Hi, just testing.
One expert describes motherhood as “the perfect storm for mood disorders such as postpartum anxiety and depression.
Allison McGill’s first six weeks with her new baby, Jack, were as smooth as they come. Jack was healthy and happy, and McGill enjoyed being a new mom.
“I didn’t have anxiety, I didn’t have lot of the things that would eventually take over my life,” says McGill, a 40-year-old District of Columbia resident and president of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Lazarus Ministries. “I was actually pretty calm.”
But that didn’t last.
While taking a walk with Jack along the Anacostia River last August, McGill had a vision of him falling in. From then on, she made sure to stay at least 15 feet away from the water’s edge. Later, McGill feared that Jack would fall out of her seventh-floor apartment window. After that, she insisted that Jack stay at least five feet away.
Next, compulsions set in. McGill often checked on Jack four times a night – even when he wasn’t crying. “I started to get worried that he would stop breathing,” despite the fact that the baby monitor indicated he was, she says.
McGill never stopped worrying. She was afraid, for example, that taking a phone call at a softball game would put Jack at risk for being hit by a ball. Afraid that if she didn’t constantly cradle his neck, it would snap.
“The thing that keeps going through my brain is that if I make one mistake with Jack, it could have tragic consequences,” McGill says. “The stakes were just up.”
Depression, which affects about 15 percent of new moms, is not the only mood disorder that can hit women after they give birth. About 10 percent of new moms have postpartum anxiety, and about 5 percent struggle with postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to Postpartum Support International. McGill had all three.
Read more of Allison’s story at US News & World Report
If you are concerned that you might be suffering from a postpartum mood disorder, get help. You can contact Dr. Judy at 281-788-7820.