Approximately 70-to-80% of all new mothers experience “the baby blues” after giving birth, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
These symptoms typically peak around the fifth day postpartum then disappear after about two weeks.
For some, it doesn’t just go away.
“I had a lot less energy. I didn’t have any desire to do anything,” says Jessica Donamaria, Mother.
Within the first couple weeks of the birth of her third child, Jessica Donamaria knew something wasn’t right.
So at her six-week check-up, she was honest about what she’d been experiencing and got help.
“I did start medication right away and then, about three months later -so about December-ish – it wasn’t working the best…at times making things worse, actually,” says Donamaria.
Approximately 12% of new mothers experience postpartum depression, according to Child Health USA.
This can include feelings of anger and anxiety, a loss of appetite, and general irritability that lasts longer than two weeks.
“I feel like society, in general -right now- is teaching mothers and parents that we need to practice resilience over empathy. That it’s more important that we keep pushing through and it will be better on the other side, rather than, like, digging deep and being in that hard space with the mom while she’s in it. I want to change that narrative,” says Dasia Gant, New Mother.
Like Donamaria, Gant wasn’t satisfied with the answers she received.
So, she started her own search.
Now, she’s working on her postpartum doula certification to help parents transition into their new roles.
“By taking better care of the women who are taking care of these babies, you’re pouring into their cups and they’ll be able to pour better into their children’s lives,” says Gant.
These mothers agree: it’s not about reducing the attention to the newborns.
It’s about checking in on the parents as well.
For mothers dealing with postpartum depression, the American Psychological Association recommends speaking openly about your feelings both with your loved ones and doctors.
They say to keep asking for help until you find the treatment method that’s right for you.