You can’t think, you can’t sleep, and you can’t figure out why you can’t stop crying. Sound familiar? If so, you might be dealing with more than just readjusting to your new life as a new mother. Being a mom is really hard, and it can really scary, especially for new mothers. If you’re a first-time mother, you’re experiencing things you’ve never done before, and feeling things you’ve never felt before.

Maybe you’re doubting your abilities or negative thoughts are taking over. Maybe your heart feels like it’s wrapped in chains, or you feel like you can’t breathe. Whatever it is you are feeling, it’s okay. Figuring out that you’re afraid is the first step. Knowing that you want to be a good mother and that you want what’s best for your baby is all that matters. Perhaps you're worried that you're not feeling what you expected to feel. Some new moms feel like they don’t have that immediate mother-baby bond. This can be a very scary feeling, not only because you think there’s something wrong with you, but because you're also feeling like a failure. The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with you at all, and you're certainly not a failure. Conceiving, carrying, and bringing a child into the world is no small feat, and something not everyone can do. A lot of new mothers experience this kind of doubt, and the fact that you hate the way it feels is a clue that it won't last forever.

Why can’t I just snap out of this, you wonder? Stop chiding yourself. Remember, your body has undergone some pretty amazing changes in the past year. Hormones going this way and that, body parts shifting, stretching, and being shoved in ways that you never even thought possible. Of course all of this is going to have an effect on your emotions!

You might be afraid to reach out to friends or family, or maybe you don't even want to admit it to yourself, but simply recognizing and acknowledging that you’re exhibiting postpartum depression symptoms is a good thing. It’s the first step to feeling a little better. The next step is to talk to your doctor. If you're not ready for that just yet, try to do a little online research before you take that scary step. It's the biggest and the hardest step to take, but once you get it out of your head and off your chest, you’ll be breathing a little easier.

Be strong. You can do it. And while it's going to take some time to adjust, you’re gonna be great at it.