Pregnancy and birth are a joyful time for most new moms but for others, it can be a time of mental health struggles, one being postpartum depression. As Mother’s Day approaches, a Burlington mom is sharing her personal story of postpartum depression.
“I felt like I didn’t want to be a mom and that sucks when that’s what you’ve wanted your entire life,” Anneliese Lawton is a mom of three to her two sons and one daughter. Her first pregnancy with her son was deemed high risk and Lawton recalls the experience being very traumatic. She thought what she was feeling was just motherhood, not knowing at the time that what she was feeling was life-threatening postpartum depression.
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It wasn’t until her second high-risk pregnancy with her other son that she hit her breaking point and noticed feelings of rage, hopelessness, and frustration. That’s when she reached out for help.
Lawton says, “I got pregnant very quickly afterward and was already dealing with undiagnosed postpartum depression so that all snowballed as I went through my pregnancies and it just got worse and worse and worse until I eventually broke.”
Dr. Sheryl Green, psychologist and researcher at St. Joe’s Women’s Health Concerns Clinic, says that about one in five women experience a major depressive episode in postpartum with symptoms lingering for a minimum of two weeks.
Following treatment for her postpartum depression, Lawton says she felt ready to have another baby. But says she struggled during the pandemic at which point her doctor referred her to the clinic.
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Lawton says, “They really did help me so much and kept from getting to that dark place and I credit them so much with giving me the opportunity to enjoy being a mom.”
Lawton took to writing as an outlet to share her story with others and plans to participate in the Run for Women taking place on June 17 as a way to support the efforts taking place at St. Joe’s to raise money for their research.
The run has raised $450,000 since it began and the goal this year is to raise another $150,000 with all the funds going back to St. Joe’s in support of women’s mental health.