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In 2015, my son turned 3. It felt like forever since I'd experienced postpartum depression in the early months after his birth. I was off antidepressants, had changed jobs, and moved to a new home. I felt like myself again.
I was so grateful that I'd shared my experience with depression in an article published by Nursing (“Opening Up about Postpartum Depression,” September 2013). Many women who experienced postpartum depression but were too ashamed to seek treatment shared with me their own experiences of feeling lonely and isolated.
The decision to have more children after experiencing postpartum depression is a difficult one, but my husband and I took a leap of faith. We delivered a healthy baby boy in January 2017. Instead of waiting to be screened, I told every healthcare provider about my prior experience. They listened closely and helped create a plan that started the day our baby was born. Proactively taking an antidepressant changed my postpartum experience. I also tried to minimize the stressors in my life. These techniques steered my life down a path of positivity that allowed me to enjoy my second newborn differently. I continue to encourage women to talk about postpartum depression, and I look forward to the positive developments and treatments to come.
Mt. Holly, N.J.
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