Family 411: Coping with postpartum depression
CINCINNATI (KTVO/WKRC) - Becoming a new mom should be a joyous occasion, but there are moms who struggle with postpartum depression.
Some are at a higher risk but having a plan can make for a healthy motherhood. Meredith Cameron is a mother of two. Her second childbirth experience was much different from her first.
"We were exited. We decided not to find out if it was a boy or a girl," she shared.
Five years before, Meredith and her husband brought home a healthy baby boy they named Colin.
"It definitely kind of threw me for a loop how easily I didn't adjust," as she settled in with Colin, so did feelings of anxiety and depression. "It was very lonely which is weird, I think, because I had so many people around me."
On top of all that, there was guilt, "I knew I should feel that joy and I didn't."
Prenatal Psychiatrist Tamar Gur said about 25 percent of women develop postpartum depression where mothers feel low and hopeless, "It turns into not being able to enjoy anything. Not the baby, not other family members, not wanting to go outside."
Dr. Gur said postpartum depression begins two weeks after delivery and can last up to six months to a year.
"Some moms feel like they're somehow tainted or not good enough and don't really deserve to be around the baby," said Gur.
Meredith struggled for the first nine months, "Finally my husband was like 'Honey, you need to go talk to somebody. You're not yourself.'"
Medication helped Meredith feel like herself again. Meredith met with Dr. Gur before she became pregnant with her son Reeve.
"I was very concerned about taking medication while I was pregnant."
Meredith knew she was at a higher risk for postpartum depression after experiencing it once before. She started with a low dose of medication and increased it after giving birth.
"I truly think that's what probably what helped me the most. I didn't have to wait the six weeks for the medication to work."
Dr. Gur said women may pass off postpartum depression as 'Baby Blues' and don't seek treatment, "It's now a sign of weakness. It's not a sign of failure. You can be the best mom on earth and have postpartum depression."
Meredith recommended new moms to consider an in-home nurse in the beginning. She did for her second child.
"Just overall, it was much healthier and enjoyable."
Colin and Reeve may one day get a brother or sister.
Meredith said, "I'd consider another one now. I don't know if my husband would consider it."
Dr. Gur encouraged new moms reconnect with a passion they had before pregnancy, like reading or painting, to help bring a sense of normalcy.