On the eighth day of Dismissmas,
Postpartum sent to me
Eight maids no longer nursing,
Seven sins a-lurking,
Six women a-denying,
Five hours of sleep,
Four Just Snap out of Its,
Three perfect babies,
Two depressed parents,
And a wailing mess in a pear tree.
Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression. Many say it protects from the mere experience of a Postpartum Mood Disorder. Yet I hear over and over from so many women who ARE nursing and struggling. Then they are diagnosed and faced with this zinger:
“If you want to get better, you have to take these meds. And that means you have to stop breastfeeding.”
Any idea how detrimental hearing that phrase can be for a mom for whom breastfeeding is the ONLY thing going right? You might as well take the last shred of mothering she’s doing right, stomp on it, set it on fire, hose it down, and toss it in the dumpster out back.
As I sat in my first OB’s office, my daughter screaming as I confessed to him my darkest emotions, he had the cajones to ask me, “How important is breastfeeding to you?” The old me merely sat there, jaw agape. The me from today would read him the riot act and tell him he needed to get on the computer to Google a few things, call a few numbers, and find a successful way to treat me AND preserve my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter in the process. What a difference nearly 7 years will make in the life of a woman, eh?
There are indeed medications you can take which are safe for nursing. But if you choose to take psychiatric medications while breastfeeding, let your Pediatrician know so he/she can then monitor the well-being of your child for any potential side-effects.
If you prefer to not take medications, there are med-free therapy options such as herbal remedies, therapy, light therapy, and a myriad of other resources. If you are further interested in these options, email me at mypostpartumvoice (@) gmail.com with a request. I would be happy to get you in touch via email with some women who have beat Postpartum without medication. It IS possible.
There are also these additional online resources:
Kathleen Kendall-Tackett’s PPD page: http://uppitysciencechick.com/postpartum-depression.html
Postpartum Support International: http://www.postpartum.net
Karen Kleiman’s site: http://www.postpartumstress.com (here’s the direct link to Kleiman’s “Is Breast always Best” article: http://postpartumstress.com/pages/breast_best.html)
KellyMom PPD page: http://kellymom.com/ppd/index.html
Thomas Hale/Texas Tech Health & Sciences Infant Risk website: http://www.infantrisk.org/ (includes a helpline open M-F from 8a-5p) They have tabs for breastfeeding and depression.
Know this – you do NOT have to stop nursing just because you are depressed. Make the best decision for you. If you need to stop, that’s fine. Do not let anyone judge you for using Formula. It’s there for a reason. But if nursing is the only saving grace in your Motherhood journey, don’t let anyone steal that from you unless they have a damned good reason and can prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt.