When I started Nurturing Newborns, LLC, I was naive about many things. Operating a small business, the cost of marketing, the connection I would feel with my clients, and the joy I feel as I watch parents and babies bond to name a few. I was most naive about the depression and anxiety that some moms and even some dads feel following the birth of their baby.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a debilitating mental illness and can affect 9-16% of new moms. Women who have a history of depression are more prone to PPD. The combination of therapy and medication seems to be most effective in the treatment of PPD. It is crucial that parents are screened for this illness at the first sign of a disturbance in mood.
In my work with families of fussy, sleep deprived babies and parents, I see my fair share of depressed parents, mostly moms. While I have no New Year's Resolutions, I am determined to learn more about this illness in 2014 and my goal is to support these families that struggle to enjoy their new baby while battling a mental illness.
If you know someone with a new baby, don't hesitate to talk about the risk of PPD. Parents, support each other and don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out for help, PPD can get worse if not treated. And remember, there is hope for those in the darkness of postpartum depression.