Many women suffer postpartum depression (PPD) in silence, dismissing their struggles as a normal part of pregnancy and childbirth that no one wants to know about. New mothers may feel embarrassed or even guilty that they’re feeling depressed when everyone around them is expecting them to be deliriously happy. In fact, a 2018 study found that stigma was the biggest barrier for women in disclosing postpartum symptoms, often claiming they “don't talk about those things” in their family or community.
In trying to define their feelings, many women with PPD describe a conviction that things are not right or a sense that something bad is going to happen. Others report having overprotective thoughts about their baby getting sick or dying, and regularly feeling disconnected—as if they are not the baby’s mother—which can lead to thoughts of rage or resentment toward their newborns, which in turn can cause feelings of guilt and fear.