I was listening to a mother in our postpartum support group as she described small victories; she was recovering from postpartum depression (PPD) and was feeling good about herself and how far she had come. I wondered why more women don’t celebrate recovery and victory over depression, anxiety, grief, and other emotional challenges.
A few years ago while offering phone support, one mom mentioned that after recovering from PPD, her Mother-in-law said she didn’t like who she’d become. Why was that? What was different about her? She’d emerged a stronger, more confident woman, able to voice her needs and take care of herself. A well-fought victory! We laughed about her mother-in-law’s reaction and celebrated the woman she is now who is so different than when I first spoke to her.
After two personal experiences with PPD, I like the woman and mother I have become. I feel strong for fighting and winning against PPD, to date it is the most difficult thing I have experienced in my life. Now I ask for what I want and take care of my needs. I have self confidence in who I am and my abilities as a mother. That terrible experience molded me into the person I am today. Today, celebrate the woman you are becoming and have become!
Linda Meyer is the Executive Director of Mother to Mother in St. Louis, MO. Mother to Mother offers telephone and group support to women experiencing emotional difficulties during pregnancy and postpartum.
3 thoughts on “PPD Recovery and Renewal”
Amen to that!
Great article. I find it hard to be happy that I beat PPD though when I know it’s just going to happen again next time. I had a small bout of it when my hormones dropped after my recent miscarriage. I’m afraid all this confidence I’ve gained will just fade away again with the next baby. I’ve begun writing to myself about it in hopes that if I read it in the middle of that darkness my mind will win out over my hormonal reaction.
Hi Jeanette. I know it’s difficult to keep hope when you’ve survived such darkness; however, next time can be different. I had some depression with my first baby and none with my second for many reasons, including that I stuck to my self-care program the second time. The first time around I tried to do it all and exhausted myself, had sleep issues, and lacking confidence as first-time moms sometimes do, developed depression. The self-care program in our new book, “Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide” is the one Ann and I both used. To preview the book, visit http://www.realmomexperts.com. It’s also what I recommend to the moms who’ve had PPD that I counsel before a next pregnancy. Best to you. Warmly, Diane
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