It was years ago. Like 22 of them, to be exact. That’s when I had my own baby blues. And that’s why I hesitated before writing about Jason Aldean’s wife Brittany’s post on the topic. Because reading about her struggles when her little girl Navy Rome came along took me back to a really dark place that I never wanted to see again.
After her second baby was born on Feb. 4, Aldean said she suffered from postpartum depression. I thought, “Same, girl. Same.” When my second baby was born, I tried to be the blissful mother I was when my first was born. But that bliss just never came. Well-meaning friends and family told me over and over that I was just in a new-mom fog of sleeplessness and exhaustion. But it wasn’t just that. It wasn’t something that an afternoon nap, a long bath, a long run or a mani-pedi could cure.
“Posted this in my stories,” Aldean wrote on Instagram, “but feel like more people need to see it because we are all hard on ourselves. Trying to snap back after babies, not enjoying certain things for fear of not having that beach body or trying to keep up with the girl on social media. I’m guilty of it too. Ohhhhh so guilty.
“But this. This really resonates with me.”
Aldean went on to say that after Navy was born, she had the baby blues. “I was just down. An unexplainable sad feeling. I was prescribed anti-depressants by my amazing doctor,” she explained, “but decided to try a few alternative methods first by working out and eating better… thinking happy thoughts, daily. It was a choice I made and ended up coming out of the slump I was in. After all, God blessed me with two healthy, precious babies. What’s there to not be happy about?”
Therein lies the problem with this kind of depression: Motherhood itself is not depressing. At least, it shouldn’t be. So why, then, are so many mothers struggling? It’s actually such a common condition that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a medication — an intravenous infusion of a drug called brexanolone — just for the treatment of postpartum depression.
Aldean admitted that all of it is hard. “Being a mom… shoot, life is just hard sometimes. Just want y’all to know we all struggle. There’s things not seen on Instagram… things that go on in real life people don’t see…. so just know you aren’t alone!! You ARE enough. EAT THAT CUPCAKE, GIRLFRIEND! You deserve it.” (She is right, you are not alone. Experts say that one in nine new mothers have some form of depression after childbirth.)
If you or someone you love has symptoms of any kind of depression after welcoming a new baby, make sure you get help from the OB/GYN who delivered the baby, or a psychiatrist nearby. You can find resources here.