A Message to Mothers

By: Jayson Tripp, MD


Mother’s Day can be a joyful day for expectant and new mothers, but for those battling mental illness, this holiday may bring negative emotions and self-doubts to the surface. If you are struggling with postpartum depression, here are a few tips to make your Mother’s Day celebration more manageable and enjoyable.

Let Go of the Expectations

Be kind to yourself this month. Whether you’re facing self-induced pressure or the added demands of family and friends, harboring unrealistic expectations about the “perfect” Mother’s Day will only work against your postpartum depression. This year, let go of the idea of perfection. Mother’s Day does not have to be extravagant or seamless. Keep your plans simple and dedicate your time to being with your family, doing activities you enjoy, or enjoying some rest.

Don’t Force Yourself to Be Happy

Postpartum depression cannot be turned on and off with a switch. Don’t try to shove your feelings down to appear happier to those around you. You may have difficult moments throughout the day as you process and react to your feelings but facing your emotions will bring more positive results than ignoring their impact.

Recognize What Triggers You

Triggers are not something to be ashamed of. They are often unavoidable and uncontrollable, and they are never your fault. Be patient with yourself as you come to recognize and minimize what may trigger your emotions during this holiday. Understanding what upsets you can allow you to take back control of your postpartum depression as you go throughout your day on your terms.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

You deserve to take some much-needed time for yourself this Mother’s Day, but don’t lock yourself away to deal with your postpartum depression alone. Allow this to be a day where you take no shame in relying on the help of those that love and support you and try to keep them informed if you feel that your symptoms are worsening throughout the day.

Be Honest About Your Feelings

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate you. Don’t hide your true feelings to please others. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones about how you are feeling and focus on activities that bring you the most happiness and peace. If leaving the house or receiving presents brings you too much anxiety, or if you find yourself too overwhelmed to leave your bed, redirect your day toward more comfortable plans.

Remind Yourself That You Are Good Enough

One of the most disheartening symptoms of postpartum depression is the belief that you are not a good mother. Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, and inadequacy can plague you if you maintain that your motherhood journey is not going according to plan. A day dedicated to celebrating mothers may bring these thoughts to the surface. Keep in mind, though, that Mother’s Day celebrates every mother. No matter where you are in your journey with postpartum depression, you are worthy of the love and celebration of Mother’s Day.

If you are struggling with postpartum and chronic depression this Mother’s Day, know that you are not alone. Approximately 1 in 10 women experiences postpartum depression symptoms after giving birth. There are many options to help you take back your life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a postpartum depression screening at Serenity Mental Health Centers and to discuss your treatment options.

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*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.