Photo: Michael Klizs
About one in seven women experience postpartum depression—some without even realizing it. This was the case for mom of three, Ana-Maria Klizs. The blogger recently opened up in a video on her site, Bluebird Kisses, about the distressing thoughts she experienced for months after the births of each of her sons.
“If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I had a pretty rough time with the baby blues,” she says, reflecting on how she felt after the births of her first two sons. “I just assumed most moms go through this. We all get a little bit weepy and a little bit sad after the baby comes.”
It wasn’t until later, when she spoke with a nurse that she realized her feelings of sadness and her heavy thoughts were signs of postpartum depression.
Ana gave birth to her third son over a month ago and she says she is starting to feel those same emotions again—but this time she is opening up about how postpartum depression feels.
In the intimate and candid video, Ana recalls how the worry and anxiety started to overwhelm her after her eldest son Johannes was born.
“I thought to myself, you were on the inside a week ago, and now you’re on the outside. And it’s been a week, and you’re a week old. And every day that passes, every minute that passes, every second that passes, you’re getting older, and one day you’re not going to be here. And it was incredibly overwhelming.”
After sharing her struggle on Instagram, the emails and messages started flowing in. Many moms were curious to know what Ana was thinking about.
“They wanted to know if what they were feeling was normal, and if their dark thoughts were similar to mine,” Ana says. That's when she decided it would be best to address the questions via video.
“I think everyone wants to feel like they’re not alone in this,” she says.
When we asked Ana why she wanted to share her story, she told us, “I’m an open book. I’ve never hid my feelings or emotions on my blog or social media. So, I didn’t think twice about posting how I felt.”
Since sharing the story, Ana has been able to connect with a whole community of mothers, who are either currently battling the same feelings or who have experienced them in the past.
“I know other moms feel this overwhelming sadness, and when I first experienced it with Johannes, I was so lonely thinking I was the only one who felt this.” She adds, “Knowing that I at least made a difference in one other mom’s life makes me feel good and connected to her in some way.”
This is the beauty of social media for Ana, who, as she said, is not shy about sharing intimate moments of her life. The ability to respond quickly to a question, or create a space in which other moms can discuss the events of their life and share their advice, has proved a positive experience for the blogging mom.
“I think it’s a really good place to build a network, a community of like-minded people,” she says of her social media platforms. “It’s easy and quick, and that’s what we need as busy moms.”
Now that Ana's starting to feel more like herself, she's able to reflect on her experience and offer support to other moms who may be feeling the same way.
“Talk. Talk about your feelings,” she says. “It’s OK, you’re not alone. Talking with your partner, or parents, or brothers, sisters, friends or just randomly on social media—it takes away not just the stigma of what you feel, but also eases your burden.”
Stories like Ana’s remind us how important it is to talk about postpartum depression and how important having a community, whether online or in person, can be in helping you recover. It’s like Ana says, “Put the feelings out into the universe. Cry. Talk. Breath in and out, and it will get easier. You’re not a bad mom. What you feel is normal.”