I don’t love my child.
That, right there! That is what every woman suffering from postpartum mood challenges is terrified of. That they will be accused of not loving their child.
Nothing is farther from the truth.
Postpartum mood disorders vary in severity from the “baby blues” to psychosis. None of it is the will of the mother. No mother wishes for it. No mother seeks it out. Few mothers seek help.
What does postpartum depression or anxiety look like, you may ask……Well it looks like me. I have no history of depression and I can remember driving home from the hospital and already feeling the panic set in. Sometimes, it looks like crying. Sometimes it looks like screaming. Sometimes it looks like a normal activity taken to an extreme. I was 3 weeks postpartum and I was scrubbing base boards because there were cockroaches in the walls. (FACT: there were never any cockroaches in the walls)
Why bring this up? Why talk about it? Because so many new mothers are deep in the dark place and they don’t know that there is a way out. There is light. That it isn’t their fault. That their baby is ok. That they are good mothers. There are other women out there, safe and friendly women, who understand. There are mothers who have survived postpartum depression and anxiety and live regular lives. There are women who would love to share their story with you and come along side your story and help. These women are in your mom’s group, your church or place of worship, your local mother center, trained doulas, midwives, your obstetrician, Le Leche League leaders, Breastfeed LA Leaders, and your local pregnancy help center. Reach out! Call or text or email someone! Even me!
I am a 2 time survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety. I remember the dark. I can still feel the hopelessness and the rage. You are not alone. But now you know there is hope!
Kelly Losey is a Doula. Although she is no longer in Los Angeles, her services provided birth, postpartum, and lactation support services to birthing mothers.
Here are some Postpartum Depression, Anxiety and Distress Local Resources:
- Mother Nurture Network – Stephanie Morales (310) 798-9000 107 W Torrance Blvd Suite 100, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
- Melissa Dumas, Marriage and Family Therapist 310-994-6584
- Devon Singh-Barrett, Marriage and Family Therapist 206-459-0422
- Local Birth and Postpartum Doulas, contact Kelly for a list.
- Online local resources postpartum.net and www.maternalmentalhealthNOW.com
- Local Support and Moms Groups like Mom’s Inc at Kings Harbor Church, MOPS at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
- Pregnancy Help Center – (310) 320-8976 1311 Crenshaw Blvd Suite A, Torrance, CA 90501