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The Many Faces of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) can be a tricky thing. While you'll be inundated with literature about the condition before and immediately after the birth of your baby, your PPD could look very different from how it's portrayed in the brochures. It may be difficult to tell whether what you're feeling is normal. Many women experience more than just symptoms like "losing interest in things you enjoyed" and "no interest in the baby". Here are a few stories from real-life moms and what PPD looked like for them:

Hazel

Hazel had pregnancy and delivery down to a science by the time her fourth baby arrived. But when nursing became difficult and sleep became more elusive, her fourth postpartum experience started looking different from her previous three. Hazel loved her newborn and was interested in her, but she would dream of scenarios where she would just leave and go to a hotel for four days and not tell anyone where she was. After sharing her feelings with her girlfriends, she had the courage to bring it up with her doctor. She was surprised to hear her diagnosis was PPD, and she was thankful that she could get treatment and start to feel more like herself.

Ginny

Ginny laughed at herself after she delivered her daughter because she cried at everything. She cried when she was happy, and she cried when she was sad. The tears came out of nowhere, and she just couldn't shake it. Ginny's well-intentioned mom told her that she had a case of the "baby blues," so she waited a few more weeks for the incessant crying to subside. But it didn't. When she finally discussed her symptoms with her OB-GYN, she received treatment for PPD. She spent her first nine weeks of motherhood sobbing when she could have received help sooner.

Dani

Dani was excited to be a mom when she came home with her son. She wasn't weepy or sad, but she had an extreme desire to keep her little one safe. It started with her not wanting to take her son out of the house. Then, she didn't want anyone to visit because they would spread germs. She sterilized bottles twice for every feeding. She washed her hands so often that they began to peel. By the time Dani finally realized she had a problem, she was so entrenched in her habits that it took months for her life to return to normal.

For more information about PPD, check out "Wrangling Your Worry," "Do You Have Postpartum Mood Disorder?" and "3 Postpartum Warning Signs."

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