People have an expectation that once a child is born, the new mother is supposed to feel nothing but elation, excitement and joy, but that's not always the case, Dr. Robin says. "Quietly, like a big secret, you're starting to think, 'Something must be wrong with me because I'm not happy.'"
Carrying a baby and the changes it has on your body can throw a mother off, from feeling lethargic and depressed to having hallucinations and thoughts of harming your baby and yourself. Dr. Robin says there is help for women who experience postpartum depression, and they shouldn't feel ashamed. "There's nothing flawed or defective in you or anyone as a mother," she says. "There's help for you. There's relief. You don't have to live in silence. You don't have to live in shame. You don't have to live in blame."
Dr. Robin suggests talking to a "safe friend"—someone mature who will listen and help you get through your postpartum depression. Other forms of recovery may include medication, meditation or a combination of the two.
"The heart of the matter is having this baby will be a joyful moment," she says. "But taking care of every part of you is the best gift you can give to that new life."
Published on June 04, 2008