While many women experience heightened emotions during pregnancy or after their children are born, 1 out of 8 women experience something more severe. 1 out of 8 women in the US experience symptoms of Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. This is more common than most of us realize, and the myths that surround motherhood can leave women feeling guilty and unable to reach out for help when experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety. Myths such as mothering is innate and you will just know what to do are ridiculous. Anyone who has installed a child safety seat or opened a stroller knows this, and yet this myth continues. While many may feel an innate bond to their child, knowing how to care for one or possessing the skills and knowledge to care for one are not . Another myth out there is that Mothering is easy. Not so! See above reference to car seats…Seriously, there is nothing easy about embarking on the largest learning curve of your life, all while absolutely everything about your life has changed. There are changes in sleep and schedules, but harder to maneuver are the changes in relationships. Partnerships and friendships often change after children. It is not certain how much these myths increase the occurrence of Postpartum mood disorders, however I believe they contribute to women feeling more isolated and embarrassed to ask for help when they are experiencing them.
This post is meant to offer encouragement and support to those who have experienced Postpartum Depression or anxiety now, or in the past. There is a wealth of support for you, and with 1 out of 8 women experiencing something similar you are definitely not alone! I am also hoping to educate all of us about what seems to be epidemic, and yet rarely spoken about. The more we know, the more we can be helpful to family and friends who suffer with Postpartum Mood Disorders. I will be continuing posts to educate all of us on this pressing issue which affects the health of so many families.
If you are looking for a counselor in the Twin Cities area please feel free to contact Trisha Falvey,LMFT