“The next few weeks were some of the worst of my life. I was terrified for no discernable reason and I felt no connection to my child. My husband was gutted by my inexplicable despair and the darkness that seemed to have engulfed our lives. We had no idea what was happening. Eventually, after confiding my feelings to my doctor, he diagnosed me as having PPD (postpartum depression). I began a multi-level treatment plan, and then, slowly, we all emerged from the shadows. This “fourth trimester” of a pregnancy, which is aptly referred to as “postpartum hormonal chaos,” can be a devastating period of sadness, confusion, shame, and fear. The terrifying thing about PPD, aside from its devastating effect on all involved, is its lack of discrimination. Because hormones have a mind of their own, PPD can occur with your first child and not the second, or rear its ugly head only with the third. It can even sneak up on you two years after a child is born.”
-Brooke Shields Actress, Model, Former Child Star
Imagine: You’ve given birth in a hospital and you’re ready to take your tiny new person home. Probably you’ve a bag of departing gifts that includes the hospital magazine, diapers, formula, coupons for more diapers and more formula, and a disposable pair of granny panties big enough to draw a full-sized bullseye on. I’ve always thought, how is it possible that no one thinks to hand a new mom a manual of sorts? At the very least there ought to be better communication between the new mother and her healthcare provider, especially at this start of all hormonal hell breaking loose. First off, there’s a lot going on during this period, which I refer to as the “Fourth Trimester” of pregnancy. Postpartum is the least talked about time during the pregnancy cycle—chances are you may not be aware that it is part of that cycle.