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© 2018 BY MELANIN MOMMIES

Diapers & Depression

MY STORY

Postpartum depression is something us mothers know far too well. Depression is easy to fall into and hard to fall out of and having experienced this firsthand I found power in telling my story and also spread awareness while doing so. Postpartum depression isn’t fun and it also isn’t the most easiest thing to get out of. Tackling being a new mom is a blessing however I still faced depression and anxiety. Through the grace of God, friends and family I was able to come out of it and I want the same for all my fellow mothers out there. ❤️❤️ If you want to share your story and help fellow mommies see you can get out of postpartum depression, don’t hesitate to contact me!

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I first started noticing that I had postpartum depression 3 months after I had my daughter. For a first time mom, things seemed to be going well. My daughter was well behaved and such a happy baby. She started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks so I wasn't lacking sleep. I lost all my pregnancy weight after 2 weeks. My body went back to how it was before the baby within 2 months. I had so much support from my family. Even though I was surrounded by a positive environment, I always felt an overwhelming sadness. I would cry over the most simple things. When my daughter would go to sleep, I would just cry. I got 78 on a midterm and I broke down. I couldn't get over the feeling of being a failure.

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

Postpartum affected my mood and thoughts. Even though there were so many positive things happening for me, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was never going to be enough for my daughter. I constantly had a feeling of overwhelming sadness. I finally realized that my feelings were beyond being a first-time mom when I cried over getting a 78 on my midterm. I felt like such a failure. I cried for a whole night. My mom had to take my daughter because I couldn't get over it.

 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

 

My postpartum lasted for about 6 months.

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

While I was on maternity leave, I started going to a "mommy and me" group. I only had 1 friend who had a child my age so it was nice to talk to other moms and hear their experiences. It was so comforting knowing that other moms were having similar experiences. I also took my final course to gain my payroll manager certification. My mom would watch my daughter 2 nights a week while I went to class. I felt accomplished to have finished the course. My mom also took my daughter every other weekend so that gave me a chance to relax and spend time with my friends. This was a reminder that even though I am a mother, I am still me and I can still enjoy things apart from being a mother such as shopping, going to the movies and dinner with friends. I also went on walks with my daughter and signed her up for swimming when she was 6 months old. I also went back to work part-time. This gave me a chance to make some extra money and interact with adults.

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

Some tips I have for new mommies is to talk to join mom groups. That was a major thing that helped me overcome my postpartum depression. Before I joined the group I felt alone. Talking to other women that have similar experiences was so refreshing. I met some really wonderful people who I am still friends with. I know some people may not have the luxury of having someone to watch their child at any moments notice.

 

Another thing I learned was that it is ok to ask for help and take a break. Having time for myself has given me such a better perspective on motherhood. I would also encourage moms to seek help and talk to someone if they are feeling down. I love my daughter with all my heart and she deserves a mommy who is happy and healthy. 

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I didn't notice it at all, it was brought to my attention when my baby was about 6 weeks old.

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

I didn't have the desire to get my daily tasks done, even when the baby was asleep or being watched by someone. I was paranoid that someone was going to hurt my baby. I also was constantly crying or upset.


How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

About 2 months.

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

I started to refocus on my blog and make a checklist for myself. 

 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

Sometimes doing what you love even if it's just for 30-minute intervals can boost your mood. Make some time for yourself so that you can find your happy space again.

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I wouldn't say I noticed it, I was in complete denial! It wasn't until I had a totally out of body experience that I realized that something was really wrong.

 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

3-6 months for me to totally come out of the fog.

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

I started doing yoga, exercising and speaking up when I started to feel overwhelmed.

 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

Know that it is totally ok to say you need help or your overwhelmed! Be vocal, it's so easy to spiral out of control! Lean on your support system and don't feel bad when you utilize outside resources (family, friends, etc)to get some time for yourself. Even if it is only an hour, take a little time every day for yourself. Reading has always been my go-to source for me-time.

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I started experiencing depression during the second trimester of my first pregnancy. My postpartum depression started 3 weeks after delivery. 

 

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

Postpartum depression affected me in so many different ways. I stopped going out. I started to stress eat. There were times where I would cry so loud and uncontrollably that I would have to sit outside so that I wouldn’t wake the baby. Some days I would only leave my bed to care for our son. I used to tell my husband that I prayed that I didn’t wake up in the morning. 
 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?
 

It lasted for about 4 months. During that time I found out that I was pregnant again. (I am currently experiencing it with my second child that I delivered on 9/14)

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

I started inviting people to my home and cooking for them. I always had a hostess spirit so I couldn’t just have people over without giving them a meal. I also stayed with my mom or my mom would stay with me some nights. 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

My biggest piece of advice is to not hide in the dark. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s absolutely okay to not be okay. If you have a support system then use it! Let someone you trust come hang out for a few hours a week so that you can nap, eat a hot meal, take a long shower. Some insurance companies cover doulas and nurses postpartum so don’t be afraid to give them a call and see what services they offer. Also, cry if you have to. This is all about you and your health. If you have to cry then cry. Your mental health affects your child. So do what it takes to get you healthy first! Use your hotline! If you need to just sit and have someone listen to you cry then do that. Don’t be embarrassed to see a therapist and take medication if you have to. Sometimes we need extra help. I’ve been taking medication since the second trimester of my first pregnancy and it has helped me to keep my mood stable tremendously. 

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I started noticing symptoms about 2 weeks after my daughter was born. I remember feeling helpless and guilty. I had visions of harming my daughter and it scared me.

 

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

Postpartum depression affected my self-confidence. I was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, shame, and sadness. I doubted every parenting decision I made. Some days I couldn’t even do basic things like take a shower or make a meal for my family because the sadness was physically draining. I felt useless and like my family would be better off without me.

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

I went for 8 months before I sought help from a mental health professional. Then it took about another 6 months before I really started feeling like myself again.

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

Writing helped a lot as well as getting outside with my kids as much as possible. Honestly, I did not notice a real difference in myself until after I started taking antidepressants

 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Have the courage to stand up for yourself and get the help you need. If you tell someone how you are feeling and they invalidate your feelings or refuse to hear you out, tell them to kick rocks and find someone who will actually help you.

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I noticed it when I started having these crying spells and couldn’t figure out why I was having them. I didn’t feel sad. It was more like irritability, anxiety and a general sense of hopelessness which is the total opposite of who I am. 

 

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

I wasn’t enjoying the things I once enjoyed. In times I felt sad prior to having my daughter, I’d listen to music and sing myself out of my funk and even that wasn’t working. Out of all my friends, I’m usually the optimistic and uplifting one and it was so hard to be that during that time. 


How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

I would say it lasted until about two months. 

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

I tried listening to Gospel songs, Beyoncé and reading scriptures which are all things that helped me before but these things didn’t seem to work during my postpartum depression. The turning point for me was when I went back to work and started to feel productive again. 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

Although you may not feel up to it, attempt to put yourself first. Carve out some time each day to be alone. Take a shower, read a book, sleep, make yourself a good meal, go for a walk, or just go sit at a park. Your baby needs you, but a healthy you. It’s okay to say you need help.  Having postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad mom. As we know, being a mom means doing hard things. But sometimes, the hardest thing is asking for the help you need. It’s important for women who have postpartum depression to understand that it’s not their fault they have the illness, and they need to reach out for help. The sooner you feel like yourself, the sooner you can truly enjoy all the wonders of motherhood. 

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I knew around the third day after my second daughter was born that something was “off”! I thought I was just experiencing “baby blues” until it didn’t go away. I was officially diagnosed with PPD at my 6 weeks check-up.

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

I no longer felt the need to live! I wasn’t suicidal I just didn’t have the will power to live. Something as simple as washing the dishes became difficult! I would walk in my kitchen with the intention to wash dishes and I just didn’t feel up to it. It was like the smallest task caused a breakdown. 

 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

I am still currently on medication (Zoloft)! 

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

I tried taking the kids to the park, tried the library, even tried to have a girls night out with old friends. But I was just there in body, my mind wasn’t someplace else. 

 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

Get help! Talk to someone! Don’t blame yourself! It happens to more of us than you think, we have no control over how our body reacts to “new” things. PPD is very real, don’t let anyone tell you that it is not! I, myself was one of the ones who always believed that depression is “all in your head”, until I had just given birth to what should have been one of the best gifts in the world but I couldn’t stop feeling sad, lonely, worthless, I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore, I didn’t want to leave my bed, I could barely comb my hair or find the will power to even take a shower but I got help, I talked to anyone who would listen! You’re important and you can beat this! 

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I first noticed signs of postpartum depression a few weeks after I had my daughter. I had a panic attack because I was worried about my blood pressure and swelling, which obviously made things worse for my blood pressure. I ended up urging my boyfriend to take me to the hospital, where they explained to me that I was panicking. My anxiety and depression subdued after that until I fell ill a couple of months after the first episode. Getting sick triggered my anxiety and depression because for a long time no one was able to explain how I got sick. I ended up fine, but this was the start of my battle.

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

Postpartum depression has been an extreme battle for me. I constantly battle between my head and reality, and in my particular case, I have become irrationally afraid of death or getting sick. At one point I would have an anxiety attack once or twice a day because of fears that would pop into my head. I would be randomly convinced that I had something crazy like cancer or HIV. And I would panic and cry because in my head I was certain I was going to die. In my case, it feels like I have to fight voices in my head telling me scary or negative thoughts. During the time of frequent episodes, I lost an extreme amount of weight to the point where I looked skeletal. I weighed less than what I did before I had my daughter. I am 5'9" and weighed 139lbs at my lowest (I weighed 150 before baby). I did not recognize myself or my body. I cut off communication with close friends and relatives, and I just wanted to be alone. 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?
 

My daughter is 11 months old and I still deal with my anxiety. It was not nearly as bad as before, but I believe I have a journey ahead of me. However, I am having more good days than before! I am optimistic about beating this with therapy and time.

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

Now, I have developed coping mechanisms. The main thing I focus on is my health. I went vegan and work out 5-6 times a week. I did this to primarily gain weight and live an all-around healthy life, but focusing on this has become a healthy distraction and motivator. I am gaining my weight back and I feel the stress melt from my body when I exercise. It also makes me feel like I am in control of my body which counteracts the irrational fears of getting sick. I also take the time to pamper myself. Doing my make up helps me feel like the girl I was before my pregnancy and I feel beautiful when I take time to primp and pamper. I read a lot of self-help books and watch videos, which keeps me focused on bettering myself. Last but not least, there is nothing like a hot shower for me! I love taking a hot shower once or twice a day. It really helps me escape my thoughts and relax my body. 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

The first piece of advice I could give you is to not go through this alone! Please, contact someone you can trust and communicate with them about what you are experiencing. I honestly do not know how I would've made through my darkest times without my mom and my boyfriend. Just by talking and explaining, it helped me get a lot of anxious thoughts off my chest. What you are feeling is valid and absolutely deserves to be heard. I promise. The second piece of advice I could give is to pour love back into yourself. Focus on things you can improve about yourself whether it be diet, exercise, going back to school, making money. Focusing on reaching a personal goal is such a self-fulfilling activity and you will start to feel like you again. Oh! and find a therapist you can trust and go to them!!!

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

My postpartum anxiety kicks in at around 4 weeks after birth. My postpartum anxiety manifested itself as agitation and weepiness.  I am easily pushed forward emotionally by little occurrences, often out of my control.

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

Postpartum anxiety affected my relationship with my husband via our communication. Things became really tense and strained for us after birth. We struggled to communicate without placing blame and shutting each other out. We worked through this by labeling the feeling and not labeling the person.

 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

I had my baby 11/17/18 and I’m still dealing with it.

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

I have weekly psychotherapy appointments and I take herbal tinctures and have just begun to exercise. By exercise I mean walk my kids around the mall.

 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

Seek therapy. If you cannot afford therapy online platforms have amazing resources for social support. So many awesome moms are on social media sharing their experiences and giving advice regarding motherhood and helping with postpartum depression and or anxiety. I also really like listening to podcasts such as Therapy for Black Girls, the Mom and Mind Podcast as well as a slew of others that just make me laugh such as “The Read” and “The Friend Zone” podcasts.

 

Women can also visit my website www.motherhooodinmotion.org for additional support and great conversations!

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I didn’t feel like myself after giving birth. Around 3 weeks postpartum I knew something was off and contacted my GP for help. 

 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

It made me very emotional. I kept thinking that I wasn’t a good mom. I wasn’t doing everything perfectly. I felt sad, lonely and inadequate. Then, in later weeks my PPD went from sadness to anger. I would feel very angry for no reason. 

 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

 

I’m 6 months PP and while things are certainly much better, I’m still working through the emotional side of becoming a first-time mom. 

 

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

Exercise helped so much! Getting outside for even a few minutes was extremely beneficial to my well being. Also, having friends and family to lean on for support made a world of difference. When I couldn’t venture out of the house folks came to me. It helped me feel less isolated and more a part of the world outside of being a mom. 

 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?

 

If you think something is off, tell someone. Tell your partner, doctor, friends, and family. 

When did you first start noticing you had postpartum depression?

 

I first noticed I was going through postpartum depression about a week after giving birth. 

In what ways did postpartum depression affect you?

 

It affected me in a way where I was always angry and offended if someone tried to help me with my baby. Like if someone was giving me advice I got really upset. I was a first-time mom so people’s opinions felt like they were targeting me in a negative way. I know they were only trying to be helpful, but at the time I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as them bothering me or trying to be shady. But then if I didn’t get help, I felt alone and I would cry literally every day. I didn’t want anyone touching my baby, not even her dad. I felt as if I was the ONLY one who could take care of her the right way. It didn’t only affect me, but others around me as well. 

How long did your battle with postpartum depression last?

I think my postpartum lasted about 5-6 months. This was because I didn’t tell anyone. I was scared to. I thought if I spoke up about it somehow I would lose custody of my child. I still never got professional help for it. I felt I could deal with it alone. (Which I did).

Did you try any activities to perk yourself up, did it help?

 

I tried dancing, playing my video games, listening to upbeat positive music, going out and talking to my little sister constantly. All of which helped me tremendously.  I still have some days where I feel off, wondering if I’m doing a good being a parent and then I get reassurance from family members telling me how good of a mother I am. Honestly just looking at my child and seeing how precious she has helped me realize “it’s time to snap out it, she’s depending on you”. 

Any tips for new mommies that could also have to battle postpartum depression?


My advice for new mommies battling PPD would be to tell someone you trust A LOT and your doctor about how you’re feeling so you can get the best help possible. Don’t hold it in. It isn’t healthy mentally, physically or emotionally. Get help immediately if you have bad thoughts, ie: self-doubt, suicidal thoughts, thoughts about harming you or your baby if you feel sad or angry all the time every day if you’re constantly crying, if you feel like you wanna walk away from being a mom. Make sure you have someone you trust extremely well to help give you a break from the baby, you will NEED it.