Having a baby takes a huge toll on a woman’s body and mind. Not only is her body recovering from bringing a new life into this world, but the psychological strain she needs during and after pregnancy can sometimes be too much to bear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth each year develop postpartum depression.
In a clip for a new OWN series Belief, Iyanla Vanzant opened up about her own struggles with postpartum depression and how deeply affected she was after the birth of her third child at 21 years old. The 62-year-old life coach recalls feeling so desperate that she decided to attempt suicide.
“I took a bunch of pills. I was in the kitchen, on the floor, and I could feel myself losing consciousness,” Vanzant said, but soon after she had a profound realization that she didn’t really want to end her life.
“In that moment, I saw what I believe to be the Divine Mother. She said to me, ‘Do you really want to die?’ And I said, ‘No. I just don’t want to hurt anymore.’”
Vanzant was later checked into a psychiatric hospital so that she could receive treatment for her postpartum depression as well as learn to be stronger for whatever life might throw her way. And that strength, she said, has come from looking toward the sky for guidance.
“What I learned to believe is that I matter. Life matters. God is all, and where I put my heart and my intention, that is what I’m going to experience,” she said. “I learned in that eight weeks that I have the power to rebuild, restructure, redefine, recreate my life because my mind is one with God’s mind. I learned that in the nuthouse. Pretty crazy, huh?”
To learn more about postpartum depression, its symptoms and treatment options, visit cdc.gov.
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(Photo: Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic)