I need to start by saying, here at Lalabye Baby, we are not medical professionals. Online support from friends and acquaintances does not substitute the need for medical help. If you believe you are experiencing depression or anxiety, contact your primary care physician immediately. We urge that if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or tendencies to contact emergency medical help immediately by dialing 911. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is open 24/7 at: 1-800-273-8255. Additionally, we have listed other resources for postpartum support at the bottom of this blog post through Postpartum Support International.
Trigger Warning: material in this letter may be triggering for those suffering with postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety. Please keep this in mind and only proceed if comfortable with that knowledge.
Dear Lalabye Mamas,
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!
Did you know May is also mental health awareness month?
I want to take this time to address what is often the elephant in the room: perinatal mood disorders.
- 15% of mothers are diagnosed with postpartum depression but 50% of those with postpartum depression will go undiagnosed
- 1 in 7 mothers suffer from postpartum depression
- 1 in 10 mothers suffer from postpartum anxiety
- 3-5% of new mothers will experience repetitive, intrusive images and thoughts that are very frightening and come “out of the blue”. These symptoms are often part of Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
- Approx. 9% of women experience postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth
- Postpartum Psychosis is more rare, but it does happen, and the results are often devastating if not treated quickly. Postpartum Psychosis occurs in approximately 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 deliveries, or approximately .1 -.2% of births. The onset is usually sudden, most often within the first 2 weeks postpartum.
Many mothers are often dismissed with “the baby blues” or that it’s “normal to worry”, but please remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and your mental health should not prevent you from living your day to day life! Advocate for the treatment you deserve. With informed care you can prevent your symptoms from worsening and can begin to recover. There is no reason to continue to suffer!
Postpartum depression is more than just feeling sad, and it is different for everyone who experiences it. Your experience with postpartum depression and anxiety may be different than mine, but I think it is important to share our stories to spread awareness. Always remember, you are not alone, and you do not have to suffer alone.
In 2017, I had my second child, Ella Grace, a healthy baby girl. When I brought Ella home, I remember feeling scared and overwhelmed to have two children to care for. I had not yet really bonded with her, but she was only a few days old. I was able to continue with my daily activities, so I thought this was normal. As the days and weeks went on, the more disconnected I became from both Ella and my firstborn son, Mason.
They were fed, bathed, and healthy, so I was fine. I remember trying to talk to people around me, and I would be met with comments like, “These should be the happiest days of your life!” Hearing this would cause me to shut down. I knew they should be the happiest days of my life, but they were definitely not, and my guilt was consuming me.
I felt alone.
I felt scared.
I felt like I was a bad mom.
Thoughts like, “You’re not good enough. You do not deserve your kids. They would be better off without you,” began to plague my mind every waking moment.
By the time Ella was four weeks old, I felt like I could not leave my bed. I would go four to five days without showering, and I would just lay in my bed and cry and cry and cry. It was not until Mason said, “Mommy, why do you only lay in your bed and cry? You never play anymore,” that I realized I was not okay.
I was only a few days away from my six-week postpartum checkup, but I needed help. I needed help that day. I called my OB-GYN office, and I immediately started crying when the receptionist answered the phone. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and overwhelmed with guilt. I was able to get in to see my doctor just a few hours later, and we started my plan of care.
My plan of care included medicine and seeing a therapist once a week. In addition to my doctor’s recommendations, I turned to the Lalabye Baby community for help. I needed to feel heard, and sometimes I needed to talk to someone at midnight. I am forever grateful for the community the Lalabye Baby team has built based on kindness. Having moms in my corner who wanted to uplift me was a key factor in my support and healing.
When Melissa created Lalabye Baby, she created more than just cloth diapers. If you are feeling like you ever need to talk, please reach out to the community for support in addition to your personal plan of care. I am in the community, and so are countless other moms who have experienced perinatal mood disorders: women like me, who are kind and willing to reach out and lend an ear.
A plan of care looks different for everyone, and that is okay.
If you need inpatient treatment, you are a good mom.
If you need medication, you are a good mom.
If you need to talk to a therapist, you are a good mom.
No matter what kind of help you may need to care for your mental health for whatever length of time you may need it, you are a good mom.
You are worthy, and you are loved.
You are needed, here, on this earth.
So, thank you to each of you who commented, messaged, or simply liked a post in support of me while on my journey to mental health. Always keep in mind, you never know what someone is going through and always choose kindness. Thank you to Melissa for Lalabye Baby and everything this company encompasses.
“More than just cloth diapers: kindness, cloth, community.”
Lalabye Baby Media Team
Disclaimer: Statistics stated in this article were taken from the linked sources as well as research done on perinatal mood disorders by the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Mental Health. Lalabye Baby’s goal in publishing this post is to spread awareness of perinatal mood disorders and offer support to mother’s suffering from perinatal mood disorders. We are not doctors, nor does online support take place of recommendations from your physician.
- If you are having feelings of harming yourself or others, please contact Emergency Medical Services immediately.
- Please call: 911
- The National Suicide Hotline is available by phone 24/7.
- Please call: 1-800-273-8255
- Postpartum Support International (PSI) has a helpline available by phone 24/7.