Postpartum Depression After Fertility Treatments
In what should have been the happiest days of her life, Nicole was distraught after giving birth to twins. Thousands of dollars and 2 years after first trying to get pregnant, she gave birth to healthy, although slightly premature, twins. Once home, she could barely get herself to hold them or take care of them. When they would cry in unison, she would throw her hands to her ears and start to cry. Then in the aftermath, she would beat herself up for feeling like such a rotten and unworthy mother. Nicole, like millions of women, was suffering from post partum depression – magnified by months of expensive and painful treatments, failures, and stress. And who could blame her? Something that was supposed to be so easy turned out to be a roller coaster ride through hell that didn’t end until the day she had her babies.
Mothers who got pregnant through alternative health measures are 5 times more likely to suffer post partum depression than others, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health. Infertility is classified as a clinical illness with complex psychological consequences. Often, during the treatment and conception stages, women are not able to focus on how they feel because things are moving so quickly and their mind is focused on the task rather than the way they feel. Additionally, most women who have trouble conceiving have deeply rooted emotional feelings that sabotage their maternal instinct. These often don’t show up until after birth, when the rush of events is over and mother is off the roller coaster. Then, suddenly, she doesn’t have time to deal with how she feels because she is so caught up in caring for the babies.
Few women feel comfortable admitting or asking for help when they are overwhelmed with emotions after delivery. So they hide it and try to deal with it on their own. This can be very difficult, especially for a new mom who has had to endure fertility treatments. Luckily, there is plenty of help available. Additionally, PPD is nothing to feel ashamed of and has nothing to do with what kind of mother you are. You have no doubt had a long road of struggles and disappointments to lead you to this day and quite simply, need time to work through it.
It is also common for new moms who have had fertility treatments to take a bit longer to bond with their newborn. The good news is that with support and careful intervention – everything turns out fine. It is important for women undergoing or considering fertility treatments to understand their feelings, join a support group, seek counseling, or find a suitable outlet for the deeply felt emotions that are typically part of this journey. After delivery, if you begin to feel the routine signs and symptoms of PPD, like any other mom – you should seek help. Once hormones subside and time is given, PPD normally vanishes on its own, allowing you to enjoy and fall in love with the role of motherhood.