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When Weaning Leads to Depression

weaning-depression-585This week on Fit Bottomed Mamas, we’re raising awareness of postpartum depression. Today, Joanna Goddard over at Cup of Jo shares her story of depression that struck as she was weaning her son.

I’d been following the blog Cup of Jo for awhile. When I came across a post that struck such a chord with me that I emailed Joanna herself and demanded that she give me permission to run it on this site, too. Okay, not really. But it was so pertinent and honest and insightful that I kindly asked if I could run it here, and she graciously agreed to let me.

Joanna got hit with a terrible bout of depression, and it was only once it passed that she was able to see a connection she’d failed to see before: She had weaned her son. I, too, experienced a butt-kicking episode of depression after I weaned my daughter, but I just thought I was fatigued and miserable because I was pregnant. This post was a light bulb moment for me, and I’m sure will be for many others. A huge thanks to Joanna for sharing her story. —Erin

The Hardest Two Months of My Life

In an effort to be authentic, I’d like to talk about something difficult I went through as a new mother. A year ago, I went though the worst two months I’ve ever experienced. I never mentioned it on the blog. I couldn’t; I was too overwhelmed. But now that a whole year has passed, I want to share my experience with you…

Flashback: Toby was eight months old. It was a chilly January in New York, and we had just had a blissful Christmas vacation. But suddenly I started feeling bad. Out of nowhere, my mind started obsessing and worrying about inconsequential things; I had trouble sleeping (I’d wake up in the night and feel gripped with anxiety and fear); I began feeling very down, like that heavy feeling you get in your chest when you’re sad about something. Why? I had no idea. But I knew it wasn’t good.

Over the next couple weeks, I felt worse and worse. I felt guilty because I had a wonderful baby, a loving husband and a great life on paper, yet I was inexplicably falling apart. Although I had loved taking care of Toby since he was born eight months before, it suddenly seemed exhausting to look after a child. I dreaded hearing his cries in the morning and having to get out of bed and face the day. I felt utterly overwhelmed and exhausted. Work projects seemed especially intimidating. Even the smallest work decisions seemed like insurmountable obstacles, and I was quickly moved to tears. I felt certain I would disappoint the people I was working with and for.

Click here to continue reading about Joanna’s experience with depression and weaning.

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