How I Tried to Avoid Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Again


I experienced postpartum depression and anxiety with my first baby. I blamed it on the circumstances surrounding my daughter’s birth and our struggles with breastfeeding. When I was preparing for my second baby, I tried everything I could to avoid getting it again.

Preparing for Baby #2

I didn’t want to put myself through the stress of labor only to have a C-section after 20 hours like with my first. After talking to my doctor, I decided to just plan for a C-section so I could hold and nurse my new baby immediately. The goal was to prevent postpartum depression and anxiety, but it didn’t go as I planned.

My second birthing experience

My C-section was scheduled for a Wednesday, but my water broke on a Sunday. We quickly got to the hospital and prepared for the earlier-than-planned C-section. My son was born within a few hours of arriving at the hospital. The whole experience was very different from the first. I could hold him and breastfeed him right away. He fed well, and there were no issues of him not getting enough milk.

When I was struggling to breastfeed my first baby, one piece of advice I got was “It’s easier the second time.” I did find it a lot easier to breastfeed my second baby, but that advice was not helpful with the first.

My second experience with postpartum depression and anxiety

While my second baby fed well, he didn’t want to sleep at night at all. This lack of sleep did not make my transition to a mother of two easy. It’s normal to not feel yourself when you have a newborn. Sleep deprivation is a big part of that. A nurse told me, “There’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.” Because it is torture, and our bodies need sleep to function.

I think that it helped that I recognized that I was experiencing similar anxious thoughts that I had with my first. With my breastfeeding struggles with my first, I sought out the Internet’s advice on breastfeeding, which was not healthy. With my second not sleeping well, I sought out the Internet’s advice on infant sleeping. Eventually I learned not be obsessed with it and did other things to keep my mind off the sleep struggles.

I joined an awesome postpartum depression and anxiety support group and found a good therapist. Going to a support group helped me I hadn’t realize that I wasn’t alone in my struggles postpartum depression and anxiety.

I was disappointed to have postpartum depression and anxiety again because I did everything I could to prevent getting it. However, my doctor reassured me that it wasn’t anything I did; it was the way my body responded to the hormone fluctuation. This made me feel better because the situation was not anything I caused. 

If you are feeling anxious or depressed, or just unlike yourself, after having a baby. Reach out for help. If you recognize these symptoms in someone in your life. Get them help. 

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I have a bachelor's degree in Journalism/Mass Communications from Saint Michael's College in Vermont. While at Saint Michael’s, I served as an editor for the college’s online news magazine, the echo. I also have a master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation Administration from the University of New Hampshire. I am currently serving as Vice-President of the Seacoast Mothers Association, a non-profit, volunteer-run social organization for mothers and their children in the Greater New Hampshire Seacoast and Southern Maine area. I'm the Donor Communications Coordinator at Greater Seacoast Community Health with locations in Portsmouth and Somersworth. I reside in Somersworth with my husband and two children, ages 3 and 6.