A day in the life of postpartum depression (aka “Signs of postpartum depression”)


You wake up with that daily bone-tired exhaustion. It doesn’t help that your 9-month-old is still waking up in the wee hours for a feeding (or two).

Aren’t they supposed to sleep all night at six weeks?

Over breakfast you become angry that someone put the eggs on the wrong side of the refrigerator. You finish breakfast by inadvertently putting the eggs on the wrong side of the refrigerator.

During errands, you become anxious that you haven’t locked your door at home.

You go to the store for magnesium and come back with manganese.

As you drive through the parking lot and watch the other cars drive by, you wonder how your child will breastfeed after that car accident puts you in a coma. (You know, that accident you’ve been imagining for the past two weeks.)

You take the manganese with dinner and are pleased that you have begun your magnesium supplementation.

As you get ready for bed, you check the front door seventeen times to make sure it’s locked. You put a chair in front of it to secure it, just in case.

You notice for the first time that you purchased manganese. You cry and throw it in the trash. Months later you find out that you are deficient in manganese.

You return to the front door to remove the chair because it is a fire hazard. You worry about the other fire hazards in your house. You set the fire extinguisher out on the countertop, just in case.

You are relieved that night has come and as you are about to drift off to sleep, you glance at your child and notice that he has sprouted devil horns and whispers “Have you checked the bathroom lately?”

You check the bathroom and find no fire hazards but you move the fire extinguisher there, just in case.

You finally sleep only to start at the top of this page again when you wake up, like a very bad version of “Groundhog Day.”


New days do come, fortunately. Get the treatment you need. Do not feel bad about it. You just grew an entire new person.

Talk to your doctor or midwife. Join a support group in your area. Call the Postpartum Support International Help Line. Begin to rebuild your body’s supply of nutrients. You may just end up feeling better than ever.

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4 Responses to A day in the life of postpartum depression (aka “Signs of postpartum depression”)
  1. I LOVE your post – just put it at the top of my Fresh Serving of the Week’s Best PPD Posts here: http://www.mommy-muse.com/blog/2009/11/fresh-serving-of-the-weeks-best-ppd-posts-2/
    Thanks for the excellent inside look that brought back so many memories it made me laugh until I cried.

  2. Bekki

    You know… I recently bought your book, “in case.” I think I had mild PPD after my last birth, and have a bad reproductive history, am having a crazy, stressful, hyper-watched-in-case pregnancy, and thought maybe I ought to be prepared. Plus I love your nutrition info. :-)
    But I never really thought I was or had been DEPRESSED. I am rather opinionated and forceful and kinda thought depressed people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps and move on…
    I had no idea. I had no clue that anxiety was part of it. I had no idea that having strong opinions about the location of one’s eggs was part of it. I had no idea that OCD-like tendencies (see that? It’s like OCD, but I refuse to actually call it OCD) were part of it. No clue that the reason I absolutely have to have things straight and in their proper places when I’m stressed out was a sign of anything other than weirdness.
    Ok. I’m depressed. But I’m doing marvelously well with it, I think. And I’m all prepped and ready in case I fall down the hole after this baby is born. My copy of your book is dog-eared for my sake and the sake of the people who love me.
    Anxiety, fear, certainty of coming doom, obsessiveness, compulsiveness, lack of motivation, exhaustion… listed all out like that I guess there IS something wrong, huh? I believe the reason it’s not any worse is because of good nutrition… now I just need to figure out what piece is still missing.
    Anyway, thanks for the book and the post. :-)

  3. Hey Amanda,
    I hope all is well. I’ve had these awards sitting in my closet for some time and I have to pass them on….so I’m passing them to you since you influenced me so much in the early years of healing with food! Thanks!
    I’m not sure how this works, but you can find your awards at my blog today. I know give them to Frederick!

  4. Great blog. I have been exploring the concept of overnutrition at my blogs and websites and it’s doing wonders. It could be a great extra tool in the tool belt for fighting postpartum and other forms of depression, which I would venture to guess has a lot to do with the lull in metabolism that comes after giving birth (as measured by basal body temperature – taken under the armpit, first thing upon waking). Anything under 97.8 is a big red flag and indicator of what is going on metabolically.

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