Postpartum Depression after miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss | The Joyful Mourning: A podcast for women who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss.

TRIGGER WARNING.
We want to be cautious about this episode, knowing that things said here regarding postpartum depression may be a trigger or challenging to hear. If you think the contents of this episode may not be helpful or even potentially harmful for you to listen, we encourage you to have a friend, spouse or family member preview this episode for you in order to make sure that the content in this episode will be helpful and not harmful. Because we love you and only want to bring about healing in your life, not create additional hurt. 

EPISODE 022
In Episode 022 Meg Walker and I discuss postpartum depression, specifically how it can affect women who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. In Episode 021, part 1 of this 2 part series, we discussed the fear and anxiety that can be pervasive after the loss of a baby and we wanted to spend the time in today’s episode focusing on postpartum depression. We talk about what it is, how it’s different than baby blues or grief, symptoms to know about, resources for help and even a few practical tips for daily living while battling postpartum depression.

Please keep in mind, neither Meg or myself are trained professionals in the areas of postpartum depression, we are simply approaching this topic from a place of having been there, from knowing first hand what its like. Our hope is that by providing our stories and our limited research we would be able to educate hurting women in a way that would encourage them to reach out for help, reminding them they are not alone and there is absolutely no shame in this.

We have compiled a list of trustworthy, helpful resources about postpartum depression for you and listed those below.

P.S. In case you are new here, you can hear more of Meg’s personal story of loss in her interview in Episode 010.

Resources for Postpartum Depression

SYMPTOMS + INFORMATION
  • Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale 
  • National Institute of Mental Health on Postpartum Depression
  • Helpful Article by American Psychological Association
    • “Because it is medically common, the impact of miscarriage is often underestimated,” says Janet Jaffe, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Reproductive Psychology in San Diego and co-author of the 2010 book Reproductive Trauma: Psychotherapy with Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Clients. “But miscarriage is a traumatic loss, not only of the pregnancy, but of a woman’s sense of self and her hopes and dreams of the future. She has lost her ‘reproductive story,’ and it needs to be grieved.”
  • Symptoms (as given by National Institute of Mental Health on Postpartum Depression)
    • feeling sad
    • hopeless
    • empty or overwhelmed
    • crying more than normal or for no apparent reason
    • worrying or feeling overly anxious.
    • feeling moody, irritable, or restless
    • oversleeping or being unable to sleep even when her baby is asleep
    • having trouble concentrating
    • remembering details
    • making decisions
    • experiencing anger or rage
    • losing interest in normally enjoyable activities
    • physical aches and pains (frequent headaches, stomach problems & muscle pain)
    • eating too little or too much
    • withdrawing from friends and family
    • having trouble bonding or forming emotional attachment
    • persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
    • thinking about harming herself or baby.
IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU
  1. Call for Help: If you or someone you know is in crisis, get help quickly.
    1. If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, harming them self or baby, get help immediately. Call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.
    2. Call the toll-free 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889).
    3. Make an appointment to talk to your doctor
  2. Counseling
  3. Community: Join us at The Joyful Mourning Community
DAILY LIVING PRACTICAL ADVICE

The practical advice listed below does not replace a health professional, doctor or counselor. If you are feeling a number of the symptoms above, please make an appointment to talk with your doctor.

  • Hot Shower
  • Short Nap
  • Get Dressed
  • Get out of the house 
  • Exercise
  • Ask for help with daily responsibilities
  • Resources for Self-Care: Checklist, Exercise, Sleeping, Food
TIPS FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER

If she in in crisis, seek help on her behalf and quickly. 

  • Be willing to ask her how she’s really doing
  • Be willing to move near her, even if she tries to push you away.
  • Encourage her in gentle ways to talk to someone, to meet with her doctor. Reminding her it’s ok if its hard and it’s ok to ask for help and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Help her with everyday things like cleaning or cooking or holding the baby so she can take a shower or get out of the house. Keep trying even if she keeps saying she doesn’t need help.
  • Show up. Be willing to serve her. And love her. Even if she isn’t loving back.
  • If she is in crisis or thinking of harming herself or her baby, get help quickly. Call her doctor. Drive her to the hospital. 
PRAYING FOR YOU FRIEND. YOU MATTER. AND YOU AREN’T ALONE. 

Postpartum Depression after miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss | The Joyful Mourning: A podcast for women who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss.