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Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can affect both sexes. Onset is typically between one week and one month following childbirth. PPD can also negatively affect the newborn child.

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An excerpt from the story of Rachel, who used crafting to help her heal through postpartum depression. She shares her story in the book Crochet Saved My Life and also at: "Rachel comes from a family with a history of depression but she hadn’t expected that she would deal with any form of it. Then her son was born. She explains what happened: “I hadn’t prepared myself at all for the thought that I might be anything other than blissfully happy when he was born. He was perfect and beautiful and healthy, but he also had awful colic — and combined with my completely inaccurate ideas about what having a baby would be like and the work it would require, I quickly fell into a terrible depression. Motherhood wasn’t at all what I had expected. I hadn’t known I would be so desperately tired all the time, or that it would take weeks for my body to recover from the labor and birth itself, or that the sweet cherub I had imagined having would scream and cry 23 hours a day, or that it would take months for me to resume a normal lifestyle and schedule and feel ready to tackle even the simplest tasks. I also found myself struggling with extreme anxiety and insomnia — I simply couldn’t relax, and couldn’t stop my mind from racing with doubts about my mothering abilities, feelings of worthlessness, and even debilitating fears of unlikely events occurring, like SIDS claiming my baby or him being kidnapped or harmed. I started having nervous breakdowns and panic attacks, and was frightened by how helpless I felt in the face of depression."

Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo

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