much more than a physical change, but a mental and emotional change. We stress about being the perfect mother, having a bomb “snapback”, still desiring to feel attractive to our significant others and needing to feel acknowledged. We feel highly criticized and judged; closed off from the rest of the world due to our babies’ beck and calls. This is postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is suffered by a mother following childbirth. It is usually a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. It doesn’t have to be this harsh example of postpartum depression we’re so used to hearing about. But feeling overwhelmed from day to day activities, extreme anxiety about tackling certain obstacles, being emotionally exhausted, having varying mood swings and lack of sleep, are categories of postpartum depression.
See, Depression is something black people never talk about. It’s become a taboo subject, so often swept under the rug that we’ve learned to suppress our emotions. I realized early on how unhealthy leaving bottled emotions unacknowledged can be when it changed the dynamic of my relationships. I didn’t know how to express to my husband how unattractive I felt or convey to others that I was excited about being a mother, despite the sleepless nights and the hell recovery could be.
It wasn’t until conversations with my black female friends, that I learned that black women experience the baby blues, too. We experience the depression. We fear the unknown of parenthood, so why should we suffer in silence because of falsely printed S’s on our chests, we never asked to be there?
It is time we break the stigma that Black women aren’t allowed to be weak or vulnerable. We’re allowed to not have the answers. We’re allowed to “cry it out” as our babies do; we’re allowed to be