What's A-Parent

This Mom's Confession About Her Postpartum Depression Shows It Can Take On Many Forms

"The reason I am telling you this is because I want you to know the signs."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder affecting approximately 600,000 new moms in the United States every year. Symptoms include feeling anxious, depressed, stressed, and/or lonely. It's a condition that can appear days or months after a baby's birth and it can last for months if left untreated. Despite so many women experiencing PPD, few seek help because they do not recognize the symptoms, of feel ashamed. Postpartum Progress reports that only 15 percent of women with PPD actually get professional treatment, so it's critical more people have access to information about PPD. 

Mommy blogger Tova Leigh is doing her part by opening up about the PPD symptoms she experienced the three months after her first child was born. She shared her story on her My Thoughts About Stuff Facebook page to highlight how postpartum depression can take different forms depending on the individual. 

She begins by explaining how she initially struggled with anxiety and remembers how she would sit next to her baby's cot for hours to ensure her daughter was OK. The only time Leigh left was when her husband, Mike, promised to watch the baby. And even then, she would fake sleep or wake up constantly to ensure that he was still watching the little one. "I remember sitting there, shattered and broken and utterly exhausted, but I just couldn't let go," she admits.

Leigh explains that fear of something happening to her child combined with overwhelming love led her to do things. "[They] made me completely crazy and although I knew I was being ridiculous — I just couldn't help myself."

She continued, "It felt like I was slowly losing my mind. Like everything was foggy and unreal. I felt alone and desperate and I didn't know what was wrong with me. But mainly, I didn't realize I needed help."

Leigh wants to make sure other parents don't avoid seeking help because they don't realize something is wrong. She explains that she is sharing her post publicly so moms, husbands, and families will be aware about the ways postpartum depression can manifest itself.

"I want you to know that for each woman, they may look different. I want you to look out for them, and look after the new momas, because they may need your help more than you think," she said. "And ladies — please reach out and tell someone if you are suffering. There is no shame in asking for help."

(H/T: Popsugar)

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