of the best therapies available.  It’s a great way to get all those dark feelings out of the brain and onto paper.  A journal is a great gift option for a mother who needs to express her feelings.

Bullet journals are the latest trend right now, and this bullet journal bundle from Blitsy is also an extremely popular option.

[Related Reading: The Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series]

Submit a Postpartum Depression Story for publishing on Running in Triangles


Adult Coloring Books

Indigo.ca

There’s a huge difference between coloring with the kids, and coloring by yourself.  I, myself, have recently jumped on the adult coloring book train, and it’s an incredible way to release stress and shut off the brain for a few moments.

There are adult coloring books everywhere these days so you’re sure to find one that suits the mom you’re shopping for.  My favorite ones are the patterns or the inspirational quotes, but there are also ones with swears for the moms who really need to let it all out.


Remember: One of the best gifts for mothers with postpartum depression is your love, support and understanding…

How to Ensure Successful Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

Many women with postpartum depression report struggling to breastfeed, or at least feeling that extra pressure to do so.

It’s hard to know for certain whether breastfeeding problems cause postpartum depression symptoms or if symptoms of postpartum depression are making it difficult to breastfeed.  It could be a combination of both.

Either way, breastfeeding takes some work.  For a mother with postpartum depression, it’s just another aspect of motherhood that can contribute to more stress, added pressure, and self-doubt.

Here are some tips for mothers who are, or who might be, concerned about breastfeeding with postpartum depression.

How to Ensure Successful Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


Do Your Research

Don’t expect breastfeeding to come naturally to you and baby.  Sometimes it does, but don’t expect it to.  Breastfeeding may have come naturally to our ancestors hundreds of years ago when life was simpler, but if we want to be successful at it now, then we need to do some research.

The best time to do that research is while still pregnant, since the first few days of breastfeeding are the toughest.  If you’ve enrolled in a birthing class, it’s likely they will cover breastfeeding as well.  Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can think of and take detailed notes.  You never know which aspect of breastfeeding you might struggle with.

Being prepared for any breastfeeding setbacks can help you handle problems better if you end up suffering from postpartum depression.

If you’re already breastfeeding with postpartum depression, it’s never too late to research ways to improve your experience.  There are plenty of resources available to help you.

Recommended Resources:

Milkologyan online breastfeeding class that offers tons of information for all the different stages of breastfeeding.

Mom Smart Not Hard this site has some really specific breastfeeding articles.  I also recommend taking their Free 5 Day Breastfeeding Course and downloading the Breastfeeding Handbook to use as a reference when you’re offline.

KellyMomthe ultimate online breastfeeding resource.  You can find articles about basically every single breastfeeding situation and/or question you could possibly have.

The Womanly Art of BreastfeedingThis book from the La Leche League is a breastfeeding bestseller for a reason.  You can read it while pregnant and keep it on hand as a quick resource when and if situations arise.

For more resources, check out this post from The Merry Momma – An Epic List of Breastfeeding Tips and Resources


Learn About D-MER

Also known as Dysphoric Milk Ejection ReflexD-MER is a newer breastfeeding condition that often gets confused as a symptom of postpartum depression.  It is characterized by feelings of anxiety, sadness, panic, dread or loneliness that are brought on during letdown.

It is important to note that D-MER is NOT a symptom of postpartum depression, although it is triggered by a change in hormone levels.  The “dysphoric” state that it causes is purely a physiological response to the sudden drop in dopamine levels required to increase milk-producing prolactin.  In other words – a chemical imbalance.

Women with D-MER can also suffer from postpartum depression, which can add to the confusion and increase aversion to breastfeeding.  Simply recognizing the unpleasant feelings as a physiological response, as opposed to a psychological condition, can make a huge difference.

[Related Reading: A Condition Called D-MER: When Breastfeeding Makes You Feel Sad]

D-MER: When Breastfeeding Makes You Feel Sad
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Start Off Right

There is one epic moment after you have a baby that opens the door for breastfeeding success.  What you do in this moment will set the pace for your breastfeeding journey.  I’m talking about when your milk comes in.

Up until your milk comes in, baby has just been “suckling” and they haven’t really been “feeding” on much other than colustrum (still super important, though).  And then one morning, you wake up with boulders on your chest, pain up to your armpits and a soaked t-shirt and have more milk than you know what to do with.

How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression
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The most important things to focus on when your milk comes in are:

Proper Latching

It will be difficult to latch a baby onto an extremely full breast.  The nipple can flatten or invert, and squeezing the breast to get it into baby’s mouth can be incredibly painful.  Using breast shells was a lifesaver for me during engorgement.

Here’s a helpful infographic about getting the right latch from The Milk Memoirs.

Hind Milk

With extremely full breasts, there is a lot of watery fore milk at the front, and the rich, fattier hind milk at the back of the breast.  You want to make sure that baby is getting enough of the fattier hind milk before they get full.  Otherwise, you can end up with greenish poops and red bums, along with other problems.  The breast compression technique is the best way to ensure baby is getting the good stuff.

[Related Reading: How, When, and Why to Do Breast Compression]

Clogged Milk Ducts

The name says it all and the last thing you want to end up with is a swollen, red clogged milk duct.  If left untreated, it can lead to mastitis.  Thankfully there are lots of easy remedies to help loosen up a blocked duct.

Regulating Milk Supply

It might be tempting to pump out all that extra milk, but the best thing you can do is just feed, feed, feed.  Baby may go through a cluster feeding phase when your milk comes in so just lay in bed and feed baby all day long if you need to.  Feeding on demand will help to regulate your milk supply so that your body will learn to produce exactly the right amount of milk for your baby’s needs.

Nursing Positions

Once you have an adequate supply of milk, you should start experimenting with different nursing positions.  A football hold is great for managing those XL sized engorged breasts.  Lying back can be helpful if you have a forceful letdown.  Side-Lying is always a popular option for night feedings or to get through cluster feeding sessions.

[Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding Positions]

Postpartum Depression Resources
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Reduce Stress While Nursing

Stress is the number one killer of a good milk supply.  Stressing out about whether or not you’re producing enough milk is the last thing you should do.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety and feel like it is impacting your milk supply, try to find ways to calm yourself down during feedings.

For more advice on handling and reducing stress, you can find a variety of articles on Better Help – https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stress/

Some Suggestions:

Listen to musicput on your favorite playlist.

Aromatherapydiffuse some essential oils. (These are my personal favorites)

Practice Deep Breathingclear your mind completely and take some slow, deep breaths while you feed baby.

Nurse while in the bathnursing your baby (or pumping) while sitting in a warm bath can help your body and mind relax enough to let the milk flow effortlessly.

Watch TVdistract yourself with a good show or movie.

Read a Book or Magazineor use an e-reader or tablet.

Look at old picturesMake an album filled with pictures of happier times and loved ones. (I love these customizable photo albums from Mixbook)

Get Comfortablefind the most comfortable spot in your home to nurse baby and make sure everything you need are within arms reach.  If you’re out in public, do whatever makes you most comfortable – whether it’s nursing with or without a nursing cover.  

Cry it Outcrying is a way to release stress and built-up tension, not always a sign of despair.

14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression
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Support vs. Pressure

Women with postpartum depression are extra sensitive to criticism, because they already feel like failures themselves.  They often mistake breastfeeding support as pressure to breastfeed.  I have heard many women with postpartum depression say they felt they would let their partner down if they could not breastfeed.

The truth is, your partner likely doesn’t care as much about breastfeeding as you do.  They want what’s best for the baby, and if they’ve done as much research as you have, they also feel the pressure for breastfeeding to succeed.  But they don’t feel the emotional urge like you do.  They don’t understand what a total body experience it is.

What they do care about most, is you.  They don’t want you to be miserable and in pain simply to breastfeeding.  They will never think of you as a failure for not being able to breastfeed.

If they truly support you, then they will stand by you no matter what decision you make.  And if your partner’s opinions about breastfeeding are causing you unwanted stress, it’s important to tell them, because they may not realize how much it’s affecting you.

[Related Reading: 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Treatment Options While Breastfeeding

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Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.  I wasn’t given the option to take anti-depressants while I was breastfeeding, but I’ve heard that there are several safe options now.  Prescription anti-depressants are not the only option, either.

Therapy is a great option for breastfeeding with postpartum depression.  There are different types of therapy available, including cognitive behavior therapy, support groups or couples therapy.  Online counseling is available through BetterHelp.com.

There are several different herbs, supplements, vitamins, and minerals that have been known to improve symptoms of depression.  If you’re not sure where to begin, I recommend this e-book and treatment plan to learn more about which ones are best for you.

Acupuncture has also been known to help with symptoms of postpartum depression, but make sure to indicate that you are also breastfeeding.

Don’t feel like treatment is out of the question for you if you are breastfeeding with postpartum depression, it’s important to know all your options. 


Giving Up IS An Option

Choosing to stop breastfeeding will NOT make you a bad mother.  Yes, we know that breast is best, and that there are so many benefits to breastfeeding.  But at what cost?

When we weigh out the risks vs. the benefits, your mental health is one hundred times more important than the benefits of breastfeeding. 

There are so many advanced options for formula feeding that your baby will never be at a disadvantage.  In fact, they’ll grow up into junk food addicts just like every other kid.  One day, you will watch your toddler eat dirt in the backyard and wonder why you ever stressed out about breastfeeding.

It’s alright to feel guilty for not breastfeeding, but there are so many other ways to bond with, and provide for, your baby.  You will only be able to do those things if you focus on your mental health so that you can be there for them completely.


My own personal experience of breastfeeding with postpartum depression was actually a pleasant one.  Knowing that my daughter needed me for her survival was what kept me going.  As much as I despised doing it at the time, especially the night time feedings, I realize now that it’s what saved me from detaching from her completely.

Here’s my story…
No matter what your experience is like, or what choices you make for your baby, remember that your mental health and physical well-being are just as important as theirs.

How to Ensure Successful Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

How to Ensure Successful Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

How to Ensure Successful Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

Sara’s Postpartum Depression Story

This story about postpartum depression following a premature birth was submitted by Sara from Growing as a Mom.

Premature deliveries can be incredibly stressful on new moms.  In addition to healing from labor, new moms now have to worry about a baby with additional needs, and often miss out on precious bonding time in the early stages.

Read Sara’s story of how she had a difficult time adjusting to life with a new baby.  She also includes some helpful tips and advice for managing postpartum depression.

Sara's Postpartum Depression Story: Premature Birth
*This post may contain affiliate links*
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com. Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


The best way I can describe depression and anxiety disorder is like a dark, black, sadness filled hole where the light at the top represents everything your life is not. You keep climbing yet sinking deeper and deeper…. until you think this new way of living in this dark hole is just normal.

I woke up one morning and thought to myself “why even get out of bed? Why even try? I suck at being a mom, I suck at life and want to crawl into a hole somewhere and just sleep.”

The days were monotonous, my energy level was so low. I wasn’t eating, I was barely showering and full days went by where I did not get any fresh air. I started to have really bad anxiety.

Because of my son’s labor and delivery, I had constant panic about his well being. I also had no clue what I was doing as mom despite constant googling on the matter. Every sound he made, every small cry, was like a dagger straight to the heart. I couldn’t possibly protect him from everything, therefore something awful will inevitably happen to him so why even wait for that to happen? If anything happened to my son I would just kill myself.

I was blessed to have my amazing and supportive husband, but had no one else. I tried to hide my depression and anxiety from my husband, knowing he was tired too.

My son was premature and was taken to sick kids hospital right after birth. This traumatic experience would take a year to begin healing from. Plus, because of this separation, breast feeding was awful. My milk wouldn’t come in plus the hospital staff already had Titus used to bottle feeding. My physical condition was a nightmare. After my 40 stitches I was confined to a wheelchair for 4 days after delivery. I felt useless, exhausted and overwhelmingly sad that my son had to go through this. I could not look at him connected to his IV without completely breaking down.

After 5 days my husband and I got the amazing news that Titus could come home. We were over the moon. We put his tiny body in his huge car seat and set off.

Once we got home, reality set in. No nurses to help with feeding. No supervision so my husband and I could sleep. Titus was one of those perfect angels that only slept in 40 minute stints. We continued to struggle to breast feed. Usually ending in both of us crying while my husband went to warm up a bottle. Baby crying, breast feed attempt, bottle feeding, diaper change, more breast pump, baby crying, etc. etc. went on for weeks.

Sleep deprivation, poor appetite, stress and worry and constant “being on” takes it’s toll. For some becoming a new mom may come easier than others (I have yet to meet a mom that would say that…) but for me and many other moms it was shockingly unexpected how hard becoming a mom would be.

Then one day I broke. I laid on the couch, no tears, no drama in my voice, just certainty. I told my husband I was done living and wanted to die. I was finished. The world I lived in was dark and my son deserved so much better than me. I, as a person, did not matter anymore.


Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series 2018: Read & Submit a postpartum depression story
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How Postpartum Depression Started

This is just life now. It’s brutally difficult and joy is non existent. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family? Women with postpartum depression need help. This article is here to assist you in overcoming depression and anxiety.

I always thought depression and anxiety were a state of mind. Until I got postpartum depression after the birth of my son, Titus. I figured the pre-pregnancy Sara could use some chill out techniques and some self help books, but the post pregnancy me had a full blown mental imbalance.

I want to tell you that PPD is real, common and very, very hard to get out of.

Being a new mom, you have just been through the long, grueling experience of pregnancy. You probably haven’t slept well the past few months. You probably want your body back by now. You probably want to be able to take an Advil once in awhile! After the baby is born, you are thrown into this new life that is so unlike the baby books and anything on TV.

The Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression vs No Postpartum Mood Disorder
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Help for Postpartum Depression

I wanted to create this step by step guide on how to get out of the stay at home mom depression slump. You are an amazing woman, and you give 100% of yourself everyday. If your battery is constantly running on empty or your entire day revolves around everyone and everything but yourself, read this.

1. Super Mom

This is a mom that takes on every task and challenge at full throttle, does not stop to rest or eat or take care of herself. To the outside world she is remarkable, but she is tired, worn out and has lost her identity outside of being a mom. This kind of mom puts her all in to her role as a parent, but at what cost?

2. Momma Bear

Momma Bear refers to a mom that has probably experienced some sort of trauma during pregnancy or labor and delivery. Maybe a preexisting anxiety disorder was intensified by her new role as a mom. She thinks she needs to hang on to all aspects of her children’s lives with a steel grip. No one can take care of her children as good as she can and she worries constantly about their well being even in a safe setting.

3. The Postpartum Depression Mom

Again this probably started with trauma during pregnancy or the first year as a new mom. This mom never got the time to recover, and has been running on auto pilot ever since. The thought of being away from her kids for an hour terrifies her because outside of them, she wouldn’t know what to do with herself.

Can You Relate?

If you have experienced anything similar to the SuperMom, the Momma Bear or the Postpartum Depression Mom, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can be a mom and an individual at the same time!

Self Care Tips for Battling PPD
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How To Find “You” Again

Here is a list to build yourself back up to the person that enjoys life and knows how to exist outside of her role as a mom.

1. Take the depression and anxiety test linked here.

If you score high, continue to follow the steps listed in my Depression Help article. Do not skip this step. After you have completed those steps, come back to this guide. If you did not score high, keep reading.

2. Get Your House Organized

I know this is a big task. I want you to put other outside commitments aside for now and spend nap time or the evening tidying and organizing your surroundings.

I want you to watch this video here:  Tips for Living Simply & Minimalism with Kids

Declutter and get your house feeling fresher. Take your time and remember to eat and stay hydrated.

3. Find Reliable Child Care

If you do not already have a daycare or babysitter that your child can visit, set this up now. If you feel you cannot afford this, try enlisting a friend or family member. We are talking about ONE day to start.

Look on Urbansitter.com, Google, a local Daycare, talk to other moms about who they use. Set this up, do a tour with your child and put a date on the calendar. ONE day. If you identified with any of the 3 Mom terms you saw above, remember that the fear and panic at the thought of your child being at daycare is the ‘Mom term’ talking.

4. Have A Date… With Yourself

Now that you have completed the steps in the depression checklist (if needed) and your house has been ‘simplified’, send that kid to daycare for the day. I want you to give yourself a makeover.

Make a coffee, drink it while you do your nails. Have a shower, shave and apply a homemade hair mask. While the hair mask is setting, sit in front of the mirror. Pluck those brows, moisturize and put on perfume. Now rinse that hair mask and do your makeup. Get dressed in normal clothes. Do your hair.

Now take yourself out of the house somewhere that would be nice without the kids. DO NOT run an errand. Go shopping, go for a walk. Smile at everyone you see.

The point is that YOU did it. You are a person in this world, and a very important one.

Postpartum Depression Gift Guide

5. Go to a Playgroup

If you have an early learning center around, go there. If not, look in to churches. Many of them have an open to the public playgroup once a week.

When you get there, smile at the other moms. Even moms that look put together may feel just like you underneath that perfectly curled hair. Talk to them. Maybe look for the mom that is alone just playing with her child. Give her a compliment and start a conversation. Keep at this. The point is to get out in the Mom community.

When I was suffering with Postpartum Depression, someone gave me this advice. They said to take baby to a playgroup, get out there in the world. I was terrified. I got to the playgroup and sat down a midst the circle of other parents. I saw them all smiling and playing with their kids. Almost immediately the walls started closing in on me. I don’t fit in here! They all look happy…what am I doing wrong? I figured they were all judging how terrible I was at this mom thing, I grabbed my baby and I ran out to my car crying.

It is OK to be scared. It is not OK to isolate yourself. I promise you, those other moms don’t care what you’re wearing or how big those bags are under your eyes. And if your baby starts causing a fuss, they will think you are brave and admire your ability to deal with it.

6. Find a Sitter

Take that babysitter you found earlier and go for dinner. If you are a single mom, ask a friend. On this date night, do not look at your phone for babysitter updates on whether your child finished their grilled cheese or made a poopy. Act silly, laugh, breath, and let yourself relax.

Does it say anywhere in anything you have read that Moms should be slaves at home and are not allowed to have fun? No. Do not feel guilty getting a babysitter. Even for an hour. Get out there!


End Your Depression Book


How is it going so far?

Let’s recap. You have identified what type of mom troubles you are suffering from with the defined list of 3 Mom terms. You have checked your mental health with a professional if you are suffering from depression and anxiety. Your house is in better shape, you have cleaned yourself up, and you are starting to venture out of the house without your kids.

Great work! I am so proud of you!

Remember to stay patient. You probably lost yourself somewhere between pregnancy and the toddler years. That’s a long time! You are not going to feel better after one day. Keep going….


7. Find a Passion

Brainstorm ideas you can be passionate about outside of your kids and partner. Something just for you.

Here are some of my favorites:

yoga

walking with headphones and music or audio book

blogging or journaling

photography

making gifts for other people like scrapbooks or crafts

making essential oil products like lotions and bath bombs

cooking

8. Take the Time

Implement an hour a day to do your hobby. Maybe you get up an hour earlier (yuck!) or use nap time. The dishes aren’t going anywhere and blind yourself to any window smudges or dust you may see. Don’t be SuperMom!

9. Daily Practices to Battle PPD

Avoid isolation. If you feel like you do not want to leave the house, that’s OK for now. But Face-time, call a friend, join a mom forum, just interact with other humans.

Stay hydrated. It is easy to neglect yourself with a newborn demanding your attention. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink a glass of water every 2 hours throughout the day.

Work on your hygiene. When baby is sleeping, or in the swing, or husband is home, etc. brush your teeth, wash your face, better yet…have a shower! Blow dry your hair and get dressed. Now look in the mirror and congratulate yourself on how well you clean up!

Eat something. Some good advice out there is during your pregnancy to freeze already made meals for when you don’t want to cook or don’t have the time. Now is the time to dig through that freezer. PPD may make you feel not hungry, but find a way to nourish your body. Sip on a smoothie, order pizza, whatever! Just eat.

Do some skin to skin with your baby. Turn on a good TV series and strip off those clothes. Grab baby and a blanket and snuggle up chest to chest. Get those love vibes flowing and hopefully you can both drift off to sleep in each others arms.

10. Balance Your Life

I want you to picture yourself as a computer hard drive. Every computer has a hard drive filled with programs, software, internal memory, etc. If you were to make up a pie graph of this hard drive and the things that are taking up space.

Sara's Postpartum Depression Story
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Now I want you to be that hard drive. Make a pie chart of all the things that take up “You” on a daily basis. Your task now is to find your balance. What is taking up too much of your time and what should probably take up more. Is cleaning taking up a lot of space but personal hygiene or self care is at a 2%?

Sara's Postpartum Depression Story
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Tweak this pie graph and play with the numbers until it works in your favor. Now print it and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Work towards this goal because you matter so much.

11. Do You Need Medication?

Do not be afraid of medication. If part of your doctors plan of attack for PPD is to start you on an anti-depressant, it may just be exactly what you need. After having been on birth control for a long time, then an anti-depressant in my 20’s, then through the hormonal changes of pregnancy…my brain chemistry was so out of whack that I needed medication. I was not going to come out of depression without it. My medication saved my life and I do not regret starting it one bit.


Sara | Growing As A Mom
Sara | Growing As A Mom

Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever had. It took me 2 years to find myself again after the birth of my son.

Remember, this is an ongoing process. Emulate for your children how important loving yourself is. No one benefits from a depressed mother.

Invest in yourself and I promise you will be glad you did.

 

[Read more from Sara at www.growingasamom.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

Adrienne’s Postpartum Depression Story

Adrienne from Peace of Mom talks about grief and postpartum depression.

Grief and loss are one of the biggest triggers of depression, not just in postpartum mothers, but for anyone, in any stage of life.  Pregnant and postpartum mothers are especially susceptible to depression when tragedy strikes, due to those fluctuating hormone levels.  I can relate to Adrienne’s story because I, too, lost my grandfather when I was 6 months pregnant with my third child and suffered a major postpartum depression relapse.

Adrienne's Postpartum Depression Story
* This post may contain affiliate links *
* This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com.  Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


If you’ve ever heard the expression, “A phone call could change your life,” know that it is absolutely, positively true…

As I sat in the hard plastic chair of the pediatrician’s office, looking down at my sleeping two-week-old baby, it came. My mom, proud new grandma that she was, joined me on my daughter’s very first doctor’s visit. We had lovingly dressed her in pink, ruffle-y pajamas with faux ballet shoe feet. I was so proud of myself for leaving the house for the very first time since having her, happy that the spinal headache-an unending migraine I received as a complication from my epidural-was finally subsiding after nearly 12 days of constant pain.

My mom was smiling as her cell phone rang, eager to talk to her brother about her brand new little love.

“Hello?” she said, ready to gush about her granddaughter’s cuteness.

[I could hear my uncle clearly through the phone and I will never forget the sound of his voice, the pitch of his tone, or the scream that rang out after the call.]

“Listen,” he said. “Daddy passed away last night.”


My grandpa was 87 years old. He had a heart attack, alone in his house, sitting up at his kitchen table. Given his age, it doesn’t sound like a shocking proposition-except that grandpa acted like a young man. Just a week before, he climbed a ladder on top of his roof to repair it. His own mother had lived until 101, was actually featured on her 100th birthday on the Today Show. We thought Grandpa was going to live forever.

My grandpa was a second father to me, was the person in my life who always made it feel like everything was going to be ok. I was his “Bub”-I never asked him what it meant, because I knew it meant he loved me, and that’s all that mattered. Whenever I needed encouragement, his eyes would twinkle and his lips would curl into a smile. “You can do that,” he would always say. And, because of him, I believed I could.

I was lost without him.

Postpartum Depression Resources

On the night before his wake, my daughter’s umbilical cord fell off. My breasts leaked all over my blouse on the day of his funeral because I was so new to breastfeeding and didn’t think to pump. One of my mom’s friends held my hands as we stood in front of the coffin and said, “Do you feel like a mother now?” I said yes, but inside I only felt numb; I didn’t feel like a mother at all, which only added to my shame.

I wish I could say that the worst ended there, but that’s not true. I was grieving, but I didn’t want to cry in front of my baby, my baby who refused to go down for a nap, who I held as she slept. I was never alone, so I wouldn’t allow myself to cry and let it out.

14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression
Here’s how to help

For the first two weeks, my mom had helped me transition into becoming a mother, teaching me all the little things you can never learn in the books.

I needed her help so desperately, but after Grandpa died she was grieving herself, and, although she did her best, was mostly unable to help.

I was all alone with a colicky baby and a tremendous grief in my heart.

My husband worked very long hours, so there would be days I would be alone, for 12 hour days. I had a constant companion in my arms, at my breast, and yet I never felt so alone in my life.

If you didn’t have a colic baby, you would never believe this, but it’s true: colic babies sometimes cry all the time. There were days that I couldn’t wait to feed my daughter, just so her mouth was occupied and she wouldn’t scream at the top of her lungs.

After a few weeks, I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like I just couldn’t get up another day and do it all over again. I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this! became my constant mantra.

But, one day, it hit me: I thought, “I have to do this because I’m the only one who can take care of my daughter. I need to get better because I need to take care of her.”


Thankfully, I did. I already had an excellent therapist and she encouraged me to join a PPD support group. Those meetings were a godsend because women who had survived and triumphed were there too.

I learned the most important thing of all for a PPD sufferer: It gets better.

Self Care Tips for Battling PPD
Self Care Tips & Advice

In therapy, I worked on learning how to take better care of myself. It took me over a year to learn how to do it and make the time for it, but I learned and I began to triumph too. I learned to enjoy my daughter and my life with her, instead of dreading the days. I learned how to feel like myself again. I learned how to be a better version of myself because I learned how to take care of myself.

Now, four years and two kids later, I have begun to devote my time to teaching other mothers what I learned during that time. I started a website called Peace of Mom, which teaches all moms how to take better care of themselves-because self-care saved me.

[Read more from Adrienne at www.peaceofmom.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

End Your Depression Treatment Plan Review for Postpartum Depression

My postpartum depression journey started over 5 years ago and while life has significantly improved for me since then, I can’t say that I’m completely past the dark days.  This is one of the reasons why I am constantly looking into treatment options.

The other reason is to help find and share resources for other mothers who are suffering with maternal mental health disorders.

There are plenty of medications, resources, treatments and information available for depression, but not all of them are appropriate for treating prenatal or postpartum depression.  Most pharmaceutical drugs are not safe and/or untested on pregnant and breastfeeding women.  Even some natural treatments and herbs are unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


I recently came across the End Your Depression Treatment Plan, which promises to help sufferers overcome their symptoms of depression without the use of anti-depressants.

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.
**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


But first…

I was NOT paid for this review, nor did I receive any type of compensation or discount for purchasing this treatment plan.  However, if you decide that this treatment plan is the right one for you and purchase it using one of my affiliate links, then I will receive a small commission. 

I am normally a skeptic when it comes to these types of treatment plans.  Depression is often seen as a “mind over matter” condition, leaving too much room for people to be taken advantage of in the way of treatments.  This review contains my honest opinion after purchasing and thoroughly reviewing the material.

While this treatment plan is targeted towards all different types of depression, I’ve reviewed it specifically from the perspective of a person with postpartum depression.

[There is also a FREE GIFT at the end of the review so don’t leave without it!]

The Claim:

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan claims to work by teaching you how to gain control over your depression, instead of simply fighting it off.

I was intrigued by the idea of being able to “dominate” over depression.
how to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
Read More

I have seen significant improvements in my overall postpartum depression symptoms since starting anti-depressants but they’re not something that I want to be taking forever.

Each time I have tried to wean off of the medication, I suffer from a relapse and can never seem to get ahead of the symptoms.

The End Your Depression treatment plan talks about a PERMANENT solution and that is what appealed to me the most.


First Impression

My first honest impression about the End Your Depression Treatment Plan was…

It’s not exactly a treatment plan.

I was expecting a structured, how-to type of plan and this is not that.  I realize now that it’s probably for the best because everyone deals with depression in different ways and one plan would not work for everyone.

So if you are searching for a book that will tell you, step-by-step, how to cure your depression – it does not exist.

Second Impression

Upon reading the End Your Depression e-book, I discovered that what it actually contains is a significant amount of information about depression.

Parts of it I was already familiar with, thanks to my own research on postpartum depression, but I was surprised to find that most was new information.

The way it is presented was very clear and easy to understand.  I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the information, but rather excited to learn and read things I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else.

The e-book did NOT make me feel like positive thinking alone could cure my depression.  It validated all the problems I have experienced with postpartum depression and gave me the tools and information I needed to move forward and stay ahead of the symptoms.

How it (Actually) Works:

End Your Depression Book
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The End Your Depression e-book goes into great detail about the different types of depression and how and why they affect different people.  This was information I had never read about before.

In the case of postpartum depression, we so often assume that a traumatic birth or hormone fluctuations are to blame, but it could be other reasons all together.

Knowing this root cause of depression is especially important because the e-book then goes on to explain how different diets, exercise regimens and herbal supplements work based on the type of depression a person has.

The treatment plan works on the basis that knowledge is power.

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan
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The Results:

The 74 page PDF download was user friendly and easy to read and I was able to finish the e-book over 2 days.  In addition to the End Your Depression e-book, I received 3 additional free e-books that worked as supplements to the information in the treatment plan.  The plan also comes with free lifetime updates, so if new information becomes available, those will automatically be available.


End Your Depression Book

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan gave me access to information that I would not have found otherwise.

I’ve been working on evaluating the root cause of my postpartum depression using the advice from the e-book, and am discovering that it’s not what I initially thought it was.

I now have a direction to go in the way of experimenting with my diet and exercise routine – instead of blindly trying anything and everything.

I’ve learned what to look for when choosing herbal supplements and what to avoid (although the e-book did not indicate whether the herbs and supplements were safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding).

Everything in the e-book is attainable.  Nothing feels incredibly out of my comfort zone and it’s evident that the author truly understands what it feels like to battle with daily depression.

Conclusion

I would recommend the End Your Depression Treatment Plan to mothers battling postpartum depression.  Knowing the how’s and why’s behind the symptoms is a great place to start on the road to recovery.

Instead of trying every single treatment option out there for postpartum depression,  use this e-book to help figure out what the root cause is of your depression.  Then, you can create a treatment plan that actually works for YOU.

While I wouldn’t suggest depending solely on the information in this e-book to cure your depression – it is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to seek a permanent way to overcome their postpartum depression.


You can get more information and buy your copy here (affiliate link):  http://runningintriangles.com/EndYourDepression

BONUS: A FREE gift for you!

This 20+ page e-book contains a mere sample of the tips for treating depression that can be found in the End Your Depression Treatment Plan.

A review of the end your depression treatment plan for treating postpartum depression
Click here to download

In order to receive the free gift, you will be asked to subscribe to the Running In Triangles Postpartum Depression e-mail list.  You may unsubscribe at any time.


The End Your Depression Treatment Plan

A review of the end your depression treatment plan for postpartum depression

Kisha’s Postpartum Depression Story

Kisha Gulley of The Kisha Project shares her story of the struggles that left her feeling less than joyous after the birth of her son.

Pregnancy complications and breastfeeding problems are reported by so many women with postpartum depression.  The added pressure to breastfeed also creates a difficult situation for mothers who are faced with the decision of whether to start antidepressants or continue breastfeeding.

Kisha's Postpartum Depression Story - Guest post by Kisha Gulley

* This post may contain affiliate links *

* This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com.  Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


When I found out I was pregnant it was the happiest day of my life. A woman knows her body. I always knew something was a little “off.” So when I took the home pregnancy test I wasn’t surprised. I immediately called my husband to tell him. He just so happened to be on a guy’s trip that he and his friends take every year. So they spent the weekend celebrating.

11 effects hyperemesis gravidarum has on a pregnant body
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At exactly 6 weeks my morning sickness kicked in with a vengeance. As a first time mom I had no idea what to expect. Everything I read and everyone I talked to told me that it would go away in my 2nd trimester, but it didn’t. I was sick and miserable everyday. I ended up in the hospital for dehydration.

I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I absolutely hated being pregnant. I couldn’t share that with anyone because everybody else had fairly easy pregnancies. Even if they felt a little sick they would always say “but it’s all worth it.” I know it’s worth it, but I still don’t like it.


I got admitted to the hospital at 35 weeks for high blood pressure. I was praying that I could keep him in a little longer.

At 36 weeks at exactly 12:01 I went into labor. I ended up having a c-section but my baby boy was healthy.

After all of the necessary checks were done one of the first things I did was have skin to skin bonding with my baby. It was an amazing experience.

I had to stay in the hospital an extra week because I was having some issues with my kidneys. The entire time I tried breastfeeding my baby. Even though nothing was coming out I did it religiously anyway. The nurses had to give me donor milk for my son because he needed to eat.

How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression
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Once we got home I thought my milk would come in and everything would be normal. I mean, why wouldn’t it? It’s not like breastfeeding would ever be a problem for me. Right?

We set our alarm for every 3 hours. We found it easier to wake up before the baby so that I could feed him. Waking up was the easy part.

I wasn’t producing enough milk to feed my son. I tried every lactation cookie recipe I could find… fenugreek, pumping around the clock, went to 3 lactation specialists, everything known to woman.  Nothing was working.

I was depressed and frustrated. My husband tried to help me, but what could he do? I had one job right? Every mom I tried to talk to about the situation had no idea what I was feeling. They might have been tired of breastfeeding, but at least they could.

I felt hopeless, tired, and in pain. I got to a point where I never left the house. My husband is a pilot and he had gone back to work. So I was alone all of the time. I wouldn’t leave the house when he was gone which was sometimes 4 or more days.

I just sat in the house and cried. I couldn’t tell my husband because I didn’t want him to worry about us while he was gone. I’m a stay at home mom, the least I could do is take care of our child while he was at work. I mean I only had one job. Right?

.

I felt even worse because this was supposed to be such a happy time in my life. I mean I love my baby and I wanted him more than anything so I couldn’t understand why I was always crying.

I have been depressed most of my life, but I was happy now so this wasn’t supposed to be happening.

When I finally got the nerve up to leave my house I made it a point to not be out for longer than an hour because I couldn’t handle it.

End Your Depression Book

One day I went to see my ob/gyn for a routine visit. As soon as he saw me he said “I know you well enough to know that you are not okay, talk to me.” All I could do was cry. I spent the entire appointment crying. After I told him EVERYTHING that had been going on he said to me “It’s okay, what’s best for your baby is that YOU are okay.”

For the first time someone was telling me it was okay. A Man. I had only been talking to women about my issues with breastfeeding because what would a man know. He wanted to put me on anti-depressants but I would have to stop breastfeeding. I couldn’t do that. That would make me worse. Can you imagine what people would say?

Advertisements, medical professionals, even friends are always stressing the importance of breastfeeding. However nobody ever tells you that if you CAN’T breastfeed then it’s okay. That being FED is what’s best for your baby. That your mental health is what’s important.

I’m off of the anti-depressants now but I still take it one day at a time.

[Read more from Kisha at www.thekishaproject.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

How to Prepare for Another Baby after Postpartum Depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

Many women are afraid of suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of a child, but none more than a mother who has already experienced it before.  

It goes without saying that any mother who has suffered from postpartum depression would never willingly want to put themselves through that kind of torture again.

But while the idea of having another baby after postpartum depression feels like a suicide mission, a significant amount of women go on to have more children after being diagnosed.

This means that, while it might seem preposterous at the time, there is hope for a full and bright future filled with all the children we dreamed of having.


Read my full story here

With my first child, I experienced a mild case of the baby blues, followed by full blown postpartum depression with my second child.

But upon the birth of my third child – despite experiencing months of bed rest and hospitalization due to hyperemesis gravidarum just as I had with the first two – I was spared from any postpartum mood disorder whatsoever.

At the time, I was certain I was just “lucky” or perhaps I had suffered enough and deserved a break for a change.  But in hindsight, I realize that there were a few significant things that changed in my lifestyle and way of thinking that contributed to the fact that I did not suffer from postpartum depression with my third baby.

Here is my best advice for how to Prepare for Another Baby after Postpartum Depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


Seek Treatment

If you don’t already have an established treatment plan for your postpartum depression, then this is the first step.

[Related post Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]

Once your treatment plan is in place, don’t deviate from it – even if you start to feel better.

If you never initially sought treatment for your postpartum depression but feel like it is under control – it is still worth seeing a doctor, therapist, counselor or other health professional to discuss your options should you experience a relapse of symptoms.

Better Help can help you find a therapist near you.  Visit: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/

Is your treatment plan safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding?
Find out more

Many women avoid pharmaceutical treatments because they want to

continue breastfeeding (myself included) and most women avoid pharmaceuticals during pregnancy due to the lack of testing.

[Read about how I chose to breastfeed instead of starting anti-depressants.]

So if your normal treatment plan includes anti-depressants then you may need to create a back-up plan.

There are many other safe and natural treatment options available can help to reduce some of the guilt that so often affects mothers who give up breastfeeding in order to take anti-depressants.

[Read my review of the End Your Depression Treatment Plan]


Eliminate Triggers

In the post How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse I list off some common triggers and how they cause symptoms to reappear long after treatment has begun.

Before adding a new baby to the family, it’s worth considering what triggers your postpartum depression symptoms and trying your best to eliminate them ahead of time.

Financial or marital problems should be worked out in order to avoid added stress.  Illnesses, chronic pain, nutrient deficiencies and the overall state of your health should be addressed.

While many triggers will be unavoidable, if you can be in top mental and physical shape prior to getting pregnant again, then you will be more prepared should postpartum depression strike again.

Read the full list of triggers here

Document Your Feelings

Writing down everything you’ve gone through can help you to remember what your experience was like at a later date.  Sometimes the things we feel in the heat in the moment can easily be sorted out when our mind is clearer.

If you wrote down any of your thoughts or feelings in a journal of some sort during your first round of postpartum depression, then you should take some time to re-read those entries prior to have another baby and see if they give you some insight.

If you do end up struggling with postpartum depression again after another baby, then document your feelings again so that you can compare both experiences and see if there is a common factor or trigger that you can work on.

You can download this free printable PDF to help you document your journey:

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Speak Up

Can you relate to these reasons?

I know, I know, I’m always talking about how women need to speak up about postpartum depression… but it really makes all the difference!

There are so many reasons why we keep silent about postpartum depression but if we stand any chance of defeating it and avoiding it again, then people need to KNOW about it.

The more we talk about it, the less taboo it becomes.  We need to stop living in the shadow of postpartum depression – it’s the only way we can eliminate it’s power over us.

If you’re thinking about having another baby after postpartum depression, then everyone in your life should already know about your previous battle with postpartum depression.  It shouldn’t be a shameful secret, but rather a badge of honor.

Tell them what you need

In addition to your loved ones, your doctor or midwife should know that you suffered from postpartum depression with a previous baby if they don’t already.

Knowing that you have a support system already in place in the event that you suffer the same unfortunate fate again, will help you to prepare for having another baby after postpartum depression.

Make sure you are specific about the kind of help you will need.  See this list if you need help figuring it out [14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Make Sure You’re Ready

Why do you want another baby?  Is it because you’ve always dreamed of having more?  Do you feel like you need to provide a sibling for your child to grow up with?  Does your spouse or partner want another baby?  Do you feel your biological clock ticking?

I’m not saying that any of these reasons are wrong reasons to have a child, as long as it’s what you really want.

If you feel pressured in any way to have another baby, it might be time to do a little soul searching and think carefully if the time is right.

I can give you thousands of tips on how to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression, but unless you are ready – none of them will help.

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
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Become a Warrior

Speaking up is only the first step to battling postpartum depression.  If it has affected your life – don’t let it get away so easily.  The best way to fight against postpartum depression is to take a stand and help destroy the stigma that surrounds it.

Research postpartum depression and other maternal mental health conditions:

Postpartum Support International

WebMD Postpartum Depression Health Center

Reference.com Postpartum Depression Articles 

Donate to Postpartum Support International 

Participate in this free Postpartum Depression Research Study to help determine the genetic link.

Join postpartum depression support groups on Facebook or an online forum

Tell your postpartum depression story

The more you know about, and are involved with, the postpartum depression community, the better you will be at defeating at.


The truth is, if you’ve suffered from postpartum depression before, the chances of suffering from it again are high.  While you may not be able to avoid postpartum depression the second time around, being prepared and educated will help you handle the symptoms and know when and where to turn for help.

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

How to Prepare for Another Baby After Postpartum Depression

Kara’s Postpartum Depression Story

Here is a heartfelt and emotional postpartum depression story by Kara Wellman of Moms Gone Outdoors.

Kara’s struggle will resonate with a lot of young mothers who never expected postpartum depression to happen to them.  She didn’t start getting better until she decided to take control and put effort into her treatment, finally finding something that worked for her.

Accepting and acknowledging postpartum depression is the first step on a long road to recovery.

I hope you are inspired by Kara’s story…

A guest post by Kara Wellman of www.momsgoneoutdoors.com

*This post may contain affiliate links* *This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com. Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


My story of postpartum depression started in a quiet hospital room, early on a Thursday afternoon in May. I was twenty years old and had just finished my last final of the semester the morning before. It was 2:24 pm when they handed her soft, tiny body up to me. I had barely felt the labor, and I barely felt anything as she rested on my chest.

I remember thinking that I should be crying, like all the beautiful women captured in the first moments of motherhood by birth photographers. I didn’t have one those. I just had my husband to one side, my mother to the other, and my 17-year-old sister hiding behind her iPad since attending the birth was just barely better than a day stuck in school.

It’s not to say that I didn’t love her then. I mean, she pooped all over my hand and I didn’t even care. If you knew me, you’d understand how big of a deal that is. I loved her, but I was young. I was still trying to fathom the gravity of what just happened.

As all my friends were gearing up for a summer of secret night-drinking and lazy river-beach days, I was learning how to breast feed and budgeting diapers out of our paychecks. They had their lives in front of them, and I had my daughter’s in front of me.

The PPD was something that snuck up.

I didn’t have a history of mental illness, and that fact made it very difficult to recognize the symptoms. The first time I talked to a doctor was when she was six months old. I had what I thought was a panic attack during our road-trip to see my husband’s family in Montana. I was given an anti-anxiety med to take as I needed. I think I only ever took three pills from that bottle.

Later, I’d find out that what I experienced then, was nothing compared to what I’d let myself go through in the future.

As life moved on and my beautiful little girl grew, so much of my life crashed down around me. I’m a perfectionist by nature, which I fully believe was one of the biggest contributing factors.

I felt I needed to be super-human, super-mom, super-student, super-everything.

At one point, I maintained a 4.0 in college as an English major, worked three part-time jobs, did all the cooking and cleaning, and raised my daughter.

But, my credit score was plummeting as I charged my over-expensive organic grocery bills and filled my closet with clothes just because getting a package in the mail gave me a joyous rush.

My weight jumped up and down as I’d binge for a few weeks, then starve myself for others.

My marriage started to crumble, as my husband didn’t understand why I was so upset all the time and was preoccupied with the recent death of his mother.  I even told him I didn’t love him anymore. I realized later that it wasn’t that I didn’t love him, but that I didn’t feel anything anymore.

we often push away the ones we need the most

I went to the doctor on and off. I went to a counselor on and off. I took different medications. I tried different forms of birth control. Nothing changed. I’d have high-functioning anxiety during the semester and crash into depression during every break.

It got to the point where I held a knife blade to my wrists after one grueling week of work, and bills, and papers due. I pressed lightly as tears streamed down my face, chest heaving. It was the lowest I had ever felt. It was about 3:45 in the afternoon. I had to pick up my daughter from daycare at 4. It was the only thing that made me fold the knife back, and set it on the table.
I held her extra close that night. I knew I needed to do something to help myself. If not for me at that point, then for her.



I went to a new doctor and was given another brand of medication. I also started to put effort into researching different options. I didn’t want to be on a daily medication forever, so I started a yoga practice and promised myself I would get outside to walk more.

I didn’t feel much of a change until we went on another road trip the following summer— this time to the Oregon coast and through Montana on our way home. We hiked every day, by the ocean, through tall pine forests, and to waterfalls hidden in the mountains.

I was exhausted the end of every day, but I felt happy. It was a genuine happiness that I hadn’t felt in years. I knew I had found my saving grace.

The mountains, rivers, plains, and trees. They were what I needed. Each step I took on those days brought me closer to the point of healing. While I will never assume what worked for me will work for everyone, nor that getting outside is all that is needed to heal a major depressive disorder, I know it can help. And I think it can help everyone. Bathing in the glory of nature can help start the healing processes.

I’m 24 now. In September, I gave birth to my second daughter. I’m still young, but this labor, I felt everything—every moment, every pain, every burn. I cried as she laid her head on my chest, with her dark eyes looking up at me.

I have every second since I decided to put that knife down to thank for that quiet, beautiful moment with her. I can’t say that PPD won’t recur this time around, but never again will I let it try to take my life. My girls, my husband, and I have too many trails left to see.

[Read more from Kara at www.momsgoneoutdoors.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse

Postpartum depression isn’t a matter solely for mothers of newborn babies.  It’s a lifelong struggle.  Even with treatment, a postpartum depression relapse can happen years after the sleep deprivation and breastfeeding days are over.

The best way to describe it is to imagine that a depression gene is lurking somewhere within you.  In some people, it is never triggered and lays dormant their entire life.  In others, it’s triggered during childhood or puberty, from a traumatic event, or by pregnancy and childbirth.

The problem is, once it’s triggered, it’s more likely to keep happening.

Treatment can manage the symptoms and controlling specific triggers can help to avoid relapses.  But it’s not something that is ever cured, and it will never go away because it was always there to begin with.  It can only be controlled.

[This article from Harvard Health goes into great detail about what causes depression and relapses.]

Here are some tips to help you avoid a postpartum depression relapse.

how to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse

Identify your triggers

Find out what factors tend to make you feel more depressed.  Keeping a journal can help with this.  On days when you are feeling extra sad or anxious – write down things you’ve done recently, how you were feeling, conversations you had, medications you’ve been taking, what the weather was like, etc.  Postpartum depression triggers are different for everyone.

10 common triggers:

  1. Pain/Illness
  2. Stress
  3. Guilt
  4. Sleep Deprivation
  5. Hormonal Imbalances
  6. Grief/Loss
  7. Change
  8. Anniversaries/Birthdays/Special Events
  9. Marriage problems
  10. Bad Memories

You can download this free printable postpartum depression workbook which has a section to document specific triggers.

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Eliminate the problem

I know, it’s easier said than done.  If we could all get rid of pain and stress, then the world would be a better place.  But once you’ve identified your specific trigger(s), your next goal will be to work at ways to fix that issue in your life.

If you’re uncertain of where to begin to fix the problems affecting your mental health, then speaking to a therapist can help.  There are even online therapists available through Better Help.  For more information on starting online therapy, visit https://www.betterhelp.com/start/


Take care of yourself

Mothers are infamous for not taking proper care of themselves.  Self care is not just a suggestion, it plays a huge role in avoiding a postpartum depression relapse.  Taking time to relieve stress, get enough sleep, eat properly, exercise and meditate will ensure that you stay one step ahead.

Join this FREE Self-Care Challenge from Peace of Mom for a chance to win a $50 Spa Finder Gift Card!

Or try this 30 Day Self-Care Challenge from This Mama Needs Chocolate!

Here are my best self-care tips!

 


Stick to your treatment plan

Of course you’re going to be feeling great after starting a round of anti-depressants or therapy, but that doesn’t mean it’s done it’s job and now you can stop.  Any changes to your treatment plan should always be discussed with your doctor, don’t assume that you no longer need treatment just because you’ve been free of postpartum depression symptoms for months.

See if this is the right treatment option for you

Find someone to confide in

If you didn’t tell anyone you had postpartum depression the first time it happened, then it’s likely you will also choose to suffer silently in the event of a relapse.  Find someone that you can talk to about your feelings.  It can be someone close to you, a complete stranger or a support group, as long as they will encourage you to speak up and seek help.

It’s important to speak up about PPD

Be proactive

As much as you might try to eliminate stress and other triggers, life still happens and much of it is out of our control.  Try your best to plan ahead for situations that overwhelm you.  If being locked inside the house during the winter months makes you feel dreary, plan a vacation.  If you’re dreading the stress of juggling all the kids during summer vacation, hire someone to help you.  Being prepared for a postpartum depression relapse may even be enough to make you feel like you can handle it, should it hit.

Postpartum Depression Gift Guide


Don’t be discouraged

Sometimes, having a postpartum depression relapse is unavoidable.  It doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you will never get better.  While you may suffer more relapses in the future, each one will be easier to get through as long as you don’t let it get the best of you.


A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
Read stories from other women who have been there

Take away it’s power

As long as your postpartum depression is a secret – it controls you.  If you’re constantly afraid of a relapse happening, then it has power over you.  The only way to take away it’s power is by accepting and acknowledging it.  Tell everyone that you have postpartum depression and that there’s a chance you could suffer a relapse.  Then you won’t have it hanging over your head, and you won’t have to suffer alone.

Find out how I can help you tell your postpartum depression story to the world and take away the power it holds over you.

Submit a Postpartum Depression Story for publishing on Running in Triangles


Remember that it’s not about them

If you didn’t know that a postpartum depression relapse was even possible, then chances are, neither did they.  “They” being your loved ones, your spouse, family or friends – even your own children.  Once you start feeling better, others will assume that you’re cured.  And if you suffer a relapse, you will be reluctant to tell them for fear of disappointing them.  But it’s not about them, it’s about you and your health, and that’s far more important.

So before you even suffer from a relapse, tell your loved ones that it’s possible this could happen.  Ask them to help you eliminate your triggers and watch for symptoms that your postpartum depression is returning.

Don’t feel guilty or selfish because this is your life.  It might be in a mother’s nature to put others before themselves, but when it comes to postpartum depression – you come first.
Running in Triangles Postpartum Depression Survival Guide
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