Although about one in nine women in the U.S. experience postpartum depression, not a lot of moms are comfortable with openly talking about it.
On top of being intensely sad, anxious, irritable, and exhausted, many have feelings of guilt because they think they should be happy about the new life they brought into the world. Unfortunately, mental illnesses are neither rational nor easy to break out of on your own.
Photographer Danielle Fantis is a mother herself who wanted to help other moms realize they don’t have to hide their postpartum depression, so in addition to capturing powerful photos of a friend who was going through it, she shared her own story of dealing with depression after giving birth to her second child.
“I had my first baby six weeks early when I was 18 with no support from my son’s father. My situation was the perfect recipe for Postpartum Depression, yet I never got it. When I had my daughter, seven years later with the cookie cutter ‘perfect’ situation, the feelings that started to surface were completely unexpected. I felt blindsided. I had a supporting husband, I was able to stay home with my baby, we had a beautiful home and were financially stable, and my baby was healthy.”
“I felt so guilty for having the intrusive thoughts and feelings that I was having. I thought many times that I could just ‘snap’ out of it and that I had absolutely no reason to be feeling the way I was feeling. You see, that’s the problem with Postpartum Mental Illnesses, women feel guilt and shame and aren’t prepared for the fact that postpartum mental illness is real and does happen.”