Pregnancy

Postpartum Depression: The Signs of Living with PPD

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

With every pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through drastic changes. At the end of each pregnancy, women experience different forms of postpartum healing. Some women experience postpartum depression and each level of depression varies from woman to woman.

Postpartum depression also can strike at different times after baby is born. For me, I truly realized I was battling postpartum depression around the time my son turned four months old. To be honest, I was probably experiencing it sooner, but I didn’t want to admit it. Therefore, I wrote off all those feelings as something else.

Postpartum Depression: 7 Signs of Living with PPD

As a first-time mom, I really did not understand what was happening to my body, my hormones, and my life. I wish there had been more help or references available at my six week postpartum check-up instead of just a quick questionnaire (which was not very accurate).

Resources for more options of treatment would have been beneficial rather than just offering medications. While medications work for some, I feel like some kind of life coach would have been beneficial to help comprehend and navigate motherhood.

Whether it’s your first child, your fifth, or more, you may need help adjusting to life and new body experiences. The following experiences are my own personal experiences that led me to understand that I was living with postpartum depression.

1. Constant Self-doubt

Everything I did with my son I constantly questioned. Even for the little things like diapering: does he need diaper cream or powder? Which brand? What if I choose the wrong brand? What if the cream hurts him? Then it will be all my fault.

With the daily evidence of him being happy and healthy, I still doubted that I was doing anything right for him. My son brought me so much joy, yet there was this cloud that hovered above me even in the most joyful of moments.

Photo by Sean Roy on Unsplash

2. Tears and Tears (and more tears)

The tears were basically part of my day. It was almost like if the baby was crying then I was crying.

Motherhood is hard and when you’re going through something like postpartum depression, it’s hard to understand or explain to others because you don’t quite understand it yourself. And the day does not always end when it’s bedtime. Some babies don’t sleep through the night at an early age. Therefore, on top of your daily frustrations and struggles, you can add exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

3. Feeling of Not Having Support

This one seems silly to me. Truthfully, I have often felt like I had no help even though I was surrounded by such an amazing support system. I had so many helping hands to take over if I needed a break and lots of ears to listen when I needed to vent. However, I still felt distant, disconnected, and isolated.

I felt like I was the one who had to do everything for my baby because I was his mother. And mothers are supposed to be the strong ones who carry the world on their shoulders. I wasn’t supposed to rely on anyone else to help me. I convinced myself of this for months which only added to my depression.

4. Feeling of Being Alone in Motherhood

Similar to feeling of not having support, I just felt so alone. Even though I had this bundle of joy attached to me, I felt alone. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about how I was feeling because then it would make me seem like I was being selfish and ungrateful. Here I am with such a miracle in my hands that many so long to have.

I was truly grateful for such a healthy, precious little boy. However, it is not all rainbows and butterflies in motherhood. There are challenges upon challenges and the only way to get through them is to learn and talk to others for help. I had to learn to open up to others even if that meant just ugly crying on someone’s shoulder.

5. Thoughts of My Child Being Better off Without Me

Because this is such a vulnerable topic, I will be completely vulnerable and share that I had thoughts that my baby would be better off without me. With all the self-doubt, sadness, no energy, and exhaustion, I did not feel like I was providing the best for my son. I felt like nothing I did mattered for him. I felt like a failure and that he would be better off if I was not there.

6. Unknown Changes Happening to My Body

Changes to the body are inevitable when growing a human. You spend all this time nurturing a little being inside of you and protecting this little life. Then, you give birth and everything needs time to go back to the way it was before. Only there is no going back completely. There are parts of your body that will never be the same.

In addition, if you choose to breastfeed, you will go through more hormone changes while nursing your child. The part of you that you may have found to be sexy pre-baby is all of a sudden not so sexy anymore when you’re engorged, leaking, and have a little human attached to it.

All of this is a new experience as a first-time mom. You don’t know how you’re going to feel or even what to expect. Everyone tells you that you’ll feel “different” but that’s not exactly a good description of what you should be prepared to feel.

7. Having to Acknowledge my Postpartum Depression

I remember there was a specific night when my son was four months old and waking constantly (again) and I was at my end. To say I was exhausted would have been the understatement of the century. My eyes were bloodshot red, I had dark circles under my eyes, and it took every ounce of energy to move my legs to walk to his crib (which was in the same room as our bed). I remember thinking that there was no way I could go on and that this could not be the motherhood that everyone else explained as “the best job in the world.”

At that moment, through the hazy fog, I realized I was living with postpartum depression. This was a sad yet uplifting moment of realization for me. Sad because I was being so affected by it. Uplifting because now I realized that this wouldn’t last forever. Everything I was feeling up to this point wasn’t because I was doing something wrong (like my mind told me I was doing). I remember telling my husband that night that I was suffering and I scheduled an appointment with my doctor to seek help.

Photo by Camila Cordeiro on Unsplash

Life Before Baby

Before having a baby, I would have described myself as a generally happy and positive person. I didn’t think that I could suffer from depression. Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose which illnesses affect you.

Each day of motherhood brings about its own challenges, but each day also brings so much joy and happiness. I felt the need to write about my experiences with postpartum depression because I want others to know that they are not alone. I want others to understand that what they are experiencing could be symptoms of postpartum depression. If I can help just one mom out there to not feel alone, then my vulnerability here is worth it.

How Did You Know?

If you experienced postpartum depression, how did you know it was affecting you? What were your signs? Your comment(s) could help another mother recognize what she is going through! Motherhood is a journey best taken with friends; help a friend out and share your experience in a comment below!

Always,
Samantha <3

You May Also Like…

Pin It!

Postpartum Depression: 7 Signs of Living with PPD

First time parent to an incredible little boy residing in Northern California. I hold my M.A. in Education with a Specialization in Culturally Responsive Education. My mission is to consistently provide helpful content for other parents to draw from. Parenthood is ever-changing! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and hope that my posts are insightful.

50 Comments

  • Alex

    Stay strong, Samantha!
    I can tell you’re a caring mother, there’s a lot to stick around for.
    While I don’t have your experience per se, I do feel your pain. Try focusing on what’s important here and remember that you are important to your son. He needs you, as well as the rest of your family.

    Take time to heal

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you so much, Alex! Each day gets a little easier and I remind myself that I have a great support group around me. It takes a village to raise kids and my village is amazing!????

        • Samantha Flores

          I appreciate your kind and encouraging words, Daniella! Postpartum depression is a tricky mind control that women have to pull themselves out of. Even when we aren’t alone, our minds can trick us in believing that we are. Postpartum depression effects each of us differently. Hopefully knowing the signs before having another baby will prevent me from having to endure any unnecessary postpartum depression suffering.

  • Kristina @ Spirit of the soul

    I totally understand although my post partum depression was expected. I had gone off meds to become pregnant, so I had expected depression. What I did not expect was the force and completeness of it. It’s tough, but I know you GOT THIS!

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you, Kristina! It’s been such a journey trying to figure things out and understand what’s “normal” and what’s not. I just keep my little boy’s smile in my mind when I’m not with him and then I know it’ll all be ok.????

  • Olivia

    I’m not a momma yet and no where near having kids, but I know it can be so hard to go through those post baby blues or depression. I can’t imagine how hard It is so feel so many emotions and feel things you’ve never felt. You are so strong and I’m so happy you are sharing your experience with other moms!

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you, Olivia! I hope your journey to motherhood is filled with so much joy when your time comes.????

    • Elizabeth O

      Most people does’nt understand the seriousness of PPD. Thankfully in my case, I have loving and supportive loved ones around me.

      • Samantha Flores

        So good to hear of your supportive circle, Elizabeth! Postpartum depression is very serious and can affect the mom and the baby if not treated appropriately. I also had such a supportive tribe around me to help when necessary. My main problem was that I felt like I had to be the one to do everything for my baby. Therefore, I didn’t ask for help as much as I should have. It always makes me feel good when I hear that other moms have a great support system. Thank you for reading!

  • saygoodbyecitylife

    Thank you for sharing. Everyone seems to have a unique experience after giving birth. There are so many factors that play in both emotionally and medically. I appreciate your thoughtful post.

    • Samantha Flores

      Thanks so much! Postpartum depression is not so cut and dry. Like you said, everyone has their own unique experience. Postpartum depression takes many forms and it is it important to know the signs, triggers, and how you can get help. I appreciate your time reading my post!

    • Samantha Flores

      Exactly! Postpartum depression takes on many forms and it’s hard to tell who it will effect and how it will effect each mom. I’ve only birthed one child and I’m sure if I have another, my experience will be completely different if I suffer from postpartum depression again. Knowing what kind of signs to look out for will hopefully help prevent any unnecessary suffering. I appreciate your time reading my post!

  • everdaylivinghacks

    I Have/Had Postpartum depression! MEDICATION has been a safe haven for me. I would cry all the time after my first. Now I get so excited for having my second child!

    • Samantha Flores

      So sorry that you’ve experienced postpartum depression! But I’m happy to hear that you found relief in medication. I also found help in medication. I wish there were more options available, however. How exciting for you to have a second child! I look forward to growing our family as well.

    • Samantha Flores

      Thanks so much for reading, Crinkle Hub! Hopefully this new knowledge of postpartum depression can be beneficial to you at some point in the future even if to to support a woman in your life.

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you, Vanessa! The hormones associated with postpartum depression are definitely tricky. It is challenging to fully express their effects when you are going through it. However, it is enlightening once you’ve come to terms with how you are being effected. Hopefully others can learn from these signs that I experienced during that postpartum depression chapter.

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you so much, Sanjota! Hopefully your friend didn’t experience the hardships associated with postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can definitely change a person and it is nice to know when you do have friends around who can help you. I hope others find this post useful as well!

    • Samantha Flores

      Thanks, Neil! I hope my experience with postpartum depression is something that may help the friends you share this post with. It’s not an easy thing to go through, especially if you feel like you are alone. You are a great friend in considering how your friends would benefit from this post. I appreciate you reading this post and thank you for sharing!

    • Samantha Flores

      Exactly, BeautyBeyondPhysique! Your entire physical appearance, body chemistry, and role in life have changed entirely. It is no wonder why women experience postpartum depression. Moms go through so much in the postpartum phase in addition to trying to learn about this tiny, new human being. I hope others learn more about the symptoms of postpartum depression so that they can help a mom who is suffering. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

    • Samantha Flores

      Great point, TheKitchenDoc! I would hope that our society could change their mindset and better assist moms with more positivity and resources for this new chapter in their lives. Postpartum depression is difficult to combat solo. Therefore, more positivity in their lives could help bring some light into the darkness that encompasses postpartum depression. Thank you for reading!

  • coollife

    i hate the word depression because i know what it has done to people.. out of depression many people has taken their life.. my advice is when you find your self in a mode of depression please stand up and taken a walk you may see your helper or solution solver to your problem

    • Samantha Flores

      I appreciate the advice, coollife! However, it’s a tad more complicated to do that when battling postpartum depression. When you have a baby who solely depends on you, it’s more challenging to get up and take a walk to find a solution. Oftentimes, there is not a solution and postpartum depression isn’t something we can just get over. Luckily, I had a good support group that I could lean on. But not many other moms battling postpartum depression can say the same, unfortunately. Thanks for reading and applying your thoughts!

  • Bindu Thomas

    Acknowledging and talking about PPD is half the battle won. And to do that, takes a lot of courage. You are a very strong person. Its ok to make mistakes; mothers are not saints, nor are they know-all beings.

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Bindu! You are right, we are not all knowing. However, many moms like myself want to be and that is a trick that postpartum depression plays on you. We get into that mindset that because we are the mother, we have to have all the answers and know what to do each time our baby cries. It’s a challenge. But you are right, acknowledging that you are facing postpartum depression is half the battle! Many don’t even make it that far and they unfortunately suffer longer. I appreciate you reading!

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you for the suggestion, Mhmd Bilani! I am actually in the middle of writing an ebook with more extensive information of postpartum depression, including ways to cope and find help. I feel that postpartum depression is one that isn’t talked about as much as it should be and resources need to be more readily available. Postpartum depression affects many and I want to help as many women as I can acknowledge their symptoms, find help, and know they are not alone. I appreciate you reading my post!

  • Deborah

    Thank you for sharing this with us! My friend recently had a baby and some of us have been worried that she may be struggling right now with PPD and some of these signs seem familiar. I’ll send this article along to her and hopefully she’ll be able to see that she may need to see a doctor about it!
    Stay strong!

    • Samantha Flores

      Thanks so much for reading, Deborah! It is so challenging to acknowledge postpartum depression and your friend is lucky to have someone like you who cares. Postpartum depression can hit at various stages in the postpartum phase so it is important to know they signs associated. I am thankful that you can share my postpartum depression post with her and hopefully my words will inspire her to be strong and seek help, if needed. Postpartum depression is often suffered in silence. I appreciate you reading my post!

  • Marjie Mare

    I am so grateful that the light has been shed on post partum depression. It is imperative for women to talk and seek treatment.

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you so much, Marjie! It is unfortunate that postpartum depression isn’t talked about as often as it should be given how many women each day and each hour are giving birth. It is almost like it’s taboo to talk about postpartum depression. However, many women need those resources for help! I am in the process of writing an ebook related to postpartum depression that will give more insight and resources to moms who need additional assistance. Sometimes just hearing that you aren’t alone in suffering with postpartum depression is helpful. I appreciate you reading!

    • Samantha Flores

      You are right, cheszdylan! Mothers can be fragile when this new chapter in their life has begun. But, don’t underestimate our strength! Postpartum depression can take its toll on us for the time being, but we can rise through it with the proper help and support. I hope others seek the help they need if they realize they are battling postpartum depression. Mothers need much support after having a baby and I hope to shed more light on the postpartum phase of life. Thank you for reading!

  • itsasweetsweetworld

    Stay strong! The first step is sharing how you’re feeling, which you did so that’s a good sign. Next step is accepting and fighting to come out of it, which you have to do! You can do it. 🙂

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you so much for your support, itsasweetsweetworld! Acknowledging that you are battling postpartum depression is a win in and of itself! Seeking help and knowing you need additional resources is the harder part. Most women don’t want others to know they are battling postpartum depression because it makes them feel like incompetent mothers. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Postpartum depression has a way of playing tricks on your mind like that though. I appreciate you reading my post and leaving such kind and encouraging words!

    • Samantha Flores

      So glad to hear that you came out on a better side, Ann! Postpartum depression can really pull other moms down and maybe even have them spiraling further down before they can ask for help. Postpartum depression is something that needs to be talked about more, in my opinion. I am actually in the process of writing an ebook about postpartum depression in hopes that I can help other moms before they spiral too far down. I appreciate you reading my post and sharing your experience!

Let me know your thoughts!

%d bloggers like this: