Maternal Mental Health – Tell Your Story

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Maternal Mental Health – Tell Your Story

May 6, 2020

Now more than ever moms are isolated, many of us struggling with our mental health. It is HARD to be home with our kids without outside support. Today we will be sharing many stories of mothers who have experienced Postpartum Depression and/or Postpartum Anxiety. The statistics are high and we aim to decrease the occurrence of moms going without help through this challenging season of their lives. If you relate to any of today’s stories, or you are having feelings of your own that feel scary or upsetting, please reach out. Please speak with your family doctor. Please be honest with the people in your life you feel comfortable being honest with. Please allow yourself to get help. You deserve attention too, mama. We are so grateful to the moms who were so brave and willing to share their story with the world. It can be scary to be vulnerable and put everything out there, but these moms did it. For you. They, like us, wanted to help. We meet a lot of moms all of the time who are struggling with some level of Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. We want to support you and we are here to provide support along with recommendations for other supports available in the community. We care about you and we are here to help. Please take a moment today to sign this petition that asks the UN to recognize World Maternal Mental Health Day. The larger the community globally, the more support we can get for our moms right here. Our hopes with this project were to open the floor for even ONE mom who saw ONE picture to step up and ask for the help she needs. Or ONE mom who saw ONE picture to recognize in herself that something doesn’t feel right and she should talk to someone about it. Or ONE mom who saw ONE picture to realize that there is #noshame is struggling with PPD/PPA and there is no better time than today to acknowledge it. If we helped ONE mom today, we did our job.
http://wmmhday.postpartum.net/call-on-the-un-to-recognize-world-maternal-mental-health-day/

 

I had my son at full term in November 2018 by scheduled csection. He was immediately rushed to the NICU – I don’t even remember really getting a look at him. We had a relatively short hospital stay (17 days) followed by just over 3 months of weekly appointments with a variety of specialists. It’s here my journey with PPD and PPA began.

I had spent 3 and a half months focused solely on my son’s health and advocating for him. Because I was months past birth, I thought I was safe from PPD. And then the anger started. All of a sudden I couldn’t control my temper. PPD never crossed my mind – I wasn’t sad, just mad all. the. time. Plus, my son was almost 4 months old. I thought I was just tired – everyone I spoke to said I was just sleep deprived (even though I had one of those beautiful unicorns who gave me stretches of 6 hours of sleep at night). I finally had a conversation with my husband and it was he who suggested I needed to talk to my doctor.

At just about 5 months postpartum, I finally got diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety – manifesting as rage and irritability. Around the same time, at the suggestion of my doctor, I discovered Ys Moms, the Regina Early Years Centre and started seeing a therapist. Because I’m a natural introvert, it never crossed my mind that I may need other moms to lean on. The amazing moms I met truly saved my quality of life. They gave my son his mom back. Motherhood, for me, takes a village. Some of the moms I met those first days at the various mom groups are still my friends today and I will never be able to thank them enough

You are not alone. It may seem that way but you are never alone. There are so many people out there who want to stand with you – even if you don’t know them yet. Reach out, ask for help, you are so worth it.


Before having my daughter, I had always struggled with anxiety and depression. During pregnancy, it seemed to grow and continued growing after she was born. Making me irritable and moody. Small things would set me off into a rage, which is not normal for me. After struggling with breastfeeding and tongue tie issues, it was all too much to handle. I spoke with my doctor and asked for a referral to get help. He referred me to a physiatrist who helped me find a medication that worked to manage my anxiety and depression while not having any side effects. I always thought that getting medicated or asking for help was a sign of weakness but in reality it is a sign of strength. Being strong enough to ask for help and to take the steps needed to get the help you deserve.


As a mother of 3 and 1 more on the way, there are days where being a mom is the best thing ever. Its full of snuggles, memories, and laughter. Everything is going great!

But there are also days full of tears, children fighting, and screaming. Days where I want to hide away and escape just to get a break. Days I think “why did we do this?” But then the tender mercy of a new day gives me hope for a better day than yesterday, and I remember why I love being a mom.”

 


I never experienced a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder with my first child, and I expected that things would be the same when I had my second baby. When my daughter was 10 days old she was laboring to breath and ended up being airlifted to the PICU in Saskatoon. She was in the hospital for almost 3 weeks and seeing everything she had to go through and almost losing her was traumatizing for me. I thought these feelings would pass once we got home, but they did not. I was consumed with anxiety and experienced flashbacks of her time in hospital. I was so overwhelmed with juggling a newborn and toddler at home that basic tasks seemed like scaling a mountain. I was also angry, in such an intense way that I couldn’t describe or control it. I knew what I was feeling wasn’t “normal” and reached out for help right away.

Even though I was taking the steps to take care of myself, things progressively got worse. Three months after my daughter was born I started having intense intrusive thoughts, started showing signs of postpartum depression and was only sleeping a few hours a night (even though my daughter was a great sleeper). The intrusive thoughts were terrifying and filled me with shame. I would never hurt my children but these fleeting thoughts and images made me doubt myself as a mother. I couldn’t tell anyone except my counsellor about these thoughts because I was afraid of the judgement and what might happen if I did tell someone.

My counsellor recommended I go to Sally’s postpartum support group, which I found really helpful. It was comforting to be around women who understood how I was feeling and could share my experiences without fear of being judged. With the help of my doctor and psychiatrist I started taking medication, which was a hard decision to make but I knew it was what I needed. I know I am not a bad mom, just a sick mom that needed help.

After many months of ups and downs and hard work, I feel the best I have felt in years. So many people told me that things would get better and I didn’t believe them. But things DO get better. For any moms that are struggling or think that how you are feeling isn’t quite right, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. This is not your fault and you deserve to be happy and healthy!


Where can you go/who can you talk to for help?

Here is a list I have complied, if you have others please add them into the comments below

Mental Health Clinic 306-766-7800

Canadian Mental Health Association 306-535–4292

811 – Healthline

Your Family Doctor

Crisis/ Suicide Line 306-525-5333

Depression and Manic Depression Support Group of Regina 306-533-8388

Family Service Regina 306-757-6675

Mobile Crisis Services 306-757-0127

Maternal Depression Online www.onlinetherapyuser.ca.

SK MotherFirst Maternal Mental Health Strategy 306-537-5636

PSI International 1.800.944.4PPD

Mothers Empowering Mothers Inc: Saskatoon’s Postpartum Support Group 306-491-4382

Kayla Huszar https://www.kaylahuszar.com/mindful-mothering-support-group-for-moms

Lilium Health, Sara Beckel,sara@liliumhealth.ca

Ehrlo Counselling Service 306 751-2467

Mother.ly-  https://www.mother.ly/

Ehrlo Counselling Services – (306) 751-2467

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