The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Psalms 28:7 (KJV)
Despite the joy of having a newborn, new parents may experience depression because caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It may feel like one’s life is on hold for another human and identity crisis may set in. Especially when one suddenly becomes a stay-at-home mother or stay-at-home father.
Post-Partum Depression (PPD) may occur due to the feeling of incompetency, lack of family support, biological factors, fearful thoughts, etc. The two common elements in all these are: 1) focus on self. 2) solely depending on other humans for help. If you feel depressed, seek professional help. I would also encourage you to first try God because you are a spiritual being having human experiences. That’s what I did. I looked to God.
My PPD experience was brief. My heart was hurting, I felt alone, I cried, and I was scared. Despite having a supportive spouse and a healthy baby, I felt empty. I can remember crying and saying, “nobody cares”. Depression stole my joy for a little while.
Depression is contagious. I could not let depression linger because it could affect my newborn’s well-being. So, I fought back by setting my affection on God. I stopped focusing on my inadequacies, pitying myself and thinking about the absence of a mother to show me how to care for my newborn. I meditated on God’s goodness, greatness, love, and faithfulness.
You can do the same thing I did. Try it. When depression shows up, break it by breaking out in praise even when it is hard. Rejoice with songs of praise and let God’s presence overshadow you. That thick dark cloud of depression, emptiness, anxiety, and fear cannot linger in God’s presence. Focus on God, not on your inadequacies or the help you lack.
Take a praise break and rejoice in the Lord! Praise God even if you do not feel like doing it.