Postpartum, Pumping

New Mom Question and Answers: Postpartum Depression, Pumping and Sex

Length of PPD, Painful Pumping, Sex Discomfort and More

This week’s New Mom Question and Answer covers pumping, sharing the load of baby care, painful sex, postpartum depression, communication and more. Read on.

New Mom Question 1: Pain while pumping, what do I do?

All right, you guys, I’m not a lactation consultant, but I was an exclusive pumper for 13 months. So I know a little bit about this. If you’re experiencing pain while pumping, there are a few things you want to look at.

My first thing that I encourage you to do is check your flange size. So the flange is the part on the outside of the pump that actually suctions on to your breast. Pumps come with a standard flange, but this might not be the right size for your breasts and your nipples. And so you want to check the flange size. You can look online for a flange check. And you may need to get a different size because if it is too big, it’s pulling too much, and it’s not working appropriately. If it’s too small, it’s going to be tight and cause some pain.

Photo from  MedelaPhoto from Medela


Potential Pumping Problems:

If that is not the solution. I want you to look into thrush, make sure that you’re not dealing with that. And also look in to mastitis, just make sure you’re not dealing with clogged ducks, and engorgement. And if you continue to have pain while pumping, try to identify where the pain is, is it deeper in your breast? Is it your nipple, and this is something you might want to talk specifically to a lactation consultant about if the flange doesn’t do the difference. And if there’s not, you know, an underlying issue like thrush and mastitis, one last thing you might want to look at is what kind of suction you’re using on your pump.

So if you are also nursing, you want this suction to mimic baby. I know how tempting it can be to up the suction, to try to decrease pumping times and I’ve been guilty of that too. But if you are having too high of a suction and too high the speed that could just be too uncomfortable for your breast

Related: Boob Problems After Birth

New Mom Question 2: Tips on Making Sex Less Painful, Especially When You are Nursing

I love that she brings up being a nursing mama because what this means is that often the hormones that are helping you to produce the breast milk are also decreasing your libido and decreasing the moisture that your vagina is able to make when you are getting in the mood or starting into sex. And so my number one tip y’all is more lube, lube lube lube, I’m going to put below the link for my favorite lube, Coco lube, and you want to be super liberal with your lube. And don’t feel any shame or weirdness about that, because your body is just not in a place to make as much as it did before.

Pelvic Floor Therapist

The second thing if you’re experiencing painful sex is to go to a pelvic floor therapist, this might be a physical therapist or an occupational therapist, often you can get a referral from your ob or midwife or just directly contact the therapist on your own. So some of these are insurance based, some of them are private pay, some of them are coming to your home, some of them are going to the office. But there’s so much that happens in that little region during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. And in many parts of the world, pelvic floor therapy is standard care. 

Rebuild the Pelvic Muscle

So it’s not weird at all, if you need to go and have someone help you to rebuild that structure in that muscle and tissue after giving birth.
If you want more information on this and just postpartum sex in general, I actually do interview a variety of people from a therapist, to a pelvic floor therapist to historians and doulas and more in my back in the sack, postpartum sex ecourse.

New Mom Question 3: Bleeding from C-Section Scar 3 Weeks After Birth

At postpartum together, we call c-sections belly birth, because you also gave birth, it just came out of your belly. Reminder/Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am a coach who focuses on the postpartum/new mom period. My advice is from research and anecdotal, but not from a medical degree.

What Bleeding is Normal?

So this momma is saying that at three weeks, she’s still having a small amount of bleeding. Now, I did check in with this mama a little bit more and it seems like it was fairly normal bleeding. When you look into this repair this recovery, it’s about four to six weeks when you want that bleeding to just substantially decrease or go away. This is usually the time where you have that postpartum checkup as well to check your C-section scar. But I say this also- if you feeling like something is out of place, if you’re feeling worried, it’s totally fine to check in with your provider. Send them a picture. Ask them if these things are normal. Never feel like you’re being a burden or that you shouldn’t be able to check in with your provider as you are healing.
Related: Belly birth scar massage

New Mom Question 4: Can Postpartum Depression go Off and On Through the First Year?

Yes, yes. And yes, you are postpartum which is not just depression, postpartum is the season after baby, you are a postpartum for a year-ish after baby. This means that your hormones, your neurological system, all these things can take a year or even up to 18 months to recover. We see that postpartum depression can onset up to a year postpartum because of the changes of hormones.

Read More: Baby Blues or PPD, How to Tell the Difference

You may have weaning hormones- hormones related to nursing. It is important to know that this you might see some highs, you may see some lows, you may feel like you are having this off and on postpartum depression through that first year.

Providers, Medication, Conversation around PPD

I say that to also say continue to check with your provider. If you are using medication, continue your usage of medication and don’t just like go cold turkey on that if you’re feeling good for a few days. If you’re seeing a therapist, continue to bring that to your therapist and know that you’re having ongoing changes. Postpartum depression is common, it is something that we don’t need to be ashamed of, we don’t need to leave it as taboo. And so if you are facing this, continue to talk to your provider, but know that you’re probably going to have some highs and some lows throughout that first year-ish.
Related: How to find a therapist

New Mom Question 5: How Can I Make Baby Responsibilities Shared Between a Stay at Home Mom and 40 Hour Work Week Partner?

This is a really tough one that goes into so many different layers of communication and scheduling and understanding what it actually takes to take care of a baby. So I encourage my clients who are also stay at home moms to think about that as your 40 hour a week job and then your partner has their outside of the home 40 hour a week job.

Block Scheduling

Now how do we look at the in-between and the other things that need to be done? This doesn’t mean that stay at home mom is also the default parent all night, all weekend and all the time. We don’t want to fall into that default mode. What I use with some of my clients and I actually do one-on-ones is block scheduling. This means that we aren’t just kind of wondering who’s on or hoping that the partner takes over. This means that we are being intentional and proactive about our time about who’s in charge; who’s kind of the default parent. This means that we can enjoy our time.

We can schedule in time to be together, we can really schedule in meaningful family time. But this means that we don’t have this default, where the stay at home mom is also the person who’s picking up the slack at 9pm, or the middle of the night or the weekends. Be really intentional about your communication, be really intentional about how you split that time outside of the 40 hour work week. And also honor the fact that being a stay at home mom is really freaking hard and we can count that as our work. But that doesn’t mean that our work is 80 or 120 hours a week. This means that we honor that time, we honor our partners’ other work time. And then we think about that in between and all the gaps that needs to be filled, and how we proactively fill that together.
Related: Communication after baby

Thank you guys for submitting your questions this week on Instagram you can always head over there to submit questions for the week.

motherhood, Postpartum

Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression? How to Figure Out What You Are Experiencing

How Long do The Baby Blues Last?

How do I know if my wife has depression or the baby blues

So you’ve recently had a baby and the emotions are setting in. Naturally, you’re feeling a lot of things and you might be wondering: “Am I experiencing the baby blues or postpartum depression?”Your life has changed drastically in a short amount of time and your body is also reacting. During pregnancy, your progesterone levels increase up to 200x their baseline levels and when you deliver your placenta, that progesterone is leaving the body causing a steep drop. Sounds a little bit like a roller coaster, right? So if you’re emotionally feeling like a roller coaster, this is probably why and you are not the only one.

How can you tell if what you are experiencing is a “natural” part of the transition of baby from inside to outside of your body and the drastic change in hormones that brings? How can you tell if you need to seek outside help or if this will subside on its own?

What Contributes to Postpartum Mental Wellness?

As mentioned above, there are natural swings in hormone levels when you are pregnant, during birth and after. Your body is changing along with the needs of a growing baby and the transition from inside the body to outside the body. Additionally, starting the process of breast milk production causes hormone fluctuation whether you decide to breastfeed or not. Late in pregnancy, many women struggle to sleep and when the baby arrives, many women experience ongoing sleep deprivation. This lack of sleep can make it harder for hormone levels and emotional responses to return to a baseline level as the brain and body do not experience restorative rest. This means it can take weeks and even months to stabilize.

RELATED: How long is postpartum?

What is Baby Blues?

-Typically within first 1-2 weeks after birth

-Sadness

-Crying

-Irritability

-Trouble Sleeping

-Can see feelings objectively

With baby blues, women can identify that this is temporary and marked by things like lack of sleep, big transitions and hormone shifts. The mom with baby blues recognizes that this is difficult, but knows it will pass and can see things objectively. She feels these things but does not feel that they are all-consuming.

Related: What are the Baby Blues (Zulily contribution)

chart shows difference between postpartum depression and baby blues

What is Postpartum Depression?

-Hopelessness

-Helplessness

-Ongoing crying

-Brain fog

-Rage

-Lack of interest in people or things

-Withdraw

-Difficulty bonding

-Intrusive thoughts (thoughts of harm to self or baby)

The mom who is experiencing postpartum depression will see symptoms beyond the first two weeks. Symptoms may onset after delivery to up to 1 year postpartum. This mom might feel that there is no end to the negative emotions. She feels withdrawn and not interested in people or things she was previously interested in. She may not be able to “find” or recognize herself in the midst of all of the emotions. This mom may have rage she cannot control. In some cases, this mom believes the baby would be better off without her and she struggles with intrusive thoughts of harm.

RELATED: Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Stories

PPD Risk Factors

While there are no guarantees about who will and who will not experience PPD, there are some risk factors that increase your likelihood.

Women who:

-Have a history of mental health disorders

-With a mother/father/grandparent/sibling with a history of a mental health disorder

-Pregnancy, birth, or postpartum medical complications-Mothers with baby in the NICU

-Mothers of baby with colic or medical complexity

-Women with little family/friend/community support

If you are pregnant and know that you are at risk for PPD, Burd Therapy’s Preventing PPD course may be the tool you need.

Everyone Deserves Postpartum Support

Whether you are struggling with baby blues, postpartum depression, or just going through the transition into motherhood, you deserve support and there is no shame in not having it “all together.” No one really has it all together, even if it appears that way on the outside. If you believe you may be struggling with PPD, contact your provider- either your OB or your Primary Care Provider, and tell her how you’re feeling. If possible, find a therapist  who can provide you with a safe space to talk about your transition and feelings. Share your experience with those who are close to you and care about you- many people want to be helpful and supportive and there is no reward for doing it all yourself.

Whether it is medication, therapy, a holistic approach to navigating this new stage, know that help is available and help doesn’t make you weak. As a medication-taking, therapy- going, yoga loving mom who loses her mind without these tools and resources… you’re in good company and no one wins a trophy for not needing help.

RELATED: Postpartum Resources for any mom

Postpartum, Postpartum Stories

Living with a PMAD After Birth: 5 Women’s Stories

PMAD Stories: Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) affect over 20% of moms. Surely that is more than one mom that you personally know. However, you might not know that she has struggled because the stigma remains high and the conversation is kept behind closed doors.

The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, anxiety, and other postpartum mood disorders (see types of disorders here) can be obvious or they can be hidden. The mission to remove maternal mental health stigmas is a very important one. In the depths of new motherhood, the last thing a woman needs to feel is alone.

This site may contain affiliate links to products. This means, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?

infographic for postpartum depression signs, symptoms and treatment

Image via: AHealthBlog

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Postpartum Depression doesn’t feel the same for everyone and can be identified by a number of criteria. We often think of depression as feeling tired, uninterested, and sad. While this can be true, these are not the only markers.

Other presenting symptoms may be irritability, guilt, loss of energy, and more. Because having a baby creates a big shift, it is important to know the distinguishing signs and talk to your medical provider about the severity of your symptoms. While the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is given at most postnatal checkups, postpartum depression (and other maternal mental health disorders) can present at any time within the first year of postpartum, therefore many women go unidentified and untreated. By raising awareness and sharing stories, we give moms hope support, and encouragement. Remember, HELP is not a bad word. It is a sign of strength!

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM ANXIETY?

Less discussed, but no less important PMAD types are often housed under the “anxiety” diagnosis. More specifically, some women experience postpartum anxiety, OCD, PTSD, or psychosis.

Postpartum Anxiety infographic signs and symptoms

Image: Anxiety Canada

RELATED: Mom’s Story of Postpartum Anxiety

TELLING OUR POSTPARTUM PMAD STORIES

We bring light to one another with our stories, and women have shared their stories in this post in hopes that it will bring normalization and light to other moms. If you or someone you know identifies with the symptoms of Postpartum Depression, reach out (get help here). There is no shame in helping yourself so you can better help your family.

The following is a collection of responses from moms willing to share their experience with Postpartum Depression.

WHAT DID YOU KNOW ABOUT POSTPARTUM MOOD AND ANXIETY DISORDERS (PMAD) PRIOR TO YOUR EXPERIENCE?

  1. I knew about PMAD prior to postpartum in the sense of what they are, however, I didn’t know the reality of them or how common they are. I also really prepared myself and felt prepared for pregnancy and labor but did not feel as prepared for postpartum. I read January Harshe’s book Birth Without Fear pre-birth (and first of all it’s amazing and everyone should read it), which helped open my eyes to postpartum. But the actual reality of postpartum really shocked me. I’m starting to feel human again, my baby is 6 weeks old, and as I reflect on the past 6 weeks it’s been tough, unknown, and scary at times. It’s also been so beautiful and I love being a mom, but mentally and emotionally I was not prepared.

  2. I didn’t know much about postpartum depression going into my first pregnancy. I heard people talk about getting tired, sleep deprived, and having child get on your nerves, but it sounded like the norm. Like it was something every mom dealt with. After my sons birth in 2016, the first couple of weeks were rough but that was because I was breastfeeding and he was eating every 2 hours. I had no time to sleep! My husband and I came up with a night time routine and everything was fine after that. A couple of years later getting pregnant with our little girl, I started to worry how I was going to balance two small children. No one could give me an answer. I kept hearing, “It’s great for your kids because the will have someone to play with so close in age.” But what about me?!

  3. I work in the medical field to we studied PMDs in school so I was aware of them from the stand point of signs/symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. I also knew that I was at risk for a PMD because i have a history of anxiety. I knew that a lot of Moms struggle with PMDs but dont seek help.

  4. I was familiar with postpartum mood disorders, mainly because my twin sister suffered horrible postpartum depression. When I got pregnant, this was a fear of mine, as I’ve struggled with anxiety for my whole teenage/adult life.

  5. I did not know anything about them when I was pregnant or really after

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU MIGHT HAVE A POSTPARTUM MOOD DISORDER?

  1. I realized I had PMAD when I had a panic attack in the bulk section of my natural food me store. I’ve had anxiety on and off during different seasons of my life and was feeling anxious on and off during early postpartum. Once my mom left and the newborn honeymoon was over (my baby was sleeping for 5 hour stretches for 2 weeks straight, he was never fussy and rarely cried, loved to just hang out and snuggle, self soothed and put himself to sleep if we laid him down etc.

    Once that 3rd week hit all of that changed) I started realizing I was getting anxiety especially during car rides, driving, being out in public on my own, when I wasn’t holding my baby, at night (I kept checking to make sure he was breathing often and not getting much sleep), and if we stayed home for extended amounts of days. My husband and I had been running errands together and the baby fell asleep in the car so my husband stayed with him while I ran into the store. I couldn’t find the one thing I needed and started getting really panicked and then couldn’t breathe and just started crying in the middle of the store for “no reason”. I immediately left and cried all the way home because it was such a scary and unknown feeling. Since I’ve had a few other episodes like that.

    Once I had a second panic attack at takeoff on the plane while traveling with my husband and baby (all I could imagine … and the images were so vivid and clear … was my whole family dying in a plane crash which triggered it), I reached out to my midwife.

  2. Afternoon my daughter was born, I immediately started drinking to cope with the stress. Balancing drinking with breastfeeding was easy with her because she slept longer than my son (4-5 hours). I was angry, short to discipline my son, easily agitated, arguing with my husband, sleep-deprived, and not getting a break. Even when I went back to work, I had to breastfeed every couple of hours therefore my “mommying” never stopped. I knew how I was feeling after birth was different from my son because I couldn’t shake it with a simple schedule change. My life was entirely different.

  3. I realized I have a PMAD because I did not want to leave my baby at home without anyone but myself. Whenever I would leave even to go to the grocery for an hour, I would not be able to focus on what I was doing, my legs would get weak, my heart would race and I would feel nauseated. I cried almost every night, partly due to normal postpartum hormones but I would cry at night before bed out of sheer terror that something would happen to my baby overnight. By the same token, I would fear falling asleep because I did not want to not wake up to my baby if she was in distress.

  4. Luckily I was prepared for the warning signs. Once my baby was born, I had the “normal” crying spells and attributed that to sleep deprivation and hormones. However, when I was having nightly panic attacks and scared to leave the house, and constantly fearing about worst-case-scenarios — I knew my anxiety was back. I also began to feel really sad, mourning my “old self” and wondering if I’ll ever be “myself again”

  5. I didn’t really even know, I just knew I was not okay.

postpartum-depression-support.jpg

Source: http://www.stylist.co.uk

WHO WAS YOUR SUPPORT THROUGH POSTPARTUM?

  1. My mom is amazing. She’s a labor and delivery nurse and was present for weeks leading up to my birth, during my birth, and for 2 weeks after my birth. I talk to her on the phone almost everyday and she’s been so honest and open with everything. My midwife and I have a close bond so she has been a big support. And I’ve also been attending a Mother’s support group that is absolutely amazing. The first time I went I cried when I did my check-in because I finally felt normal. So many other women were experiencing the same things I was. I heard other mothers verbalize and really be honest and open I felt so safe and known.

  2. I got untraditional help from a prayer specialist and stopped drinking on New Years’ Eve 2018.

  3. My husband. My sister is also a big support system of mine but I ca not talk to her about these things like I can my husband. She is very “chill” and laid back, not easily stressed.

  4. My husband and my midwife were incredibly supportive. Even with them, though, (and with my knowledge that this is normal) I was nervous to be completely honest in my postpartum evaluation. I felt ashamed for not being 100% thrilled about motherhood.

  5. I am not really sure I had any support. I never really shared where I was or what I was going through. Does anyone ever really understand? I wish my family would have seen the signs.

    RELATED: Postpartum Resources

WAS IT HARD TO SPEAK UP ABOUT NEEDING HELP? WHY?

  1. It was hard to acknowledge that I needed help to myself. I was having so much guilt for my feelings and struggles. We walked along 2 1/2 year walk of infertility and during that time I would have given anything for a baby. I fell pregnant naturally right before starting fertility treatments. It felt/still feels like such a gift that I feel guilty a lot when I’m feeling like it’s so hard or crying or being negative.

    So it was really hard to say to my husband – I need help and it was really emotional at my 6 weeks check-up last week to tell my midwife. I wasn’t scared to tell her and not necessarily ashamed but I acknowledged how guilty I was feeling and was met with a hug and affirmations that I didn’t need to feel guilty and that this was all ok. My brain knows that I’m not my thoughts and anxiety but my body reacts like that and sometimes I feel so out of control of my anxiety it scares me.

  2. It’s still a constant battle dealing with postpartum depression because as moms, we never stop. We have moments where we really kickass and somewhere we beat ourselves up because we didn’t balance our day accordingly. But what I have learned is that we have to ask for help, we have to give ourselves grace, and, most of all, we are not the only ones dealing with this. All moms do in one form or another.

  3. It wasn’t hard to speak up but it was hard to let myself be vulnerable and accept that I may need to ask for help. I am an extremely confident and independent person so to let my guard down was hard. It was also hard to accept that I have a PMAD because of my medical career..you do not want to acknowledge the fact that you HAVE what patients come to you to TREAT. Also, it is the mentality that “I know what this is and what is happening but why can’t I overcome it?”

  4. Somehow I was able to be brave and honest with the questionnaire about PMD- and my midwife was SO understanding. We talked and she wrote me a prescription for breastfeeding-safe anxiety medication/anti-depressant. She talked through my fears of risks associated with breastfeeding and showed me statistics about the safety of the medication she prescribed.

  5. One day I sat in my PCP office and I told her how I had these thoughts of “Well what if a car hit me when I turned at an intersection” or “What if I hit this parked car driving down the road?” One day I very vividly remember thinking if I could just go somewhere like even a hospital for a few days to get away- I told her- and she looked at me- and I never cried or anything. She asked me what stopped me and I said: “ Well, of course, my kids.” She asked if I was okay that day and I said “Yeah, sure” and she immediately prescribed me medication.

HOW DID YOU FIND SOME RELIEF FOR YOU POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION/ANXIETY/OTHER?

  1. I’m still working on relief. I feel like acknowledging it and speaking about it has helped a lot! Also, I started working out again – I worked out often prior to pregnancy and as often as I could throughout my pregnancy. It’s my outlet for stress relief and something I enjoy doing. It makes me feel strong and empowered. I’ve only been to 2 workouts but have noticed such a change in my mental clarity and emotional being after.

    I’m seeking out counseling and have an appointment in the next few weeks. I was prescribed medication – my midwife and I really talked long and hard about it. I told her that I wanted to see how these other things I was implementing helped me and felt comfortable in waiting to take medication until I felt like I needed to. I’ve had anxiety in the past and I know my limits. I don’t suggest this for everyone … but I feel confident in that choice for now because I am an open book with a conversation with my husband and my mom and have a lot of support and a place and multiple people to go to when I feel like I need it.

  2. I got untraditional help from a prayer specialist.

  3. I found relief by talking to my husband. I also was honest with my OB and I am on low dose Zoloft with has been a game-changer.

  4. I’ve only been on medication for about a week now, but am already feeling relieved to have been honest with this experience. Knowing this is normal brought a lot of comforts.

  5. I am not confident I had really ever found relief, it just became more manageable. I came out of the deep depression with better food and exercise but even to this day I still struggle with mom guilt and I do seek counseling for it all.

postpartum+depression+help+letterboard.jpeg

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL A NEW MOM ABOUT POSTPARTUM MENTAL HEALTH?

  1. I am very honest with friends who are about to have their first babies when they ask how everything is going. I tell them that I love being a mom and I love my baby more than anything but that I’ve been struggling a lot. I tell them about the support group I go to and how important it is to have support.

    I tell them that if they have struggled to please be honest and reach out. I tell them that all those feelings and emotions are ok and that they aren’t in our control. I remind my friends with babies now that they are the best mom to their baby and to fight the need to feel perfect and meet the standards and expectations of others. And to ask for help – ask for help holding the baby so you can have 5 minutes alone, or ask for help around the house, or with other everyday tasks, etc.

  2. We have moments where we really kickass and somewhere we beat ourselves up because we didn’t balance our day accordingly. But what I have learned is that we have to ask for help, we have to give ourselves grace, and, most of all, we are not the only ones dealing with this.

  3. It is ok to ask for help. Were tough but the emotions and stress of motherhood is A LOT for anyone to handle. Do not let something get in the way of the happiness and joy and new memories to be made with your baby. Also, the concept and risk factors for SIDS are HAMMERED into your head in the hospital before discharge..follow the recommendations and it will be OK. I did and still do obsess over the temperature in the bedroom and making sure my baby is breathing but if you are following the rules your baby will be OK!

  4. I want a new mother to know PMDs are NORMAL and to be brave and honest in their postpartum evaluation. In fact, reach out sooner than your 4-6 week follow up if you are concerned. Your doctor/midwife/OB will be glad to help— they won’t judge you 🙂

  5. I would and have told a mom to not be a hero and ask for help. Be okay and don’t rush. It’s like empathy vs sympathy and somethings can’t be understood until they experience it.

WHAT DO YOU WANT SOCIETY TO KNOW ABOUT MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH?

  1. I wish more women would be more honest and didn’t feel like they had to mask postpartum struggles and disorders. I wish society wouldn’t pressure me into feeling the need to be perfect or meet standards or expectations. I wish people would stop asking me how my baby sleeps and then making me feel bad when I tell them he wakes up every 2 hours to eat … he’s 6 weeks old and is a freaking baby!

    I wish people would ask me … how are you doing and take the time to listen and actually act on being supportive- bring me a coffee, come hold my baby so I can enjoy a hot shower AND wash my hair and shave my legs in the same shower session, drop off a meal at my door, etc.

  2. All moms face this in one form or another.

  3. Motherhood and the postpartum phase isn’t all glamorous Instagram pics and full nights of sleep. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s a lot of work for everyone involved. Women are ALLOWED to struggle and ask for help. Women are ALLOWED to break down and be vulnerable. Let’s support these women. I am by no means a feminist but unless you have a baby and have experienced postpartum ANYTHING, you cannot possibly understand so educate yourself.

    Offer a hand or an ear to a new mom. Don’t offer to watch the baby so mom can “sleep” because what mom is going to be able to sleep while someone who doesn’t know anything about their brand new baby babysits? Offer to do the dishes, vacuum, take the dog for a walk, go to the grocery.

  4. I want society to realize how common postpartum mood disorders are, to de-stigmatize them, so ultimately women feel more comfortable getting the support they need.

  5. That this is real and there is help- too many women have too much pressure and not enough support in postpartum.

RELATED: Why Mom Guilt is Bullshit

Image: AHN Women

Image: AHN Women

Want to read more stories and learn about how maternal mental health affects women daily? Search #mywishformoms on Instagram and show some moms love!

RELATED: Preventing PPD (eCourse)

What’s your story momma?

What do you want moms and/or society to know about Postpartum Mood Disorders and Maternal Mental Health?

Keep the conversation going in the comments. Share this with loved ones so they don’t feel alone. If you’re currently pregnant and wondering how to prepare for your postpartum, I took some of the work off your plate with this Free Postpartum Plan Checklist.

WOMEN SHARE THEIR POSTPARTUM PMAD STORIES: PIN ME!

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