CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A recent tragedy in Massachusetts is sparking new conversations about postpartum mental health.
After Lindsay Clancy, a young mom, remains hospitalized, she’s accused of killing her three children.
Locally, a mother is now sharing her story with NewsChannel 9 after overcoming postpartum depression.
Being a mom wasn’t new for Tiffany Jackson. She had experienced postpartum anxiety after giving birth to her first son. But when it came to her second, it was a much different feeling.
“I never felt happy. I mean I just had a baby and I was not happy about it. I loved him in a way. But I couldn’t even connect to him. Like he didn’t seem like my son,” said Jackson.
The Chittenango mother says she was still in the hospital when she started experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.
“I was dismissed a lot in the hospital to the point where it was just so overwhelming trying to establish a nursing relationship with my son and he was tongue-tied and we didn’t know it,” said Jackson.
Hitting her like a ton of bricks, Jackson says she would cry at the drop of a hat and knew something was wrong. After seeing 10 providers, her voice was finally heard.
“It wasn’t until I saw a lactation consultant for the first time when my son was four weeks old that she’s like, ‘Tiffany I am concerned. Like your maternity screening came back very high and I am really concerned that you’re depressed,'” said Jackson.
Finally for Jackson, a sense of relief.
The next step was getting help and the necessary treatment. Jackson was referred to Crouse Postpartum Support Group.
“That was a life saver for me. I went weekly until my son was 8 months old and it was just wonderful to be around women who experienced the same things I did,” said Jackson.
Dr. Monique Winnett, a clinical psychologist at St. Joseph’s Health Hospital says postpartum depression is quite common and way more serious than the so-called “Baby Blues”. About 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
The symptoms can range from less energy and motivation to mood swings and loss of appetite. Sometimes even difficulty bonding with your baby.
Postpartum Psychosis is far more different.
Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and confusion. It’s also way less common. Winnett says for every thousand child births, St. Joseph’s Health Hospital sees about one to two cases of moms developing postpartum psychosis symptoms, and there are women more prone to developing it.
“Moms who wind up developing postpartum psychosis typically do have either a previous psychotic episode or previous diagnosed mood disorder, depression, bipolar disorder or have that genetically in their family, and that’s not to one hundred percent say that if you have not had those factors that you can’t wind up with postpartum psychosis, it would just make it even more rare than it already is,” said Winnett.
If you are concerned about getting postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis, call your primary care doctor.
If you are struggling to keep yourself safe, your baby safe or people around you are concerned, call 911 or go to the emergency department immediately.
Click here for the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline if you are experiencing symptoms and need help.
If you would like to get help through the Crouse Postpartum Support Group, click here.