The final push. It’s the moment a mother gets to hear her child’s first cry and hold her miracle for the first time.
It’s the start to a beautiful journey, but for some it’s the complete opposite.
Postpartum depression affects many mothers and for moms in Louisiana it’s no different. In fact it’s the leading mental health concern for the state.
- Feeling of sadness and anxiety
- Sleeping a lot
- Eating too less or too much
- Unexplained aches, pain or illness
- Anxiety, irritation or anger for no reason
- Sudden mood changes
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty in remembering things
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and hopelessness
- Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide
- Lack of pleasure in things that were earlier enjoyable
- A preference for solitude
- Feeling disconnected with the baby
“They find it hard to get up in the morning or to even start the day off,” Laurie LeBleu, Woman’s Clinic OBGYN, said. “Difficulties carring for your baby or times where you’re so anxious, so sad that you can’t make the next decision to move on to do the things that your baby needs and it can get to the point where you can’t care for yourchild as well anymore.”
Postpartum depression doesn’t just affect mothers, but also the entire family.
“Your husband is probably struggling in his own ways, because now you’ve got a child that you’ve brought in so there’s that stress for the male of supporting the family, not making mistakes, thinking am I doing enough,” LeBleu said. “Then there’s stress for the children of just being enough sometimes and getting enough attention.”
Experts say you are not alone, 22 percent of mothers say they experience depression even a year after their pregnancy.
“It’s important for women to know this is a very, very common thing and we do have resources to help,” LeBleu said. “We just have to know it’s there. You just have to feel confident to ask and don’t feel guilty for feeling this way.”
The Woman’s Clinic has multiple resources available including workshops for women to overcome the depression together.
“We’ve got counseling centers here that we’re got psychologists that are trained to help, so we’ll use some of the different counseling centers that we have within Monroe, West Monroe, Ruston, all around. And then if it’s severe we’ve got psychiatrists,” LeBleu said.