2. How did you know that you had postpartum depression?
I didn’t know at first. It took about 5 or 6 months before I really knew something wasn’t right. I was very angry and upset and didn’t want my baby. She was colicky and I had a hard time bonding with her. I blamed it on being tired or being stressed out but it just wouldn’t go away. – Vanessa
When my baby was 5 months old I was googling things like “I don’t love my baby” or “I hate being a mom” and posts about PPD came up and that’s when I started believing I had postpartum depression. – Anonymous
I wasn’t sure for ages. I kept telling myself I was going out, I was putting make up on, I was fine. Then I became suicidal and I knew I needed to get help. – Alexandra
I didn’t bond with my son, I didn’t want to be a mother (even though I loved my son deeply and would do anything for him) my mind just kept wanting him to disappear I never had thoughts of hurting my children but it took the first year of his life for me to bond with him. I would cry all the time or have mood swings my anxiety increased with agitation. – Amber
I knew there was something wrong when the baby blues never went away. – Anonymous
I guess I did not know. I just couldn’t stop crying and started to have difficulties getting through regular activities of daily living. Crying turned into anxiety attacks and I felt like I could not breathe. – Nicole
I believe it is more anxiety driven, but still falls in the category of PPD. I learned about it after my first anxiety attack and speaking with my therapist. – Anonymous
I couldn’t hold down food or water. I threw up every day. I thought I was dying. Hospitals ruled out physical problems, but my body was so sick I stopped functioning. I couldn’t sleep and when I did, I had extreme nightmares. I couldn’t take care of the baby or myself. It wasn’t situational stress it was a real disease of the mind. – Brittany
I had really bad intrusive thoughts and was hiding in my bathroom crying. – Jodi
I didn’t [know] until I was in tears in my OB office at my follow up appointment. – Anonymous
After realizing the way I was feeling was becoming more than I could understand, I spoke with my OBGYN. – Ashley G.
I couldn’t sleep I felt anxious and not like myself. – Anonymous
I knew about 2 days after she was born that I had it. Things just weren’t right. I was crying all the time, I wasn’t bonding at ALL with her, and I was completely hopeless. – Amanda
My husband realized it first. I was alternating between zoning out and raging. – Anonymous
I could not eat, stop crying, want to get out of bed, I wanted to up and leave the life I always wanted and I started to have suicidal thoughts. – Katy
The 3rd day after my first was born I had intense anxiety. I went from being in love with my baby and complete bliss to being overwhelmed and wanted nothing to do with my baby which brought horrible guilt and anxiety. I was full of regret and lost my appetite entirely and could not function at all. I cried non stop. With my second child it kicked in hours after birth and was intense. I was already being treated my whole pregnancy but it wasn’t enough. I had to get deeper into therapy and get increases on meds. I also went to inpatient treatment because it got so severe. – Samantha
I cried constantly and I was terrified of everything that surrounded me because in my mind everything was a danger for my children. – Anonymous
I get blank every day. Walked around in a cloud. – Melissa
I was completely off. Anxious, delusional, shaky. I could barely do the basics in life. – Marcella
I wasn’t myself, cried all the time, had so much anger, wasn’t enjoying motherhood. – Anonymous
I could feel it so heavily. Like a weight, I cried a lot. – Emily
Right after my baby was born and I didn’t feel that love at first sight connection. Then I knew I really had it when I was loathing my new life and started getting really deep thoughts. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered
I felt hopeless. Like there was no way I could make it through another day. I felt like everyone in my life, including my baby, would be better off without me. – Chelsea
It was about 4 months after the birth of my son and I had taken to spending all day in our bedroom. It had gotten to the point the I had brought everything we would need for the day into the room. One day I just kind of snapped out of it and looked around, asking myself what was I doing. I called the doctor the next day. – Kathryn
I didn’t want to be a mother anymore – and I was pregnant with my second. I knew something was very wrong. – Anonymous
Looked up symptoms. – Krista
I felt awful. My husband’s insurance mailed an Edinburgh test and I took it. It was bad. – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County
I had a breakdown at 5 months postpartum after trying to force-feed my daughter a bottle. Up until that point, I thought I was just dealing with the same anxiety I had battled my whole life. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me
When everyone else around me started seeing it. I didn’t know because I was in such denial. – Jessica
I was very angry at my husband and couldn’t really say why. – Theresa
I didn’t know I had PPD. I mean, it was so incredibly obvious, but for me, my depression made me come outside of myself in a way that I didn’t identify my symptoms as being mine. I felt like it was someone else having them. It wasn’t until I almost lost my life that I realized what was happening. – Amanda from Mom Like Me
I was staying home, never going out, didn’t want to talk to anyone, kept the lights off, never laughed , always cried, and started to have crazy thoughts! Anxiety and stress ruled my life…then I lost my milk supply with my first after only 4 months and people were angry with me because I used formula and didn’t nurse. But I had tried so hard to continue to nurse but he just wasn’t getting enough. I got discouraged even more and down on myself even more and from there I never came back. I have so far been able to nurse my second son for 3 months but am so scared that I won’t be able to get through much longer. Have a good supply saved up though. – Anonymous
Research and finally diagnosis. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep
I have had a past of depression and high anxiety so I could tell by how much I worried and the thoughts I would have that I knew were not normal. – Haylie
I was MISERABLE for quite some time (legit 2.5 YEARS) and was super irritable/angry/easily annoyed & obviously exhausted. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula
My emotions, reactions and feelings were not normal. When I was assessed by mental health, they confirmed it. – Anonymous
Feeling out of character, short tempered and irritated. – Anonymous
My family and husband recognized it in me shortly after giving birth. I was crying and constantly feeling suicidal. – Anonymous
With my first child, I wasn’t sure. I thought it was PTSD from a difficult birth. With my second, it was more obvious: I loved my children and never stopped taking care of them but every waking second (which was far more time than it should have been since I couldn’t sleep) felt like needles in my pores. Everything was too loud, too bright, too hard and I just wanted to rage or cry constantly. – Eda
The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can be hard to diagnose.
The generic list of symptoms of depression doesn’t always apply to newly postpartum moms. It can also be hard to identify the difference between a common case of the baby blues and a real mental illness. With so many changes happening all at once, both mothers and their care providers often ignore the symptoms for longer than they should.
What can we do to change this?
Speak up if you feel like something’s just not right. And if you don’t like the answer you’re given, then ask for a second opinion. It’s better to say something earlier and hope that it turns out to be nothing, than to suffer in silence for months. You have so many options available for seeking help that you don’t need to settle for what you’re told by “medical professionals.” And finally, learn as much as you can about postpartum depression and how it differs from the baby blues.