Becky on loss followed by postpartum depression during a pandemic

baby in moms arms - essay on postpartum depression during Covid

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

Postpartum depression during Covid, after a pregnancy loss during a pandemic

Being overwhelmed and consumed with sadness/fear/frustration/defeat when…I found myself crying every time I was alone in the shower regardless of my current emotion. It would hide the sound.

I would pull an outfit out for my son that was the completely wrong season since I had bought it for my first baby due in fall. Not spring.

I was carelessly wished a happy “first official” Mother’s Day by someone who I used to trust and admire for their empathy—but was just one of many who would abandon me when they felt uncomfortable around me.

Related: I will never forget the baby I lost

I was judged harshly for taking every measure possible to limit unnecessary exposure to higher risk people and situations to protect my son from Covid—because the thought of also losing this baby was too much to bare.

I found myself relieved by the stay-at-home orders because it was just easier to be alone. 

I could tell I wasn’t producing enough milk to keep my baby happy. I would stress more, he would be more upset, my milk would lessen, what seemed an awful revolving cycle of failure. 

I had to start working again, and I felt guilty when I enjoyed interacting with other adults instead of my baby, and also guilty I couldn’t give my baby the attention he needed and deserved. 

Related: The stress of caregiving is impacting our relationships-but this can help

I would watch my husband care for our son and instantly feel the need to do everything instead because he was doing it wrong—and then resent him because he wasn’t helping me. 

I would find myself staring at my baby and start crying, unsure if they were tears or joy or guilt or sadness—crying more when I would realize they were not of joy. 

I found clumps of my hair falling out everywhere—evidence of my all-consuming postpartum stress and anxiety, and perpetuating my growing distaste for my appearance. 

I felt the strain on my marriage and relationships with friends and family when my cries for help were not loud enough or met with the support I needed.

Does it matter if I am here or not? 

Yes. For all of you who have ever wondered the same thing. Yes it matters, yes you matter. Do not feel guilty or ashamed. If no one has told you, you’re an amazing mama and the world needs you.