Postpartum depression

By Ms. Cory Murphy

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a debilitating condition that negatively affects many expecting mothers and can be treated with cannabis. I know because it helped me.

Combined with a worldwide pandemic, a woman can really get tested. I am really being tested. 

I am 38 years old, with an almost one-year-old, still processing the stress of a pandemic pregnancy, suffering from Postpartum depression (PPD). PPD is serious. It’s not just a case of the baby blues. It’s a very real, very debilitating condition. Some turn to therapy, some choose medication, and some seek solace in more holistic ways. 

After the birth of my son, depression hit me hard. I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety in the past, but PPD is another level. I thought I could handle it, but then it started affecting my relationships, and I knew I needed help, so I convinced myself to return to therapy.  

I’ve been in and out of therapy most of my adult life. It took me close to 20 years to find one that I connected with. I’ve been prescribed medications in the past, which didn’t work out for me. Therapy wasn’t enough, and I knew I didn’t want to be put on any medications. Do you know what did help? Cannabis.

Yes, I’m a mother, and yes, I use cannabis. That doesn’t make me a bad mother. In fact, I feel like I’m a better mother for putting effort into bettering myself. 

Whether you’re trying to conceive, avoiding, currently pregnant, or postpartum, pregnancy is stressful. Cannabis can safely help treat symptoms. 

Cannabis has been a constant in my life since I was a teen. Looking back, my use has evolved. Now it’s not about the high; it’s about the healing. 

The Benefits of Cannabis for Postpartum Depression

When I found out I was pregnant, I was immediately nervous, thinking I was going to get drug tested (which I didn’t). When morning sickness hit, nothing helped. I tried everything. Then one morning, a friend suggested I smoke a little since that is what helped her. I got nervous thinking about it, but it’s what made the most sense for me after doing research. 

You know what? It worked. I didn’t smoke to get high, I smoked to ease nausea and the pain, and I was able to finally feel that connection with my unborn child. 

Fast forward to the birth. I was nervous again about the idea of the umbilical cord being drug tested. This doesn’t always happen. From what I understand, it depends on the state, hospital, and insurance. In some states, if it does test positive, child protective services could get involved. We mothers who take a few puffs of a joint to ease the aches, nausea, and stress shouldn’t be looked at differently. We’re still good moms. 

But, once the whirlwind of labor and delivery passes, you’re sent home with this little human with no instructions, and reality quickly sets in. It’s a lot, and it’s ok to be overwhelmed. However, for some of us, it becomes almost unbearable. Lots of tears are shed, pints of ice cream are eaten, and particular thoughts cross our minds. You come to the realization that something needs to be done. 

What works for you may be different than what works for me. The most important thing is to seek help and do what makes the most sense to you. In addition to therapy, I found cannabis helps. At this stage of my postpartum, I prefer a tablespoon of infused honey in my tea. It helps me stay calm, clear my head and complete tasks at hand. 

There hasn’t been much research when it comes to cannabis and pregnancy. However, for me, it made sense, and it helped. 

If you’re thinking about using cannabis as your medicine, do your research and make an educated decision. Ask questions. 

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Whatever the outcome is, you’re a good mother. If you feel you’re suffering from PPD, don’t wait to ask for help. Talk to your partner, your doctor, your friend, and know that you are not alone. There is help out there. You are worthy.

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