Everyone heals from a postpartum mood disorder a little bit differently. Check out the monthly PPD Recovery Story for inspiration and solidarity. This month’s story is all about the benefits of yoga and meditation.
How would you describe your postpartum experience?
I would describe my experience as very foggy, dark and isolated. I did not ever feel supported or understood by anyone and I often felt very angry about that.
Did you receive a formal diagnosis of a postpartum mood and adjustment disorder? If so, how did you receive that diagnosis; if not, did you seek one?
I sought support and a diagnosis from <a hospital>, however I did not have a positive experience there and did not end up going back after two meetings with the psychiatrist.
What was your postpartum experience like at its worst? How did you know it was time to get
Throughout the day I was unable to take care of my own basic needs and when my partner would come home from work I would sit outside by myself and cry. I did not feel like I was ever doing a good job of mothering my baby and the days felt very blurry. I experienced constant guilt and intrusive thoughts.
What kinds of supports do you credit with your recovery?
I reunited with my daily yoga and meditation practice when my daughter was 8 weeks old and around that time I also began to attend a drop in group with PPSTO. The combination of these two things were highly transformational.
When did things start to turn around?
At about 6-7 months postpartum. I remember laughing about something and then realizing that it was the first time I had laughed since before the baby was born.
What kind of support did you have from partners, family or friends?
My family and friends were not supportive. I received a lot of added anxiety from very unsupportive family especially. My partner was as supportive as he could be, though he did not quite understand what was
happening so he was not as supportive as I would have liked him to be.
What helped the most?
Time, and gaining the trust in my partner that he could take care of the baby and I could begin to go out and do things on my own.
What helped the least?
Family members who disregarded my feelings or refused to validate my experiences.
What kind of support plan do you have in place ongoing?
I practice yoga every morning before my partner leaves for work. This helps immensely. I also have met a few friends from neighborhood drop in groups who I see throughout the week. It helps to know other people are having the same experiences.
If you could give one piece of advice to a parent struggling with their postpartum mood, what would that be?
IT IS IMPERMANENT. EVEN IF IT LASTS A REALLY LONG TIME.