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Mom Shares Battle With Postpartum Depression | News

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Mom Shares Battle With Postpartum Depression

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va.  (WUSA)  - "Patty cake, patty cake baby and me." When Jacqui Le gave birth to McKenna a year ago, she did not feel like singing.

"I had trouble sleeping, anxiety, panic attacks. You're supposed to be joyful and happy. I wasn't. And the guilt sets in," said Le.

Le realized she had postpartum depression. She had had it with her first child four years ago. She and her husband knew the risk was high she'd have it again, but they didn't realize how severe it would be.

"It was just spiraling out of control. I wanted to take my own life at one point," Le said.

She saw a doctor who prescribed medication and counseling, but that wasn't enough. Only after a stay in a mental health hospital, and a month of counseling, did she feel well enough to watch her children again.

Postpartum is not 'the baby blues,' says Leslie McKeough, LCSW, a family therapist. She says 80% of women who give birth get 'the baby blues' which gives them intermittent feelings of sadness and happiness. The up and down feelings usually go away. If they don't after a few weeks, it can turn into postpartum depression, which includes anxiety and/or depression.

"New moms need to know you're not alone, you're not to blame. There is support out there," said McKeough. She says a tell tale sign of postpartum depression are thoughts of suicide or harming your children.

Le wants other moms to know they need to get help immediately if they have those thoughts. "To not get help would be like having a broken leg or arm and you just keep putting band aids on it instead of getting to the hospital and seeing a doctor." She says she is not quite 100% and must "purpose" herself everyday to be positive every day.

For help with postpartum depression, you may contact www.postpartumva.org.

Written by Peggy Fox
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com