Top 50 Pregnancy Mom Blogs Includes Postpartum Depression

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I’m very proud to announce that Babble.com has just published its list of the top 50 Pregnancy Blogs, and Postpartum Progress is among them.  So happy that our postpartum depression support will be promoted among all the other great blogs on this list.

Even more exciting than that, we are actually in the top 10 — #8 to be exact!!  We are also listed as the second friendliest experts, just behind Birthing Beautiful Ideas.  It’s thrilling to think that a postpartum depression blog would be recognized among all the potential blog topics that could have been included in a list of pregnancy blogs.  It’s so crucial for pregnant women to know more about postpartum depression (and depression during pregnancy) and to be prepared for how to deal with it.

There are a lot of amazing bloggers on the list, including those who focus on everything from infertility to breastfeeding to postpartum bodies to pregnancy loss to baby decor to the latest science and MUCH MORE.  Go check it out! They’re all great resources.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Pregnant Chicken
  2. The Shape of a Mother
  3. Birthing Beautiful Ideas
  4. Stirrup Queens
  5. Lay Baby Lay
  6. The Girl Who
  7. My OB Said What?
  8. Postpartum Progress
  9. Science and Sensibility
  10. Cool Mom Picks

 

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Does Summer Break Overwhelm You?

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This time of year makes me think of when I had postpartum OCD and was afraid to be alone with my baby. I still get that same twinge when summer comes and I worry about how to keep my two kids entertained all day long. Whether I have what it takes to get through two-and-a-half months of stay-at-home momdom. I wrote about it in my ParentDish column: Why Summer Break Scares Me

Wondered whether any of you who have survived a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder get that same feeling when summer break arrives. Is it just me? I mean, I know I'll be fine and we'll have fun, but I always have this temporary feeling that I'll be overwhelmed. I hate that feeling. A lot.

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How Pregnant Women React to Information About PPD: A Baby Expo Case Study

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Attempting to generate awareness of postpartum depression and eliminate stigma among an audience of pregnant women is a great reminder of the various attitudes about PPD that still exist.

This weekend I was at the Atlanta Baby & Child Expo sharing information on PPD. I got three general responses from the pregnant attendees there as I tried to chat and hand out educational materials:

1) With her head nodding, the pregnant or new mom says, "Postpartum depression is REAL. Hope I don't get it, but I'll take this information just in case."

This mom stops and listens, even if just for a moment. She is genuine when she says she understands PPD is real. She is willing to consider the possibility that anyone can get a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, and feels there is no harm in grabbing some information about it. She may mention knowing someone who had it. If it's not the mom that stops, it's her friend or her mother who says "I'll keep this and watch out for her. Thanks for the info."

I love these people. I could hug these people.

2) The pregnant or new mom giggles and says with a big smile, "Oh, no thanks! I won't be needing that!"

This mom thinks she's immune. She is completely confident that there is no way in hell that she will have PPD, so she laughs breezily at the thought that she might need information about it. She sashays by, off to try and win the car seat raffle and watch the maternity clothing fashion show.

I worry for these moms, because I had that same attitude once, and then I got hit by a Mack truck.

3) The pregnant or new mom offers a dismissive smirk and a wave of the hand and says "I don't have time for postpartum depression."

This mom thinks postpartum depression is BS. PPD is for people who are lazy, or don't have better things to do, or aren't smart, strong effective mothers like she is/will be. PPD is for losers.

This woman offends me, truth be told. I know there are lots of people like this, who are ignorant about mental illness. I bite my tongue and smile as she walks away.

I'm so grateful to the Atlanta Baby & Child Expo for allowing me to promote education on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders to the very important target audience of women who might get them any day now. I hope at least one woman finds comfort and support with the information she received. I also hope the great majority of them never go through what the readers of this blog have.

In the meantime, Saturday's experience reinforced how much work we still need to do.

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Mom Gets Backlash After Publicly Disclosing She Loves One Child More … Now What?

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I saw a post on a popular and widely-read parenting website/blog yesterday and it made me sad. In it, a mother confessed that she loves her son more than her daughter.

She wrote about how she felt more comfortable with her son, and how it was so much easier to parent him. She wrote about how much she struggled with her feelings of disconnection with her 3-year-old girl.

That, in and of itself, was not what gave me so much distress, because this happens. Sometimes parents favor one child over the other. But she continued further, writing later in the post:

"There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son."

There are so many reasons why this post, and the enormous backlash it received in the comments section (more than 300 comments), was upsetting.

1) She was sharing her feelings in the interest of talking about motherhood and imperfection. She felt by writing about this openly other people would feel they could talk about it too. I get that. I just wish she had other outlets as well to help her through this, perhaps before she ever wrote about it publicly. Were there other people she could talk to, or was this website her only outlet? Did she have no one else to talk to?

2) Many of the comments were heartbreakingly awful, and sometimes mean, and I can't imagine what she must feel like right now. I feel sick to my stomach for her. I understand where some of those people were coming from. Some of them were "unfavored" childred in their own families, and were deeply scarred by that experience. It was, in my own small opinion, a mistake to publicly share some of the things this mom disclosed. Still, she said many times she was suffering, and seemed to be seeking reassurance rather than the anger she got. Could we have responded in ways that would lead her to help, rather than to feel, as she said in an update to the post, "shocked and ashamed"? Should we have?

3) I also can't imagine how it would feel to be her daughter and one day read some of the things that are written in this piece. The anguish!! The mother herself says she knows these feelings are wrong. She worries about them. But I also wish someone, maybe the website's editors, had said to her, "Maybe you can talk about this topic authentically and still leave the line about your daughter dying out. Or the line about hoping your next baby is a daughter because then maybe you'll be able to love that girl. Not because you don't feel it, or that you are not allowed to have your own feelings, but because some day your daughter could read it." Could someone have given her that guidance? Did they try to? Does anyone care about the feelings of this little girl?

4) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I'm not sure this relationship has to be this way forever. In the end, that's what is most important, right? It almost felt as though this mom had given up. I have to wonder if some sort of therapy or family counseling could really help.

It helped me.

My son and I are very similar. We have the same kind of personality. He is my oldest. It has always been very easy to parent him. At first I thought it was because I must have some kind of super awesome parenting skills, but no … it's because he's a great kid and also because I understand him at a very deep level. We're almost one in the same in many ways.

My daughter and I are very different. It is hard for me to understand her, because she makes decisions I wouldn't. While I am very safety-conscious, she is ready to jump off things and fly through the air unharnessed. While I am often fairly low energy, she is nonstop action, chattering and singing away and running from here to there. My husband calls her a fabulous punch to the solar plexus of the universe, and he's right.

At first, she scared the living daylights out of me. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't understand why she behaved the way she did. She made me nervous. I wasn't sure how to connect with her the way I was connected with my son. It's like we both spoke different languages.

Then I talked to my therapist about it, because I love this little girl as fiercely as I love my boy and I didn't want a problem to begin right from the start. The therapist acted as my translator. She explained to me that, personality-wise, my son was a fit. He is easy for me, and I am for him, because we think alike and we behave alike. Not so with my daughter, so I needed to learn to understand her and appreciate her for who she was. It was my job to do that. She helped me see that it wasn't that my "preshy" didn't like me or was defying me or was trying to scare the living daylights out of me (like the time she left our house at the age of two by herself and walked a couple of football fields away off into a golf course without ever looking back over her shoulder … can you imagine?!). She's just a free spirit. A beautiful, wonderful free spirit.

I can work with that. I am working with that. I'm learning to see life through Preshy's eyes. The world is one big amusement park as far as she is concerned. My boy is not perfect or better because he's like me. My daughter is not perfect or better because she isn't. And neither of them are less than anything. They're just different.

I'm not saying my situation is exactly like that of the mom who wrote the post. I don't know all the details of her life and everything that may have brought her to this spot. I just know what it feels like to be confounded by your child, and that sometimes people can help you reframe that thinking in a constructive way … a way that allows you to move forward positively and have a wonderful relationship.

Note: I hope you don't mind me writing about this today, rather than PPD. I just felt so overwhelmingly awful on so many levels after reading the post and comments that I wanted to put it down on paper, and to share my own experience so that maybe mothers who don't know how to connect to children that are "different" than they might see that it's possible.

Also, I don't link to the post here for a reason. I just want to be careful not to add more fuel to the fire that has already flamed over at the website. What's more important to me is the issue, rather than the specific people. I hope that makes sense.

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