I was recently talking with a friend and she shared her postpartum story with me. Here’s a quick summary.
Eight months after her daughter was born she started breastfeeding less as her daughter was eating more solids and she found herself in a slump. She couldn’t shake it no matter what she did. She said that she felt embarrassed, alone, and had all the signs of postpartum. Another friend encouraged her to set up an appointment with her doctor. Her doctor confirmed what she didn’t think was possible. He said that she was experiencing postpartum depression – 8 months after giving birth.
Her doctor told her that it could even happen up to 18 months after giving birth. I’ve done a little more internet research and am finding a lot of articles that say postpartum depression can manifest itself up to two years after having your baby.
I had no idea! I thought that if I had made it through the first couple months I would be fine. Have any of you experienced postpartum depression? Was it delayed?
I wish there was more information out there for mothers but I really couldn’t find a lot. Here are two helpful articles that I did find:
- The onset of postpartum depression: Implications for clinical screening in obstetrical and primary care
The last article listed said,
“Among participants, 11.5% reported prenatal onset, 22.0% late postpartum onset, and 66.5% early postpartum symptom onset. Those reporting pregnancy onset were more likely to be unmarried, and those with a late postpartum onset were less likely to report a past history of postpartum depression.”
That’s almost 25% of cases being late or delayed onset! That’s a large percentage and I feel ashamed to say that I honestly had no idea delayed postpartum depression existed.
Postpartum depression is common and I want to encourage you that if you are experiencing symptoms to not be embarrassed about it. Call your doctor to discuss your treatment options, no matter how much time has passed. You now have a beautiful baby to enjoy, you don’t want to miss a moment!