Kids' Corner: Beyond the baby blues Pt 1
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 20% of women who give birth each year have symptoms of postpartum depression.
And they can have a profound affect on not only the mothers but the family as a whole.
"I had a traumatic birth experience and I just kept replying that in my mind over and over again," it's what led local mother, Jenna Frick to postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
"Basically I just did whatever the bare minimum was to survive," says Frick.
It's been called the "baby blues," a period after childbirth when mothers may have mood swings, anxiousness, and sadness but Healthcare professionals say it's serious, turning a joyous time into a nightmare.
"I didn't seek help for it. Really because I was afraid of what might happen," says Frick.
"The biggest thing we will see is a mother will feel a disconnect from their baby. And it's very disheartening to the mother because every mother wants to feel that connection. And someone suffering from postpartum depression just doesn't feel that connection," said Mental Health Practitioner, Bridget Mostek.
Mostek says that's when things like guilt, isolation, and other mental health issues can occur; and if not addressed, in extreme cases can be dangerous.
"They may isolate from not only that baby but family and friends, they may be eating more or eating less, sleeping more or sleeping less. And in extreme cases we see where mothers have thoughts of hurting that baby or themselves," says Mostek.
For Jenna, there were other worries that made her P-P-D even more difficult, "my daughter also had some medical conditions which were requiring us to travel a lot. It was a stressful time we were having to go to the hospital all the time and getting tests done and having surgeries, from just days old," says Frick.
While she said she had support from her husband, others had difficulty understanding.
"I heard from a lot of people well you're baby's OK. She's healthy and alive and that's all that matters. And really that discounted my feelings about the whole experience, and people have a hard time understanding that. If someone says something that happened to them was traumatic you need to listen to them and validate that, not just try and tell them that it wasn't and that they should just be thankful," she said.
Something Jenna says she didn't do but maybe should have was seek professional help.
Healthcare professionals say the sooner you receive help, the better, "I think it goes with the stigma with any mental health issue is that we feel ashamed and so we feel afraid to talk about it and it's definitely not something to feel ashamed about or shy about. Postpartum just happens. It's very non-discriminatory. You can have a healthy life healthy pregnancy and end up having postpartum depression,"said Mostek.
Jenna says in time she began to feel better and things did get easier as her daughters medical conditions lessened.
Now she's made it her mission to be that support for moms that she once so desperately needed.
Coming up on part two we'll take you inside Jenna's work, and how she's helping to shed light on this serious issue.