Things You Probably Don't Know About Postpartum Depression: Maternal Investment Theory and The Drive to Abandon

Monday, August 11, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression affects up to one-fifth of women and has a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, guilt, depression, intrusive thoughts of infant or self harm, numbness, anger or irritability, trouble sleeping and issues with focus. As opposed to being a simple "after birth" phenomenon, PPD may start during pregnancy or emerge up to a year following birth (though it is more commonly reported in the first month postpartum). It can be a nightmare for women whose vision of early parenthood is shattered by distressing symptoms, hopelessness, helplessness and fear.

But, postpartum depression may be a biological necessity. While symptoms of postpartum depression can make anyone feel like they are losing their mind, a growing body of research supports the idea that postpartum depression is a part of a beneficial mechanism as opposed to dysfunction.

I know it doesn't feel normal, not one bit. But it might be....  continue reading

Postpartum Depression Is NOT Postpartum Psychosis: What Women Need to Understand About Infant Harm

Monday, July 07, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is far too common among contemporary women. While current medical reasoning attributes postpartum depression symptoms to the hormonal fluctuations following childbirth, those fluctuations evolved to serve a specific purpose for our ancestors, one that weighed the benefits of childbearing against the stress in the environment. Postpartum depression in relation to this drive is discussed in detail here, in PPD, Maternal Investment Theory and the Drive to Abandon.

However, after a personal conversation over the weekend, I wanted to make one thing clear for those who suffer before we get into what PPD is. Because whatever it is, postpartum depression is NOT the same as postpartum psychosis, a condition more closely related to actual infant harm. Understanding what postpartum depression is, and what it isn't, may help reduce anxiety in those who suffer from it.  

So what does postpartum depression (PPD) feel like?

Like total, tweaky, sleep-deprived shit. But that's not very technical. Let me try again....  continue reading