warning. rant ahead.
"The treatment may be helpful for up to 30 percent of the 400,000 American women who develop postpartum depression each year."
Its price tag: $34,000 USD. And that doesn't include the cost of your hospital stay, or the over 60 hours of childcare you would need for your baby.
This is not treatment for the 30%, its treatment for the top 1%.
ESPECIALLY for American women. GO back to work at 6 weeks, and then have to come home and care for your baby who is likely still up through the night?! Of course you feel depressed, that SHIT IS HEAVY!!!!!!
WHAT part of the 30 percent can even come close to affording this treatment?!
Its so privileged! How about teaching women about their hormones, and setting them up for success in the post partum time instead of insane societal expectations we hold ourselves to?!
WHY WHY WHY must we start women off thinking they need to be saved...
Saved by the medicalization of birth. How could your body possibly know how to have a baby.
Saved by formula, because of course your body starts out broken, you're not making enough milk.
Saved by drugs because there is something wrong with you if sometimes you just NEED to be alone. Sometimes you want to just walk around Chapters like the person you used to be, without a stroller! Sometimes you want to go out to lunch with your girlfriends and actually be able to be present for the conversation.
THIS. IS. HARD.
How can we help ourselves. Oprah always says, when we know better, we do better.
Where do we start, what would I scream from the rooftops...
How about education for our daughters. Track your cycle, use nutrition, exercise, talk therapy, to take CARE of yourself. Teach them they don't need birth control to regulate their hormones. YOU AREN'T BROKEN. We have the power, and the knowledge to be in tune with our bodies. They are our teachers, listen to them. Stop bandaging every problem.
Teach our daughters about how hard it is to be a mother.
We DO have the emotional capacity to understand is it both difficult, and beautiful.
That it literally feels like the world is on your shoulders, but it DOESN'T have to be that way. You deserve better. We can do better. We can reach out to our neighbours, friends and family and bring meals, short visits to help with household chores, help entertain older children. We can show up. Full heartedly when we are needed, and people will do the same for us. We all want so deeply to feel connected, needed, supported, but in order to get those things, we also have to participate in those things. Connect, provide, show UP.
Pack away your stubbornness, Pack away your ego.
We can plan for post partum. It is going to be HEAVY. So take the time when you are pregnant to make and freeze the meals, to have snack stations set up in your house, to solidify your people around you and USE them. Take the time to build a foundation of family and friends. Your church, your gym. Its there I promise you can find it.
How about we reduce the expectations: get off Instagram for the first 6 weeks post baby. The last thing you need to be doing is comparing yourself to Jane down the road who 'has her body back' already. Put. It. Down. If its not serving you, get rid of it.
Talk to your partner. They can step up. You can work together. Talk to other parents about what those early months are like, take a Post Partum planning Class. I have heard so many women say 'the birth was easy, no one prepared me for what was to come after' OR 'no one told me how bad it would be'.
THIS IS ME TELLING YOU. IT IS NOT EASY.
You aren't getting quality sleep. The only thing you may check off your to do list in a day is maybe getting a meal into yourself, and keeping your baby alive. Also watching 8 hours of Netflix. You have to grieve your old life, at the very same time as learning a completely NEW life. A new SELF for you, a new relationship for you and your partner, and your new definition: MOTHER.
We can prepare: We can arm ourselves with a plan, education, and a village.
With zulresso: Maybe they just felt better because they got to spend 3 days in a hospital being taken care of?!!? Not having to parent?! Not having to cook, and clean?!?!?!!? I'd like to see a comparison study of women who got to go to a spa for 3 days.
*NOTE: I do understand that post partum depression is a difficult diagnosis, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of harming your baby or yourself, or any psychosis symptoms are obviously very serious. These symptoms will absolutely need medical intervention. Please seek help. I'm taking here about the general overall feeling that women have that we are going into this broken.