Most people have now heard of the dispute between Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields over the issue of postpartum depression. Tom takes the stand that vitamins are the key while Brooke states her level of after-birth depression was so intense, only prescription medication helped. I am not here to say who is right or wrong, but having suffered postpartum depression with my first child but having no idea why I was feeling the way I did, I told know one.
My son was a beautiful boy, healthy and adorable, of course! However, about a week after bringing him home, I began to experience overwhelming depression and fear. For me, I was scared that I would harm my child and even though I knew that I would never do that, my mind was plagued with worry. At that time (1982), postpartum depression was an unknown problem. Therefore, I tucked it all inside and walked – a lot! Thankfully, the depression passed and today, my son is 24 and my daughter 21 – both healthy and strong.
Unfortunately, some women go through such horrific postpartum depression that a simple walk is not the solution. Parenting is the greatest experience in life but it is also an adventure that holds the highest level of responsibility – that of another life. What happens is that during pregnancy, a woman’s hormones are going crazy. Even for a few weeks after the birth of the baby, hormones are trying to readjust to what they were prior to giving birth. During this time a woman may begin to have too much going on, which throws the body into a tailspin, affecting not just the body but the mind as well.
Experts estimate that as many as 90% of all new mothers go through some level of emotion. This could include crying spells, depression, mood swings, and even a sense of unhappiness. In most cases, the postpartum depression will pass without much trouble but if you find that it intensifies or does not begin to fade, you want to talk to your doctor for recommended treatment, whether vitamins or prescribed medication. Remember – this will pass.