Jovie from Snoh Bound deserves a spotlight because she was just so resilient. She went through a lot. And when I say, a lot, I mean A LOT. She’d just had a baby, and not only did she almost die while giving birth, she also experienced some postpartum depression symptoms. If that wasn’t bad enough, she began to have marital challenges with her husband, Cole, who had been in Canada on business. It had gotten so bad; she’d even filed for divorce.
What I loved about Jovie was that although she went through something that would break any woman down, she never stopped advocating for herself. Imagine having a new baby all by yourself while experiencing postpartum symptoms, which include insomnia, loss of appetite, intense irritability, and difficulty bonding with your newborn baby. That ain’t nothing to mess with. The easiest thing to do would be to crawl into a ball and get lost in your emotions, but Jovie never gave up. When her husband expressed that he wanted to work on their marriage, she let him know straight up that she was not being cared for in the way she felt she deserved. And honestly, we women have to do a better job of advocating for ourselves — especially if we’re experiencing something as serious as postpartum depression.
Approximately 10-20% of new moms experience symptoms of postpartum depression. What’s even more alarming is that “women of color are at a higher rise of experiencing postpartum depression than white women and less likely to receive the care they need” (Medical News Today, 2020). Wanna know something scary? Researchers estimate that this number is higher, it’s just not reported because women, African American women in particular, don’t seek mental health treatment as often as White women. Why? We don’t advocate for ourselves. We’re so worried about everyone else, we put ourselves last. OR, we’re too ashamed, embarrassed, or worried to admit that we might have a problem. Black women, we must do better. If left untreated, postpartum depression can have a negative impact on mother-child bonding, which can cause familial problems in the future. Additionally, untreated postpartum depression can become a prolonged or chronic depressive disorder.
Luckily, Jovie was able to return to her normal self after having the baby and patching up her marriage. Unfortunately, it may not be so easy in real life. If you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, please seek mental health treatment. Here are some things you can do at home to help as well.
If you know someone who may be experiencing postpartum depression, listen to them. Encourage them to seek help. It’s real.