The period after the birth of a child is a time of incredible transition for a woman. Her body, schedule and new responsibilities can feel both unfamiliar and demanding. The new baby in her life is a source of alternating pride, wonder and frustration. Life becomes a maelstrom of responsibilities; some critical, some mundane, some both. The journey through this sea of new motherhood is often anticipated cautiously. Most women expect the challenges of sleepless nights and extra laundry, but for some mothers the period after birth becomes a test like they never could have expected. Depression, anxiety and painful fears over their inability to bond with their child take over their lives.
Postpartum depression is mysterious and heartbreaking, but it is also real and treatable. Talk therapy and medication are the tools used to combat postpartum depression. With support from family and professionals, mothers can find their way back to themselves and their baby.
NPR discusses postpartum depression and shares the personal story of a family who struggled after their first child was born. Treatment helped to control Paige Bellenbaum’s depression and prepared her to face the birth of her second child.