• How I Found Support Amid Postpartum Depression

    Written and experienced by: Katrice, Master’s level intern

    Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I played house all the time as a kid, using my many baby dolls as children. As I entered my teenage years, I babysat frequently due to my love of children. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I entered the field working almost exclusively with young children. Waiting for the time where I have a little one of my own.

    My dreams came true when I married my husband in 2019 and, four months later, we became pregnant with our first child. Despite being pregnant during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, my pregnancy brought much joy to my husband and I. Like most first-time parents we tracked the baby’s size in apps, posted every ultrasound, did an elaborate gender reveal, and had the most beautiful baby shower. Our little boy was so loved, even inside the womb, and we were so happy. Despite my history of depression and mental illness I was so jubilant during my pregnancy that I didn’t even dream that postpartum life would be anything but joy.

    My whole life changed when I gave birth to my son. Instead of the joy I thought I would feel, I felt numb. In the next 8 weeks, I plunged into a deep depression that seemed impossible to escape. I was plagued by thoughts that I wasn’t good enough for my son. I had breastfeeding grief as I wasn’t able to breastfeed. I was overly anxious about my baby dying. Combined with sleep deprivation, it was almost too much to bear; however, I had a village of support with my friends and family, who frequently came over to watch the baby. I became a member of postpartum support groups online, which showed me I wasn’t alone. I had my therapeutic team, who provided me with individualized therapy and medication management so I could get back to being me. I used this experience to motivate me to go back to school and get my master’s degree in counseling, which led me to wanting to specialize in perinatal mental health. 

    I now intern here at Everlasting Wellness LLC, which is my dream internship, as this practice specifically focuses on maternal mental health. This practice is an amazing resource I wish I knew about when I was struggling, as it is a team of all female therapists who know how these struggles feel and will work empathetically and nonjudgmentally with you so you can recover. There are therapists who specialize specifically in perinatal mental health, and some who even do Perinatal Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy. Everlasting Wellness LLC offers groups especially made for mothers that can help to address difficult feelings and topics such as the Out of the Blue Perinatal and Maternal Support Group and the After Thoughts Birth Trauma Therapy Group. This practice is an amazing resource if you are struggling and is available in person in Sinking Spring, PA, Royersford, PA, and virtually for all of Pennsylvania. Just call 484-706-9465 or fill out an inquiry on our website if you are interested in scheduling.

    If you felt like me, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Thousands of women go through postpartum depression and there is nothing shameful about it.  According to Postpartum Support International, up to 15% of women experience significant depressive feelings after giving birth and is the most common birthing complication. This number is higher for women living in poverty and is doubled if the woman is a teen mom. Education and normalization are so crucial to destigmatizing this mental illness, so women feel more comfortable to get help. Please don’t ignore these thoughts and feelings. Please talk with your healthcare provider about therapy and possibly short-term medication if you are really struggling. It truly makes a world of difference. In addition to your doctor, there are other resources as well. Postpartum Support International (PSI) runs a 24hr helpline for mothers who are struggling (1-800-944-4773). They also run 14 different types of free online support groups you can register for on their website. Above all, surround yourself with people who support and love you. And just know, you will come out the other side stronger than you ever thought possible.



    Depression during pregnancy & postpartum. Postpartum Support International (PSI). (2021, September 24). Retrieved September 20, 2022, from https://www.postpartum.net/learn-more/depression/

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