It’s no secret that becoming a new parent can be one of the most trying times in a person’s life. Seven years later, I can still vividly remember those first few hours and days together, despite the foggy haze of sleeplessness I was in. A plethora of hormones coursed through my body, screwing with my emotions. I’d be happy but I’d cry, I’d be sleepy but couldn’t quell the anxiety that gripped me. I had read countless books and taken a few classes in order to prepare me for this moment. I still felt completely out of my depths.
Welcome to motherhood.
Thankfully, I had an incredible support system: an equally tired husband who had managed to cobble together a month of paternity leave (through FMLA, using up paid vacation, and taking unpaid time off), parents and in-laws who lived no more than two hours away, a doting doula who helped me not only through labor and delivery but with breastfeeding as well, eager friends, and even a visiting nurse provided by the hospital via our insurance. I was fortunate and privileged. Besides many sleepless nights and some stained shirts, I escaped my son’s infancy relatively unscathed. Yet, the same can’t be said for everyone. Keep reading »
Melissa Rycroft is perhaps best well-known for being proposed to and then dumped by “Bachelor” Jason Mesnick in favor of his runner-up. Since then, however, Rycroft has made the most of her unfortunate initial 15 minutes of fame, finishing third on “Dancing with the Stars,” marrying the boyfriend she had before “The Bachelor,” Ty Strickland, and, in 2011, starring in a reality show on CMT about their life together with baby daughter Ava, born in 2009.
But in the new issue of Us Weekly, Rycroft opens up for the first time about her battle with postpartum depression, telling the magazine that it started as soon as Ava was born. “Almost immediately I didn’t feel right,” she says. “I had just given birth to this perfect baby, but absolutely nothing made me happy anymore. I had no idea what was wrong. I had these great blessings, but I felt empty. I’d put Ava in her crib and go outside and scream for a minute.” Keep reading »
Having an abortion does not trigger mental health problems, according to a Danish study of 365,550 teen girls and women who had an abortion or a baby between 1995 and 2007. In fact, what makes a woman most at risk for mental health problems is having a baby, the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found. None of the women studied had a prior history of psychiatric hospitalization.
Sorry to burst your bubble, anti-abortion extremists. Keep reading »
As many as one in five women in the U.S. suffers from postpartum depressive symptoms, according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. To tell whether you might have symptoms, answer these questions: 1) Since your baby was born, how often have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless? 2) Since your new baby was born, how often have you had little interest or little pleasure in doing things? If you answered “always” or “often” to either question, you might want to get yourself checked out.
The same ratio of people do not have a landline in their home. [Reuters and Digital Trends] Keep reading »