SAN ANTONIO — Postpartum depression affects about one in seven new moms, and, in many cases, can be hard to diagnose.
"From conception to finding out we had twins, it was not a normal pregnancy," said Brittany Durment. She gave birth to Wyatt and Parker one year ago, but they were early. "We ended delivering at 32 weeks because I had some medical complications."
Both babies had to stay in the NICU for 8 weeks. Wyatt even suffered a collapsed lung. "My biggest thing was seeing moms leaving and that was kind of hard, because I saw a mom carrying a baby and I left mine," Durment said.
Here are some postpartum depression facts all moms-to-be should know. Postpartum depression is not the same as the baby blues. It lasts longer. Extreme sleep deprivation can trigger postpartum depression. Having postpartum depression does not make you a bad mother. And finally, postpartum mood disorders don't always show up immediately after the birth.
"Ultimately, we think postpartum depression starts right away," Durment said. "It got to a point where I started to self collect my own thoughts. 'Maybe this isn't right. Maybe it's not another hump that I have to get over.'"
Her physician, Dr. Erin Mankus, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Health San Antonio. She could tell even months later that something wasn't right. "An outsider who hadn't seen you in a while could really tell some changes," she said.
Durment added, "Ultimately, it took someone saying, 'I know you. I know this is how you are feeling, but this actually isn't a good way.'"
Durment is still working on her case of postpartum depression but said talking about her feelings has helped immensely. "If you are doubtful that this is and how you felt before you delivered, just be honest and open up with it," she said.
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