By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4) – According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 600,000 women who give birth in the United States get postpartum depression. It’s a serious mood disorder that can affect a mother’s ability to take care of her baby and herself.
Now, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is offering support with a new campaign to raise awareness and provide help for pregnancy-related depression.
“We wanted a baby so badly,” said Erin Kenworthy.
Adorable Owen was the baby Erin and husband, Jason, dreamed of.
“Early on, things were wonderful,” said Jason Kenworthy.
“At the beginning, I was just extremely happy,” said Erin Kenworthy.
But Erin struggled with breastfeeding, exhaustion and the constant care.
“And I kept telling myself that this is hard, but I should be able to do this,” Erin told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Erin pretended to be happy, but she wasn’t.
“He would cry and do stuff and it would just make me angry,” Erin said.
She started having frightening thoughts.
“Anytime I had Owen around the steps or a place where there was a balcony I was convinced I might throw him off the balcony or drop him, maybe it would be an accident maybe not,” Erin admitted.
Erin had postpartum depression and anxiety.
“It’s heartbreaking to see people have to go through that,” said Jason.
Erin says medication and a support group saved her family.
“We want women to reach out and ask for help,” said Mandy Bakulski, Maternal Wellness & Early Childhood Supervisor at CDPHE.
The state health department has a new educational campaign to help mothers. It offers resources so women don’t keep their feelings bottled up.
Owen Kenworthy is now nearly 5 years old. His baby brother, Bryce, is 4 months.
This time, mom and dad are both getting help. They admit having kids can be hard.
Erin’s advice, “Please reach out and ask for the help because it can get better.”