10 things that made my postpartum depression WORSE.

10 things that made my PPD worse.

Though Postpartum Depression can happen to anyone and there sometimes isn’t a way to prevent it, there were some things that definitely made my PPD worse. If you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression please seek help immediately.

1. Every one assumed they knew what I needed. 

young sad female with freckles and piercing
Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com

I know they all meant well but the people around me would suggest manicures, pedicures, and massages. Apparently, every new mom needed a spa day and they’d magically feel brand new again. Perhaps, for some moms, a day at the spa is relaxing and refreshing, but when I was suffering from PPD it was the last thing I wanted. Looking great on the outside didn’t change how I was feeling. I just wanted the unsolicited advice to stop. I wanted someone to step in when I was overwhelmed with out judgement. I wanted someone to be there, really be there for me.

2. Taking care of myself meant falling behind on a million chores.

person wearing white pants and white socks standing beside brown broom
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I know how important self-care is, especially for new moms, tired moms, and overwhelmed moms. But what’s the use if stepping away meant I had a bigger pile of dishes and laundry waiting for me when I returned? It’s like, that thing grew by the minute, and every minute I spent away practicing “self-care” meant I’d be behind and playing catch up all week with chores. 

3. Having to consider guests/visitors.

black family celebrating christmas at served table at home
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

If I could go back in time, I would be more honest. I would tell people “no”. Though I know my family and friends meant well, trying to fit everyone in was so stressful. And maybe it was just my luck, but whenever a guest would arrive that’s when my baby usually began to doze off and instead of relaxing I was entertaining and then consoling a fussy and tired baby. 

4. People offered help I didn’t need.

woman in white and pink striped long sleeve shirt playing with baby lying on bed
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

It’s funny, people offered so much help when I was pregnant and most of the help was practical like painting the nursery, helping me put the crib together or unpack all of the gifts from the baby shower. But after I had my daughter, that changed. People would offer to “play” with my daughter. But when she was just a few days to a few weeks old, she didn’t play. And whenever I would step away to catch up on cleaning and sterilizing bottles or laundry, I’d be interrupted a millions times because my baby was fussy and guests would call me over. It would’ve been so much easier if someone just offered to wash the dishes so I could actually sit down for a few minutes. People are so distrated by a cute baby they sometimes didn’t see the overwhelmed mom.

5. People shamed me for not enjoying every single moment.

black and white black and white depressed depression
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Everyone says to “enjoy” the newborn phase and that’s so easy to say when you’re getting rest and your life hasn’t been flipped upside down. If I seemed stressed, sad, or unhappy that I wasn’t getting any sleep—it was like I was being a terrible mother. But honestly, even though it really is “all worth it in the end” it doesn’t feel like that every single moment. 

6. I was compared to other moms that seemed to be able to “have it all” and “do it all”. 

happy mother working from home and little daughter hugging mom
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Working moms were somehow managing, yet I always had to explain why I was behind on chores, couldn’t get time to cook dinner, or why I seemed to not be used to motherhood quite yet. Truthfully, we don’t have a large “village” and I had little help. Being compared to “super-moms” didn’t make me feel like such a great wife or mom.

7. I tried to return to normal activities too soon.

mother holding her baby
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

I felt pressure to return to “normal” pretty early on. I was told that things should “fall into place” right around 6 months postpartum, but they didn’t. Sleep was still a luxury that I didn’t get to enjoy often, I struggled to produce enough milk, and things were still bumpy. I tried to act normal, because in our society there’s this pressure for women to “not change too much” after becoming a mom so I still wanted to be the perfect wife and be super-women. I wanted everything to return to normal as quickly as possible—our sex life, social life, and our routine—and now I know that’s insane and nearly impossible. 

8. The pressure to breastfeed almost made me lose my mind. 

parents looking at their baby
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I struggled to breastfeed and ultimately had to exclusively pump for an entire year. The guilt and pressure to provide breastmilk made me crazy. All I thought about was making enough milk. I eventually produced enough but the pressure, schedule, pain, and mind-f#cking discipline it took was something I’ll never forget. 

9. All of the unwanted advice.

person in black pants and black shoes sitting on brown wooden chair
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Unsolicited advice is a pain, but it’s worse when you become a parent. Like most moms, I try to do my very best. So, when someone thinks they know what’s best for my child more than I do, it’s more than annoying. Also, for someone with PPD it can make things worse when people point out what they think you’re doing wrong. All of the unsolicited advice online, at family gatherings, from strangers or friends, is never received well if it’s not asked for. 

10. People think PPD is easy to fix. 

flat lay photography of hand tools
Photo by suntorn somtong on Pexels.com

People think PPD is easy to fix—pop a pill and bam your problems are solved. That’s not the case for everyone including myself. Honestly, having someone to talk to, check up on me, and step in to help was the best “medicine” for me. Also, having someone who doesn’t assume PPD means you regret having your child, you’re a bad mom, or your not cut out for motherhood can sometimes make all the difference. 

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