Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

10 Things I Needed When I Had Postpartum Depression But Was Afraid To Ask For

Ad failed to load

Personally, trying to cope with postpartum depression (PPD) was pretty unbearable. I honestly have no idea how I survived. At a time when I was supposed to be happy about my new baby, I felt like I wanted to die. And even though I needed it, one of the hardest things for me to do was ask for help. In fact, there were so many things I was afraid to ask for when I had postpartum depression. Pretty much everything I needed to heal, in fact. Figures, right?

Most people who know me would probably be surprised to learn that I had a hard time talking about my PPD. Most of the time I have no trouble communicating. In fact, I probably overshare. But somehow admitting I wasn't OK after having my babies felt like admitting I wasn't a good mom, and I thought if I ignored those overwhelming feelings they would magically go away on their own. Unfortunately, depression just doesn't work that way, and the longer I kept my mouth shut the harder it was to say something.

After three pregnancies and three experiences with postpartum depression, I've learned that sometimes the only way to get what you need is to ask for help. Most of the time my worst fears about people judging me, my doctor not taking me seriously, or my husband not loving me were really just in my head. Depression really is such a lying b*tch. There were so many things I needed during that difficult period of time in my life, I was just too afraid to ask. It shouldn't be that way. For anyone.

Ad failed to load

A Shower

Postpartum showers are the best, but it was so hard for me to ask my husband, mom, or friend to take my baby so I could actually have one. I thought that if I set down the baby to shower people would think I didn't love her. It's so strange how your mind works when you have depression. I logically knew that I didn't have to touch my baby every second of every day to bond with her, but depression is irrational.

Some Sleep


Sleep deprivation and new motherhood seem to go hand in hand. I mean everyone knows that new moms don't get much sleep. So, it can seem more than a little embarrassing to admit that you feel like you are literally dying from lack of sleep, because you are sure somebody is going to make a joke about it. The trouble is, while a little lost sleep is normal, it's not normal to not be able to sleep at all. I am so glad my midwife asked me if I was sleeping, because there was no way I would have brought it up if she hadn't.

Help With The Baby

Even the best moms need help sometimes. Especially, when they are recovering from childbirth and feel like their world is crashing down around them (hell, even on them). I was so afraid that asking for help with my baby would make people think I couldn't cut it as a parent.

Ad failed to load



People generally suck at empathy. You can only take so many responses that start with, "If you think you have it bad, let me tell you about my life," before you simply stop talking about how bad you feel. Life is not a contest. Literally the only things you should say to a parent with postpartum depression is, "That sounds so hard," or, "How can I help?"

A Break

All parents need a break once in a while. Especially parents who are trying to heal from childbirth, learn how to be someone's parent, and cope with depression simultaneously and without a single moment of reprieve. I wish I had asked for a break more often, but I was afraid that people would judge me for not being able to "do it all."



Good postpartum sex honestly made me feel like a human being again, even when I had postpartum depression. Unfortunately, depression told me that my partner didn't want me and that he might say no. Initiating sex when you are scared to be turned down is so hard.

Ad failed to load

Health Care

Going to the doctor is hard, especially when you have a newborn. Once you get there, while telling the doctor that your body is sick is no big deal, for me, saying the words, "I'm depressed" is so freaking hard.

Something To Eat


I literally went days without eating much at all after my second child was born. Postpartum depression took away my appetite, and I was too exhausted to cook for anyone else, including myself. It might sound trivial or even ridiculous, but when I was in the trenches of PPD I was afraid to ask my husband to make me something to eat.


Depression can feel so lonely, but it can also feel overwhelming to have to entertain people, get dressed, or clean up. How do you ask someone to come over and sit next to you, but not expect you to talk or put on a bra?

Ad failed to load



I grew up in a small Midwestern town where no one ever talked about mental illness or admitted to taking medication for mental health conditions. In fact, taking medicine for something that didn't have to do with physical pain (like a broken leg, for example) was something people only did in books and movies, and generally those characters were chastised. That is not OK. I was so afraid to bring up meds with my midwife, so when she brought them up I was nothing short of relieved.

Turns out, my anti-depressant brought sunshine into my world. It was like the clouds had lifted, and I was me again and able to finally enjoy motherhood. I wish I hadn't been afraid to ask for medication sooner, because it made a huge difference.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

I Tried Royal Family Parenting Hacks For A Week & It Was Surprisingly Easy

Whenever I see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — Prince William and Kate Middleton — wrangle their kids in public, I find myself jealous of their parenting abilities. Does it come naturally, or do they have an easier time because of things commoner…
By Steph Montgomery

14 Awesome '90s Movies To Watch On Father's Day With The Best Father-Daughter Duos

Father's Day is right around the corner and I can think of no better way to celebrate the holiday than actually spending some time with my dad, preferably relaxing and watching one of our favorite father-daughter movies. Since I grew up in the '90s, …
By Irina Gonzalez

It's OK To Let Babies Cry — In Fact, It's Very Important

Before my daughter was born, I taught preschool for eight years. In talking to parents about their goals for their children, aside from the lofty academic visions of honing 3-year-old geniuses, pretty much every parent would tell me, "I just want my …
By Beth Loster

An Open Letter To My Kids' Teachers, Now That The School Year Is Over

Dear Teachers Who Teach My Kids, How can I ever properly express my gratitude for all you do every single day? How can I possibly thank you enough? I know there isn't much I can actually do to show you just how thankful I am. I do want you to know, h…
By Dina Leygerman

15 Celestial Baby Names That Blow All Others Out Of The Galaxy

Doesn't it seem like naming kids is more difficult now than in decades past? It has to be popular, but not too popular, unique but not too wacky. But you'll also want it to sound right with your last name and you can't really have a friend whose kid …
By Emily Westbrooks

I'm Feeling Mom Burnout, & Here's How I Deal With It As A Type-A Parent

The other day, I put my daughter down for her nap, poured the now-cold coffee that I had reheated about 10 times and still didn’t have a second to drink, refilled it with the tiny little bit of red wine that was left in the bottle I found in the back…
By Allison Cooper

If You Don't Know Whether You're In Labor Or Not, Your Dog Might Be Able To Tell You

Many dog owners swear their pets have a sixth sense. From sensing impending danger to knowing when their human is sick before they do, tales abound involving seemingly psychic canines saving the day. But while there's no question that dogs are incred…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

12 Partners Describe What It's Like To Be In the Delivery Room For The First Time

Television and movies lead us believe in a very particular birth narrative. Labor starts instantly (after the mom's water breaks, of course), and everyone comedically or dramatically rushes to the hospital whereupon pushing begins immediately. More o…
By Jamie Kenney

If You Hate Buying Maternity Clothes, Rent Them From One Of These Cool Sites

If spending money on maternity clothes makes you feel like you're tossing cash out the window, you're not alone. Pregnancy is so temporary, it's not like you can get away with convincing yourself that you're making an investment purchase. And yet, th…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

9 Surprising & Totally Adorable Facts About Princess Charlotte

There are few kids in the world who kinda/sorta make me want another baby, probably because I had four already so that feels like enough. But little Princess Charlotte is one of those kids. I don't know if it's the little twinkle in her eye, her ador…
By Jen McGuire

The Mid-Range Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Let’s be very, very honest about this — pregnancy and childbirth change your body. Regardless of what tabloid headlines about celebrities’ post-baby bodies and Instagram #fitspo posts might tell you, the reality is that your body’s going to look and …
By Beth Loster

Rent The Runway Just Launched A Maternity Line & The Selection Is Mind-Blowing

Spending money on maternity clothes can feel like a huge waste, considering you're only going to wear them for a few months. Sure, you can always pack them away for Baby #2 (or #3), but there's no guarantee you'll be the same degree of pregnant durin…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills