Not able to nap (PPMD Story 5)

"I think more women could save themselves months of pain with a postpartum mood disorder if they knew the symptoms and signs and get help as soon as possible. "

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Note: These stories have been submitted by women who have experienced PPMD and want to use their experience to help others. Any names have been changed for privacy reasons.


 

Not able to nap (PPMD Story 5)

As a child and teenager I had always been apprehensive about things that were different from my regular routine, but I had never had any strong symptoms. Things such as sleep-overs at other's houses, participating in two day sporting events, vacations, basically any type of event that had me away from home and routine for an extended period of time seemed to peak my anxiety.

It wasn't until after the birth of my first child that the worry and anxiety got to a point where I was having insomnia due to worry. I had recently married, left my job, and moved to a new city hours away from friends and family. I had planned on spending all of this time with my newborn and I was going to love every second of it. I was extremely exhausted but couldn't sleep when I had the chance. The stress of having to nap when my newborn napped was something that made me even more anxious--especially when I couldn't nap! This worry and anxiety made me want to have someone around me so that I could have something to do to keep my mind off of the worry. These feelings were new to me and it made me realize that something was wrong. I needed help.

I contacted my health care professional and sought out the help of a cognitive behaviour therapist. Together we focused on a plan that worked for me. Medication, exercise and participating in activities that I used to enjoy was very important--but most of all, uninterrupted night-time sleep for about a week was a prescription to health that put me on the road to recovery quickly.

After the birth of my second child I thought I was in the clear but unfortunately the feelings overcame me and again I was quick in asking for help. I followed the routine again and can happily say I am feeling much better.

With the help of my husband, family and close friends I am enjoying my time with my beautiful children . If I could give one warning or suggestion to pregnant first time mothers it would be to check in with yourself mentally before you give birth--be alone with yourself and truthfully answer the question "Am I happy?". Take the time to really understand what life can and will be like after your child's birth. I think it is so important to know that it is not always good times. I think more women could save themselves months of pain with a postpartum mood disorder if they knew the symptoms and signs and get help as soon as possible.

 

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PPMD Symptoms
If you or someone you care about has any of these symptoms, get help, call or visit:

  • Your healthcare provider (family physician, midwife, nurse, OB/GYN, psychiatrist)

  • Your local Public Health Agency: Service Ontario 211 www.serviceontario.ca
    Telehealth: 1 866 797 0000 or TTY 1 866 797 0007

  • Mental Health Helpline: www.mhsio.on.ca or 1 866 531 2600

  • Life with a baby www.lifewithababy.com is a non-profit group of mothers available in some communities of Ontario and online that help mothers  connect with other one another for emotional and practical support. They offer events and programs such as play dates, time out for mom and family outings.

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