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With 1 in 7 moms suffering from postpartum depression (PPD), it’s no wonder that more than one of us at Sway has experienced PPD. We are passionate about women’s health, and excited to work with Mom Genes to help find a cure for PPD.
In early 2000, I was delighted after months of trying to find myself pregnant. Around week 6, the vomiting started and didn’t stop until I delivered my son 9 months later. Hyperemesis was a nightmare. The continuous vomiting (anywhere from 5 to 30x a day), Multiple hospital stays, PICC lines, drugs that didn’t work, home health nurses who came to check my iv, isolation, fear and dread. After a long and grueling rode, I delivered my beautiful baby and the HG. For the first few months, things were glorious. I felt great, my baby slept well, I had a supportive husband and work environment. Everything was great. Until it wasn’t.
I’ll never forget the moment when I realized I needed help – that the anger and sadness was more than just a “mood swing”. I was standing at the park watching my husband play with my delicious little son and I wanted to run away. Literally. I wanted to be anywhere but in my own skin. I made an appointment with a psychologist the next day. For me, the journey through PPD included therapy and medication – both helped immensely. And, when I heard about Mom Genes, Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) are working on a groundbreaking study to analyze DNA from moms who have had PPD to find a genetic connection and lead us to a cure.
I jumped at the chance to participate in a study (yay for science!) that would help shed more light on PPD. The hope that my daughter (and all our daughters) will have resources and answers not currently available is so important. To be part of finding out more is an opportunity to impact the next generation of mothers and I’m thrilled to be part of it. If PPD was part of your journey, I’d love to have you join us.
Like Tiffany, I also experienced Hyperemesis during my pregnancy. It was so scary, and not at all how I imagined pregnancy would be. It was the first in a long list of things about motherhood that weren’t what I had imagined. But when I held my beautiful daughter in my arms for the first time after a long labor and unplanned c-section, in that moment, I didn’t care about all of those months of hospital stays and constant vomiting, because the joy of being a mom was so strong.
Before I was discharged from the hospital, they gave me a pamphlet titled “What You Need To Know About The Baby Blues” that warned me I might find myself crying for no reason, and feeling a little blue even though I was actually happy, but not to worry because it would pass. Contrary to the pamphlet, in the weeks and months that followed, I felt angry. And scared. And tired – even when my baby started sleeping through the night at 3 months old, and I was getting more sleep than any new mom would expect, I was so very tired. And panicked. And trapped. But most of all, I felt hopeless, and for a long time I didn’t know how to ask for the help that I so desperately needed.
As my daughter’s first birthday neared, I was finally able to clear the fog in my mind enough to recognize just how rough that first year of motherhood had been. And it wasn’t just blues, or adjusting to having a baby, or any of the things I had told myself to explain away my symptoms. It was postpartum depression. Finding a supportive community of moms who had also experienced PPD was a big part of my journey. And once I was able to understand what was happening to me, and get help, my life changed for the better.
Get Involved in the Fight Against PPD
We know that so many women are having their own postpartum depression experiences right now, or have dealt with it in the past, and we want to hear your stories. Join us for a Twitter chat with @MomGenesFight on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern to learn more about the Mom Genes study and how you can help in the fight to find a cure for PPD by downloading the app, taking the survey, possibly giving an anonymous saliva sample, and share the study on social media. They need 100,000 moms who have suffered postpartum depression to donate their DNA to UNC with the at-home saliva collection kit to help them identify what moms with PPD have in common at a genetic level so they can develop a cure.
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