About Ivy Shih Leung & her Blog
Ivy is a winner of Top 25 Postpartum Depression Blogs by Moms - 2012
What advice would you give to moms who are struggling with PPD?
Don’t lose hope. You will recover … as long as you get the right help—whether it is through a medical and/or mental-health professional—and stick with the treatment plan. There will be ups and downs along the way. If you have a bad day, don’t go into the next day with a negative attitude. Take one day at a time. No one can tell you with absolute certainty how long your recovery will take, since everyone’s situation is different and even the type and length of treatment differs from one person to the next. Severity of PPD is a factor, as is how well the person reacts to medication and/or therapy. For me, I was fortunate that the Paxil kicked in at the precise moment I needed to go back to work, which was four weeks after I started to take the medication. Was I fully recovered then? No. I had to stay on the medication for nearly a year. But the good thing was I was functional and, more importantly, able to enjoy being a mom within four weeks after taking the Paxil. I was even functional and had enough of a clear mind to return to work. At about the same time, I was also able to feel comfortable mingling with people again and enjoying activities I used to enjoy.
When you're struggling with a physical or mental illness, how do you keep up with all the demands of motherhood?
All new moms should realize that motherhood is something that should not be undertaken with inadequate emotional and practical support. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for and/or accept help in the first few months. Don’t feel like you need to keep up with the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. They can be put off or someone can help with those activities. Having someone to help out with the baby can help limit your baby’s exposure to, and therefore the impact of, your depression on his/her cognitive and social development. Getting help does not mean you are any less of a mother. Do it for your own health, so you can care for your baby and enjoy motherhood to the fullest extent possible. The perfect analogy to this is when stewardesses on airplanes instruct parents to put their oxygen masks on first before helping to put their children’s masks on. This is to make sure you are okay so you can help your small child. There are resources in each community, but there are more in some communities than others. Postpartum Support International and other organizations can help you get connected to local resources that can help you.
What's a mood booster that helps you get through a bad day?
Getting your moods off your chest, either by talking to your husband, family member or close friend, or by leaning on the support that is available at your fingertips--either by way of blogging your thoughts (very therapeutic) or tweeting (for example, the #ppdchat group on Twitter has many members and there is always someone in that group that is there to "listen" and "chat" with you; they support each other each day).
What are your favorite blog posts?