A MoM recently asked:
I was told postpartum depression is more common with twins? We have 8 month old girls. I’ve been feeling symptoms without realizing it. Then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks that I might have postpartum depression which it very hard to admit. We don’t have family near that will help. I was wondering if other moms have positive affirmations and stories. Can you get through it without medical help?
Here’s what our Twiniversity fans had to say:
– Mental health is still health. You wouldn’t try to treat your diabetes or cancer without help, depression is no different. Treating depression is a complex equation and you need to find out what works for you. Therapy is immensely helpful. Your therapist can teach you important coping strategies and you can vent to them all you want because they are paid to listen to you. Finding the right medication is also great, especially in conjunction with therapy. Finally, self care is so important. Get good sleep, exercise, take time away from your babies, spend time with friends, take baths, whatever it is that makes you happy. There’s no one size fits all cure for depression, but there is hope! You are not alone.
– I did suffer from depression and needed medical intervention for it. I was glad I got help. The medicine was needed. It’s been two years and I am trying to get off meds now. Sleep does help with depression but only if can do it! My husband would take the first shift so I could sleep then I would takeover at midnight.
– I’ve had depression years ago and dealt with it myself. Looking back at it I was miserable and a completely different person after having my twins. I was in a really bad place. I started seeing a counselor (which was really hard to do with my schedule but it really made a difference being able to talk to someone and felt understood). I also got on medication which helped phenomenally. I feel more like myself than I have in years. It just gets the chemical balance back in order. I’m not one to “pop pills” but I weighed my options and gave it a shot. I’m so glad I did.
– I honestly would talk to your doctor immediately. When depressed you have to do what’s not just best for you but for your babies. They need their momma and they need her healthy and happy as fast as possible. Also realize depression is nothing to mess with, you can go down hill very quickly. Seeking medical advise is crucial, don’t think twice just call your doctor! Also when with your babies do things you like to do, like listening to music, go outside, put a blanket on a lawn and lay out on it with your littles. Just do what also makes you happy.
– Support is essential, if you can afford it, hire some help and make time for yourself, to do a hobby or something restorative (a bath and a nap can work wonders!). Also, get out as much as you can, it’s so hard but it does get better I promise!
– I felt this way for a long time. No family near to help. I found taking walks outside with the twins was helpful to feel less zombie like and once I started regularly getting out of the house with them (around 10 months old) I felt less confined. The first year is hard but the older they get the easier it gets and you feel somewhat sane again. Hang in there.
– Proper sleep is important and also, get outside EVERY day! Even if it’s just for a 20 minute stroll around the neighborhood. You would be amazed how much of a difference soaking up a little sun can make for everyone. You and your twins will be happier for it.
– I have 3 yr old twins and a 6 month old…I was starting to feel depressed and angry and after putting 2 and 2 together – realized it was from my birth control pill that I had started couple months before. Once I stopped it I felt like I’m back to my normal self! Just putting that out there in case that could be situation for someone else. Don’t be afraid to ask for help though!
– I had the same realization a couple weeks ago. Sleep has been the answer. My husband and I swap nights now, so I’m guaranteed 8-10 hours of sleep every other night. It has made a world of difference.
– I think I always had a problem swallowing my pride and admitting that I needed help. I finally broke down in tears in the doctor’s office and got the help I needed, after I began taking it out on my husband and our boys. Don’t forget that depression is a chemical imbalance, it’s not something that you should ignore. (This was something that I had to remind myself of repeatedly) You want to be the best mom and wife you can be. Trust me when I say, you’re going to wish you had done it sooner.
– Please get a thorough physical, including a check of your thyroid function. Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your thyroid and this can exacerbate depression.
– My twins are almost three. I really wish I would’ve gotten help when they were younger. I feel like I survived and I feel mentally like I’m recovering but I have a ton of regret about my parenting and time wasted feeling depressed when I could’ve gotten help coping. Having multiples is tough. For me, I felt so utterly overwhelmed that I felt incapable of even trying to figure out how to get help. Luckily, I had/have an awesome support system which helped me.
– A lot of it has to do with being so secluded. It’s hard getting twins out without help. Try finding (or creating) a play group. Exercise is also very important and can really help with depression.
– I also dismissed what I thought was “twin mom issues” when what was really happening was postpartum depression. For me, I needed therapy and medications.
– Depression is not something to be ashamed of. It can happen to any of us at anytime. The important thing is to recognize and seek help. Help can be in the form of neighbors, a babysitter or two, twin support group, mommy group, counselor, or medical help. Having twins changes every aspect of your life and it can be an adjustment. Find something that you enjoy and take time for that or just take time for yourself whether it be a long bath, a much needed nap or time away from the little ones once in awhile.
– I agree with many moms here about getting out and about, but I found out that sometimes postpartum doesn’t show up in mothers of multiples until 9-10 months after the babies are born. Much of it is due to the fact that the babies pretty much strip you of your hormones and your body has nothing to help through the depression. See a hormone doctor, don’t take anti-depressants. Once I reset my hormone levels I felt better and more myself than anytime I was on pills and no nasty after effects. Ask your doctor to check your hormone levels as well.
– I just try to stay occupied. If it wasn’t for my twins I’d never get out of bed. They are my motivation.
– Hugs. Get help. Don’t try and tackle on your own
For postpartum support, visit Postpartum Support International or call 1.800.944.4773.
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The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.
What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.
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