Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression- My Story

I have two beautiful children, who mean the world to me. When I was in kindergarten, I said in the year 2003 I would become a mother, that was the first thing I wanted to do with my life... I wrote this in a school memoir (they asked what they'd do in 2003) and found it just last month! I had my son in 2003, which I find ironic :) I love my children so much. I know they are the reason that I get up every morning and want to live a normal and boring life LOL!

When I had my daughter last year, I had a really hard time feeling like a loving caring happy mom. I knew I had postpartum depression and being the knowledge junkie I am, I sought out a depression support group online, which I found at Cafemom. I was able to talk about my feelings freely and openly and connect with other moms who could say they felt the same way. They had authors in the group answering member's questions and I found that talking about my concerns with my depression, it became more easier to deal with. I refused to jump on the med wagon- because I breastfeed and didn't want any chance of the meds passing into her system. So talking/therapy was my best option.

Breastfeeding wasn't easy in the least bit. She had latch problems from the beginning. It was often quite uncomfortable. My supply was low, due to my thyroid condition, and my depression probably. I felt that we were not prepared for this child, she was referred to as a mistake in my mind a few times, I just felt no real connection with her... How could I so lovingly breastfeed this stranger? Would I ever develop a bond to her like I had with my son?

I was positive that I must continue and persevere. I offered her my breast every two hours, she made it a part of her schedule. Slowly our bond began to grow, as she grew day by day... I started seeing a therapist. I wrote several posts with my breastfeeding concerns in the Breastfeeding Moms group on Cafemom. I looked up info about breastfeeding, and came across the Quintessence Foundation. They have an annual GLOBAL challenge and I felt that the challenge would be a great place to put my focus. I wanted to help other moms with similar concerns and promote breastfeeding as much as I could because I knew it was the right thing to do. I organized my local challenge last year and am working on this year's challenge also.

I also found graphic art right around my daughter's birth and immersed myself in it, learning how to make signature tags and templates. Art was the best stress reliever that I found. It seems no matter my mood, I can rely on finding a way to break thru it by getting creative... I think that shifting your focus is often the best remedy to depression. And believe in yourself- that by offering this liquid gold, you are an amazing sacrificing mother and you will make it because you know how important it is to you... and to your innocent child. Just knowing that can keep you going.

I am still breastfeeding my 16 month old toddler. She is absolutely healthy and gorgeous! I am still dealing with symptoms of depression, but we have developed a strong bond. I am actually thankful, in a way, for being put thru all this. It has brought our family closer. It has made me stronger. I am still learning and finding my way. I am happy to have my family. I love my babies!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you continue on the road of success. Your love for your children clearly shows through your writing and the hills you've climbed. :)