By: Kate Rope
What This Means: That becoming a mother is a stressful event. In fact, pregnancy itself is actually considered a “stressor” in the medical literature. Struggle is going to be part of the process. It’s like labor and delivery. It is a tremendous physical and emotional undertaking to bring a person into the world. We accept that physical pain and other medical complications can be part and parcel of making and birthing a human being. Why do we think our brains would get away Scott-free? That doesn’t make sense.
By David Gelles, NY Times
"Meditation is a simple practice available to all, which can reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness. Learning how to meditate is straightforward, and the benefits can come quickly. Here, we offer basic tips to get you started on a path toward greater equanimity, acceptance and joy. Take a deep breath, and get ready to relax."
Click below for a list of guided meditation and mindfulness exercises.
By JESSICA ZUCKER and RYAN ALEXANDER-TANNER, New York Times
Many times holding rigid or high expectations of pregnancy, delivery, or the postpartum period can lead to symptoms of distress. Click below to see more illustrations on how there is no "wrong or right" way to having a baby.
By: Carolyn Robertson
Here is an account of what it's like to experience Postpartum Anxiety.
By: Stephanie M. Bucklin
"When Karen Papajohn first came home from the hospital with her infant son, AJ, she felt numb. “I kept wondering why I didn’t feel the same ‘joy’ and ‘happiness’ of welcoming this precious gift into my life as my husband did,” she wrote in a survivor story on Jenny’s Light, a perinatal issues website. Amongst other things, Papajohn was sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
But she wasn’t depressed—instead, Papajohn was suffering from postpartum depression, a condition that is distinct from major depressive disorder. While the many of the symptoms are similar (sad mood, restlessness, poor concentration), PPD isn’t merely an extension of depression, as a recent review published in Trends in Neurosciences confirms. It involves distinct changes to the brain, which suggest that PPD is a separate biological disease, and may even require distinct treatment..."
By: Dr. Andrea Chisholm
"Having a baby is one of the happiest times in life, but it can also be one of the saddest.
For most new mothers, the first several days after having a baby is an emotional roller coaster ride. Thrilling moments of happiness and joy are abruptly interrupted by a plunge into moments of depressive symptoms including weeping, anxiety, anger, and sadness. These “baby blues” usually peak in the first two to five days after delivery, and in most women, go away as quickly as they came.
Except sometimes they don’t go away...."
By Nev Schulman and Laura Perlongo
Here is a short video that aims at bringing more awareness to postpartum care.
Having a child can be a great joy but it is also a big adjustment. The transition to parenthood can impact your mood, functioning and relationships with others, including your partner. Because of the changes in your mood, it can even feel difficult to bond with your child. These changes in mood and functioning can feel surprising and confusing for many women and their partners.
While some mood changes are a normal part of the hormonal, physical and emotional adjustments after pregnancy and childbirth, if it is lasting more than a couple of weeks, or these feelings come back anytime in the first year after delivery for more than two weeks, you should seek help and support right away.
Below are a few great resources that can help you begin learning more about how to address the concerns you may have about pregnancy and postpartum mental health.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Resources and Websites:
Additionally, the book titled, "This Isn't What I was Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression" by Karen R. Kleinman, M.S.W. and Valerie D. Raskin M.D. is a great reference on prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety disorders.