Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The thoughts in this post are based on my personal experiences. Always consult a doctor with medical (physical or mental) concerns.
As I write this, I am about 13 weeks postpartum with baby number two and this postpartum journey has been significantly harder than the first time. I have been dealing with some pretty bad postpartum depression and anxiety, on top of the anxiety disorder that I already have. So basically it’s been loads of fun.
According to americanpregnancy.org, 15% of new mothers experience postpartum depression and 10% deal with postpartum anxiety. Symptoms can occur anywhere from just a few days after delivery to a whole year after baby’s birth. If you even think you may have symptoms from one of these issues, please call your doctor immediately! Do not try to deal with it on your own, I cannot stress that enough! And do not feel guilty or embarrassed if you have postpartum depression or anxiety, it’s not your fault! I promise! Just ask your doctor for help so that you can feel normal again.
Here’s the thing, postpartum depression and anxiety can occur up to a year after baby is born but no one seems to talk about it after six weeks. And for me, my depression and anxiety did not start until after I had my six week appointment. Probably the only reason that I am okay is because I know the signs of anxiety and depression since I’ve been dealing with it for my entire life. Even though I’ve been dealing with it for basically the past 23 years, I still felt like it wasn’t okay for me to not be okay after six weeks.
This isn’t a rant but the way things are set up, most women never see their OB after six weeks. And we need them most after six weeks. And because we don’t see them after six weeks, sometimes we feel like we aren’t supposed to struggle once that “magical” six week mark has passed.
But I’m here to tell you that it is perfectly okay for you not to be okay after six weeks.
There is nothing wrong with you if you start dealing with postpartum depression, anxiety, or another postpartum disorder after six weeks.
It is completely normal, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Don’t be afraid to call your doctor at the smallest sign of anything related to postpartum depression/anxiety. They will see you and they won’t judge you. Promise. And if for some reason your doctor does make you feel stupid for being depressed, then you need to find a new doctor because depression and anxiety are not your fault.
The verse that helps me is John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Those negative and destructive postpartum emotions are not what God desires for us. I repeat that verse over and over in my head, to remind me that this is not how God wants me to feel and that with Him, I can get through it.
Again, please call your doctor if you are experiencing even one or two symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety, even if it’s three months after delivery! Because it is okay not to be okay after six weeks.