Postpartum Rage: When You Start to Lose Control


We were rushing out the door, scrambling to get big kids to the babysitter so that I could attend my six-week postpartum checkup. No one was listening. I had asked them repeatedly to follow instructions, but it hadn’t seemed to register. I resorted to bellowing, adopting the distinct inflection that only a mother with overly gleeful, bouncing, distracted children does just right: “Will…you…Get in the CAR!”

As I buckled the new baby into her seat – the tiniest baby I’d ever held, mere weeks home from the NICU, our life together still so tenuous – my six-year-old did a fancy jumping dive toward her booster chair. As she leaped, her feet went up, and her pink sparkle sneaker missed the tiny baby’s forehead by inches. Centimeters, maybe.

That tiny, fragile baby, the one we’d imagined might never come home. The one I worried about my ability to protect, the baby whose breaths I never stopped counting, almost kicked in the soft spot by a pink sparkle sneaker.

I lost it.

I grabbed my older daughter, pushed her forcefully into her booster, and buckled her seatbelt while yelling – screaming, really – about how she could have hurt the baby, could have killed her little sister. Her face was white; she was shocked at my reaction. In that moment I felt more anger towards her than I had ever felt towards anyone before.

When I tried to fasten my four-year-old’s chest clip, my hands were still shaking. I was angry, and I was terrified.

I knew I hadn’t hurt my eldest when I put her in her booster seat, at least not physically. What left me shaking was not just the adrenaline rush but the disturbing, painfully clear realization that I had wanted to hurt her, and that it had taken an alarming amount of restraint to not hit her. In some horrible, dark corner of my heart, I wanted her to suffer and feel ashamed.

We pulled out of the driveway in silence. Halfway down the road, I gave her a tentative rear view mirror apology in a quivering voice. She stared out the window.

I hated myself.

If you’ve never experienced postpartum rage, you might be appalled by this story. You might wonder if I’m fit to parent, or ask why somebody with such anger issues would choose to have children in the first place. That was the question I asked myself as we drove through town. And in all honesty, I’m still a little appalled myself, almost three years later.

But if you’ve felt the sinister tug of anxiety and rage after baby, if you can relate just a little too easily to the scenario above, you may well be nodding along.

Postpartum rage is a symptom of postpartum and depression and anxiety that no one talks about. Research done by the University of British Columbia states that one in seven mothers experiences postpartum depression, and that anger should one of the symptoms we are looking for in new mothers. The study took data for 24 different research projects over a 25 year period and found that most mothers with postpartum mental disorders like postpartum depression or anxiety exhibited feelings of anger. But anger is an understatement when it comes to postpartum rage. Many women described themselves exploding, almost immediately, at things that, in hindsight, seemed insignificant.

Women with postpartum rage react much as I did with my 6-year-old. Uncontrollable, explosive anger over small annoyances. Women like myself might see things like a dirty dishwasher and scream at the fact that no one thought to start it. They might see another dirty sock next to the laundry hamper and completely lose it. We aren’t talking about the passive aggressive comments most of us make under our breath- we mean full on screaming, crying, and explosive anger.

Women who experience postpartum rage can’t control it. It comes on in an instant, and even in the moment they can’t seem to remove themselves and take a breath. It boils over and they are powerless to stop it. Some women have even reported thinking in the very moment they were turning into the Hulk that how they were reacting was not ok- but they couldn’t stop.

But this symptom of postpartum depression and anxiety was never talked about when talking about what to look for as a new mom. So that day I felt like I was a terrible mother because only terrible moms get that angry at their child. Or so I thought.


For weeks there was a handout sitting on my nightstand, a single purple page, mixed in with the stack of hospital discharge papers, keepsakes from our NICU stay, and guidelines for proper breast milk storage. The handout was a list of symptoms of postpartum anxiety. I had read it one day while pumping, and found it moderately interesting. It listed several thoughts and feelings I’d had before, after the older kids were born. Huh. So that explained it.

And it listed rage. This symptom was news to me. I had never known anyone with anger issues after having a baby, but then again why would I? No one talks much about postpartum depression or anxiety much less a symptom that is as pearl-clutching as rage. I tucked that interesting tidbit into the back of my mind and went about our post-NICU life, ignoring the nagging whispers of anxiety, the intrusive thoughts trying to worm their way in. We were holding steady, this time. We had this, I would tell myself on repeat.

All of that seemed to be working fine for me until the day I realized how badly wanted to punch a six-year-old with pink sparkle sneakers. The pamphlet I had read while pumping popped into my mind, and I realized I was exhibiting one of the most common but least discussed symptoms of postpartum anxiety and depression.

I called my husband at a stop light. “I’m going to ask the midwife for a referral to a counselor. I’m telling you so you’ll hold me accountable.” If I didn’t tell him, I would have shrugged off the stress, turned on my have-it-all-together façade for the midwives like I did for everyone else. But if I told him, he’d follow up with me and make sure I’d asked. He already knew about the anxiety, because I’d been feeling it since mid-pregnancy. I think he was relieved I was finally planning to talk to someone else about it.

At the appointment, my midwives gave me a handout for area resources. The points of contact were the same providers with whom I’d sat around a conference table and discussed ways to support new moms experiencing, well, everything I was fighting currently. These were professional women who knew me as a childbirth educator and nursing student, not a mom who couldn’t handle her postpartum moods.

How fortunate for me that these same providers had been open and honest about their own postpartum struggles, and had broken down the barriers between patient and practitioner. How fortunate that I never felt seeking counseling meant I was unfit to educate and support others.

And so I made that dreaded appointment, the phone call that says, This is not me. I am not okay. Help. The phone call that shatters the façade.

It felt good, being so transparent. Scary, but good.

Research has found that postpartum rage often occurs because mothers feel overwhelmed or underappreciated. Their rage spikes when they see another dirty dish that someone left for them to clean up. They see their husband sitting on the couch, and they lose it. When their dog walks across the hardwood floors, their nails tip-tapping, they start to scream.

Over time, my counselor helped me to recognize the way my anger and rage were tied to other elements of my anxiety. As I developed a better understanding of myself, it became obvious the way the various, fragmented elements of my personality connected to one another. The last two years of my life, with changes in several close relationships and a premature baby as the cherry on top, had left me feeling entirely out of control. The nagging whispers slowly forming into conscious thoughts reminded me often: You have no control. This is all out of your hands. This could all fall to pieces any moment now.

A truth that was undeniable, painful, and infuriating.

And so I tightened my grip on each tiny piece I could, and raged at every reminder that it was a pointless endeavor.

My counselor used an exercise with meditation balls to illustrate my struggle. I held silver metal balls in the palm of my hand, too large for me to hold tightly, and practiced keeping them steady. If I squeezed, I dropped them. If I relaxed my hand completely, they tumbled to the floor. The only way to keep them all in play was to soften my grip, to maintain just enough. The pieces of my life were like silver meditation balls, better left to rest.

At home, I began to work on releasing my vice-like grip on the life happening around me. It wasn’t easy; when your fists are clenched for years, they don’t simply undo on command. But slowly, they softened. I learned to breathe more deeply, and gave myself permission for time outs when I started feeling anxious. I brushed up on the everyday mindfulness techniques I’d learned from yoga. I got back into a consistent exercise routine, running out any pent up energy and frustration. I cut down on coffee.

Most importantly, I stopped thinking of my needs and my kids’ needs as being in conflict with one another. I had heard it, but I didn’t believe it until I put it into practice: Taking care of my own emotional needs was essential if I was to take care of theirs. If I expected them to listen on the way to the car, to keep their own wild energy in check when it became necessary, I needed to be able to show them what self control looked like.

We were on the same side, after all, that girl in the pink sparkle sneakers and I.

Every parent’s experience is different. While I was able to manage my PPA with mindfulness techniques and counseling, many parents have found that other solutions, including medication, are most effective. If you or someone you love is experiencing postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, including rage, please use the resources below to connect with help in your area.

Postpartum Progress:

Postpartum Support International:


Photo credit – Just a Minute: Moments in Motherhood

40 thoughts on “Postpartum Rage: When You Start to Lose Control”

  1. I think you are an INCREDIBLY patient and loving mama. I think the circumstance you described is one that likely would have driven many (dare I say MOST) mamas who don’t even believe in spanking to a pop on the bottom and some yelling. No, these things aren’t good for kids, but a kick in the head isn’t good for newborns either. We are human. We do the best we can to balance all of our children’s needs, our needs, and the needs of our partner. Counseling is a really good thing. I’m glad to read an article that talks about getting help and “help” isn’t synonymous with pills. While I’m not against medication, I think many women wrongly get the message that meds are the ONLY option when that just isn’t true. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, getting some practical help and support from family, friends, or a post-partum doula so that you can have time to rest and practice self-care, exercise, nutrition, etc. can be very effective for many women, including myself. Loved this article, I relate so much.

  2. thank you. Thank you for having the courage to voice what some of us mothers experience. It is the most confusing and conflicting feelings leaving you tearing yourself down and becoming more and more miserable. I had ppd and Ppa. I still live with it daily. It’s mamas like you that are real and transparent that give the rest of us the confidence to step out from the hiding we do. For removing the shame. It’s a lot being a parent. The best thing I have ever experienced and I am still in awe of my daughter. She is such a bright and energetic spirit. Loving. Thank you for giving us a voice ❤️

  3. Thank you for writing this. I needed to see it today. I just fell into a shame spiral last night for raging at my 3yo. I know I need to find a therapist to work these issues out. It’s like the universe is telling me, the time is now. Thanks.

  4. I think Jennifer’s comment helps put it in perspective, at least I hope. I don’t know. I guess I’m hoping that it does because I relate to this story so well.

    When I feel physically threatened and can’t get the kids to stop, or one child is physically harming another, I tend to get physical myself as a knee-jerk reaction because nothing else is getting through. Nothing terrible – like involving pain. But I do worry about how it affects them psychologically. I relate to the “rage” part the author talks about because it’s not the way I want to react, think I should react, and it’s not how I would normally react in other situations. I have never had a temper. But, when I’m at that point, the things I say are just awful – things I never would have imagined saying to another human being nonetheless my own child – and I suspect that’s the most damaging thing of all. I feel like scum of the earth afterward, and that only makes everything worse.

    I just want help. I’ve been asking health care providers for help for years because my psychological experiences postpartum have seemed different than others’ from the very start (e.g. excessive guilt.) None of them have been able to point me in the direction of appropriate counseling, support groups, or other resources such as she mentions in the article. No one seems to even understand what I’m talking about. I suspect these services don’t exist in my area because women are afraid to be open. I tried organizing my own local support group through Meetup but there was no interest at all.

    1. Celeste- I know how you feel! I’m sorry that there isn’t help near you. It’s so hard for moms to come out and say these things. The only way I found out that my “rage” was pp related was from a blog post like this one. I haven’t reached out professionally yet, but I am taking some ultimate omegas that seem to take the edge off.

      Thank you for posting this. Thank you for saving me.

    2. I can relate, Celeste. The most important thing is that you are self-aware. Without being able to separate yourself from your inner experience and even your behavior, you would not have come to the understanding that postpartum anxiety is a real issue that many women experience.

      Mental health issues can be such a taboo subject no matter where you live. For instance, I live in a huge U.S. city and I became subject to some very cruel stigma when I admitted to my husband that I needed psychological help for postpartum anxiety after giving birth to my first/only child prematurely. That ignoramus is no longer my husband.

      I’m not advocating divorce or anything. All I am saying is that I know what its like to have a voice in your head tell you that you are an abnormal horrible person and that you should feel like scum for experiencing your experience. My personal inside voice was damaging enough. I didn’t need my idiot exhusband echoing it from the outside! Divorce didn’t cure me, but it was called for in my circumstance (and it certainly took the edge off)!

      Women everywhere are afraid to be open about being less than perfect mothers. It is so important to get professional help regardless of where you live. There are therapists who do sessions via Skype nowadays. Medication can make a big difference too. Meds don’t make your life less stressful, but they can somehow cause you to be able to handle stress just a little better. If you have a true chemical imbalance its no more shameful than having a heart murmur are anything else.

  5. Thank you for being brave enough to share this. I would say you have no idea what it means to read, but I’m guessing you do.

  6. I had no idea this was something that other people dealt with or that it was a sign of ppa. I have had other signs, but not enough to make me think it was an actual problem. There were some pretty terrible moments when my second baby was a newborn and we were on our own for the first time and I was trying to get him down for a nap while my preschooler was supposed to be occupied. I just thought I was a bad mom who couldn’t keep it together. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you for this. My last and second baby is going on 6 months, and as a single mom who ran from my girls’ dad a year ago, I have definitely had ups and downs – more downs, lots of pushing forward. Well written, I can relate. I am interested in where you studied Holistic Nursing, and/or if you have any suggestions on furthering a career in more alternative medicine…Would love to grow into a career as an intuitive healer, however the way my life has unfolded I see it as possibly being as a counselor. Which would be great. So far, I am just about to be forced back into the workforce…ACK!! lol, struggling to balance my trust/faith and need to control this process of getting into the RIGHT/best job 🙂

  8. I just burst out crying reading this. I have 4,3 and 2yo and I have rage episodes. I have done since I was a child but now they happen infront and to the littles. I instantly hate myself for loosing it and screaming. I’ve never confronted them before until this. I’ve never understood why I loose it. But now I have a name for it and I’m going to look into stopping it.

  9. I didn’t know rage was a symptom of PPD… I probably should have seen someone when it was bad. I hope other new mom’s still going through this find the help they need.

  10. This is what I’m experiencing. .. oh my god. I had my hand over my mouth the whole time reading this- ITS NOT JUST ME! I’m not alone. I feel VERY relieved… I’ve been meditating, I’m going to start seeing a therapist. ..but its tremendously helpful to see I’m not broken. Thank you, from the center of my being, for writing this and sharing your truth.

  11. Thank you. I’ll be sharing this all over the place! Can you speak to rage that maybe is triggered by PPD/PPA but continues waaaay past giving birth?

    Thank you again! You are very brave. <3

  12. Dear Jenny Everett King what a beautiful shining beacon of truthfulness and love you are! Thankyou thankyou thankyou ♡ that is all xxx

  13. Thank you. I’ve had this since my 2nd was about 2 wks old. She’s 2 and 8 months now. I’ve been thru councilling but not PPD specific, coming to a 2nd head in last few wks, rang a PPD specific GRP yesterday to seek counseling and cried. Just when they were taking my name. There is so much pain and guilt.
    Lovely to read your story. I was sadly nodding along.

  14. Thank you for your post. It allowed me to identify what I experienced a little with my first and then more so with my second. Those feelings have dissipated for me now that my youngest is eight months and I can see it all the more clearly. Like you said, mine came from the feeling of everything being out of my control. Luckily I managed to identify this and eventually allow myself to feel this without making myself wrong. The key for me has been learning to be flexible and letting go. Loved the ball analogy!! It is one hell of a journey and learning curve but one I can now apply to other areas of my life.
    Thank you for sharing

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this. Rage is one of the least-talked about symptoms of postpartum anxiety and depression, yet it can affect so many of us. Thank you for helping break down the stigma and shame associated with this and for showing moms that there is a light at the end of that very dark tunnel. When moms start to speak up about their experiences, share their truth and ask for help, it can benefit not only themselves and their loved ones, but all those other moms who suddenly realize “This isn’t just happening to me” and it reinforces the message: You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will feel like yourself again.

    [email protected]

  16. Thank you for this. Ive had PPD in the past but not anxiety. But this what I’ve been experiencing and lashing out at my older child. I’m going to take this with me to my therapist next week to discuss

  17. Thank you!! Women NEED to hear these stories, NEED to hear that this happens, that there is support, and that we are not alone, or bad, or weak. I had no idea that I was suffering from ppd for close to a year, had so many warning signs and symptoms, yet it all just felt like exhaustion, like I needed to try harder, like I was failing to do my job. Now, I talk openly about it, and what that meant for me, and try to help normalize this thing that left me feeling so guilty and alone. So thank you for your story.

  18. Thank you for writing about the anxiety and rage aspects of perinatal mood disorders! So many think of PPD as crying depression and not the irritability, anxiety, and anger that many of us experience.
    You may relate to my posts about “bitchy is not a feeling” or “Postpartum Depression: naming the pink rat in the room.”
    Gratitude for sharing your experience, strength, and hope! Recovery is possible!

  19. Thank you. You’re so lucky you got help quickly. Took me six months of repeated explaining I need help for it to actually happen and another year for someone to go “this isn’t just depression”
    By then I lost my relationship and bloody well nearly lost my child and my life. It’s so important people are aware you can change and that hp are aware women may actually need help. Especially if they consistently fail that eddinbourough test. They did nothing.

    1. While using your phone while driving or stopped at a light is generally not a recommended practice, there are exceptions to the rule. This is one of them! That phone call likely snchored her. If you have ever lived through PPD or PPA, you know that when you finally get the courage worked up to ask someone for help you have to act on it! I know there was a day not too long ago i was driving way too fast on a gravel road, tears streaming down my face, with terrible thoughts I couldn’t force out of my head hurtling toward sure disaster when i picked up my phone and called a friend and said two words that changed the course of my life and that of my family. Help me. When you find courage use it.

      Jenny, thank you so much for speaking out. Thank you for being brave and telling your story with honesty. It’s never easy, especially when you do do birth work. You are an amazing woman who is standing as an example on self-care to other women and to your own family. Her lucky they are to have you for a mama!

  20. Thank you so much for writing this! For me postpartum depression AND rage was due to a under active thyroid. I suffered for months, until my hips hurt so bad I could barely walk. The hips hurting was due to adult onset rickets -vit D deficiency. Lucky I had a care provider that also knew vit D deficiency and under active thyroid go together and I was given a full thyroid panel. I had never mentioned my depression or occasional rage. The pieces start coming together (my Dr. asked if I was feeling tired, agitated, angry). Once I started natural thyroid (Armour brand) my life was back to normal again! I was back to my happy, peaceful, motherful, okay self. Our experiences as moms are unique and I hope by sharing mine it might help somebody. Thank you for reminding me that my rage was linked to postpartum thyroid issues. I haven’t thought about it in a long time. I have told my husband now that I know if I ever, ever go through anything like that again I need to go to my Dr. ASAP. Some say women don’t reach out for help because they are embarrassed, but I found that didn’t because I didn’t think there was anything anyone could do. I hear that many Dr’s are very quick to medicate with antidepressants and don’t understand other options. I was fortunate I found good care and a Dr. who really listened as we discovered what was wrong.

  21. thank you so much for sharing! this is not easy, doesn’t mean i don’t want it, but wow! thanks for making me feel not so alone… wish society wouldn’t look down on those seeking help- because unfortunately they do. thank you allll for sharing! am going through “withdrawl symptoms” (dizzy, rage, crying like a baby, nightmares, nausea, etc.) from cymbalta (which didn’t work). then i’ll try a hormone-dr. (only bio…). cannot live like this anymore… i look at happy families & don’t know their secret! sorry to vent, just glad i know i’m not alone! thank you!

  22. When I told the other La Leche League mamas that I experienced feelings of intense rage when my milk let down, they looked at me as though I was slightly crazy. Which I now know I slightly was!

    It’s been eleven years since that first LLL meeting, and now I’ve been pregnant four times…and I’m finally understanding some of the ways that my physiology contributed to multiple severe bouts with postpartum depression, PMS (lifelong), breastfeeding challenges, a during-pregnancy “nervous breakthrough,” my child’s developmental delays/ASD-style symptoms, and my own severe anxiety/panic attacks and OCD-type symptoms.

    I know I will never figure it all out, but thanks to combination of extremely supportive family/spouse, intensive dietary protocols, and targeted supplements a la Paul Jaminet and now William Walsh, I am right now experiencing my first post-partum period _without_ the crazy-making crazy symptoms predominating. It’s life-altering, to have a baby and not have a mental health crisis at the same time!

    Thanks for speaking out, so that more women know they are not alone. These are real symptoms, just as real as those caused by cancer or a broken limb.

    I hope for all women experiencing these issues that you discover ways to positively alter your biochemistry! There are options beyond counseling and drugs, and someday I hope these options will be more widely recommended, so that no one will suffer the way I and many others have.

    Some people I admire as resources: Kelly Brogan (a psychiatrist who treats severely ill pregnant and post-partum women without the use of psychiatric medication), William Walsh (“Nutrient Power” is an easily readable and very useful book), Paul Jaminet (“The Perfect Health Diet”), and Natasha Campbell McBride (who developed the GAPS protocol). I have written extensively about my own mental health “adventures” on my website, with the hope that my experiences can help others to heal. I never thought it was possible…and I am grateful every day when my head feels clear.

    I am holding a newborn on my chest right now, and I am SO grateful to be here, able to relax and enjoy her at least some of the time – it’s more than I ever could do, the first three times!

  23. I just wanted to thank you for writing about this. After both of my children (and a little during the first trimester of my second pregnancy) I dealt with this. It was crazy how I could flip from being calm to being out of control angry! My midwife the 2nd time around suggested progesterone. My husband, who is a holistic practitioner originally got me an herbal supplement called Progestaid (from Apex Energetics), and then later I switched to a supplement called Dopatone (also from Apex). This has changed my life!! Within less than a day of taking this, my cloud of anger lifted and I felt so much more free. I’m not saying that this will help with everyone, but Prolactin can suppress Progesterone, which can in turn keep Dopamine levels lower than they should be. Low Dopamine levels lead to outburst of anger. It’s worth looking into and maybe having bloodwork done to see if this might be an issue to you.

    (I also found that this was linked to my milk over-production and food allergies/sensitivities.)

  24. I have been dealing with this for a couple years now. My first set of twins was premature, around 5 months i lost it. Not on them, on everyone around me. Then the second set came, after a major major MAJOR life change. I lost it when they were 5 months. The new baby is a singleton and 5 months is approaching. My insurance was cancelled and we cant afford to pay full office prices. Reading things like this, especially the running, yoga, and coffee cuts, reminds me that to get back in my drivers seat I deserve, need, and want that hour a day. With 5 kids ages 4 and under “I” become a figment of fiction. “I” am no longer because they need “momma” and 75% of the days thats fine! But the days that things seem to crash down all around me, those are the days i check out. Dark stuff being discussed here, im glad to know i am not alone…..

    Love for all you sisters fighting the fight….

  25. I experienced rage as well after my third child was born. Life was very very overwhelming. Our second child has a lot of issues and would tantrum and shriek hours out of the day at age 3. She would physically fight me, break things, slam doors, kick, hit, throw things in response to just about anything and everything from getting her shoes on to what I made for dinner. On top of that, my husband was working long hours and underpaid, we lost our health insurance, and due to an unexpected disaster, we had to file for bankruptcy. We lost a lot of social connections as people seemed to disappear when things became difficult for us. And on top of all of that, I was dealing with postpartum thyroiditis which, in retrospect, probably caused a lot of the anxiety and subsequent depression. I regret everything about the way I related to her, but even trying very hard, she didn’t respond to gentle redirection or any of the things my other children respond well to. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to see a counselor as I didn’t have insurance so I just blamed myself and I still do years later.

  26. I was married at 18, and had two girls and a boy in the first four years of our marriage. With three children under four the next several years were more difficult and stressful than I could ever have imagined. Our son was autistic, our second girl had fairly severe asthma, and our oldest wasn’t quite adapting to her play school – most of the time.

    Fifteen years later I divorced, remarried, and had a boy and a girl. When they were 12 and 9, a friend died and her two year old son came to live with us. So I’ve been raising children from ’67 to now – 48 years – if you count my last adopted son, who is still in college.

    What I want to share is – I started off having kids before the ‘child abuse’ campaign of the 80’s’ People then were far more sensible and reasonable about what to expect from themselves. But in the 80’s new laws were passed that allowed members of the public to call in, anonymously, and accuse anyone of anything. If you lived in Florida, as we did, untrained people with any kind of a degree could come to your house and strip search your children with impunity on the basis of these anonymous calls, and almost everyone I knew, including our own family, were the victims of this. Parenting became rather a grim, frightening and thankless business. Lots of parents showed up on talk TV bemoaning the situation, and tragically, some of these parents described simply letting the child drift away, out of pure fear of reprisal for disciplining.

    After the 80’s, gone were the helpful, frank confabs around the coffee table that treated even the darkest days with children like a shared problem. How could anyone risk that? Gone was that wonderful relief to ‘confess’ to each other and get on with things. For ordinary parents, not ‘child abusers’, the idea of that kind of law pretty much inspired out of control breast-beating and shame, wary ‘confessions’, and a lingering fear of punishment.

    I’m glad this blog is here to help correct what’s gone on. I think it’s always important to get support from other mothers (and fathers) for the incredibly difficult, high pressure, expensive and never-ending job of raising children.

    1. Susan, thank you so much for your comment. I will admit, I was halfway through writing this post when I began to worry, Is there any way sharing this experience could create a problem for me? I almost didn’t write it at all, for just the reasons you mention. But I reached the same conclusion, that it is vital for us all to talk about our experiences rather than fearing accusations. Thank you for illustrating the struggle so well. (And 48 years of raising children? My hat is off to you!)

      1. Thank you for sharing this. And thank you for also commenting about being afraid to share this. As a sharer/blogger/teacher-who-shares, I have been very aware that certain aspects of my postpartum experience I have yet to share, partially because of being afraid of: What if someone took my child away!? But not sharing is harder for me than sharing, I think, and much less therapeutic. So instead of sharing, I have been sitting her with the words “rage” stuck in my heart and brain. I recently alluded to it to my naturopath and was afraid after doing so. I hate the censorship that I have begun to practice. It’s not at all what I stand for. I recently published my first book (not on birth/parenting experiences) and disclose a lot. I teach university students about anxiety and depression and share my personal experiences. But this — the rage — was practically much more scary. Until I read your post. In fact, I hadn’t even goggled “postpartum rage” until today. So thank you for the reminder!!

  27. Thank you for this article! I took myself by surprise by the rage I sometimes felt after having my baby. It seemed to come out of no where and I really felt like I could hurt myself or someone else in those moments. After that I felt ashamed and embarrassed and like I couldn’t share it with anyone. Thanks for bringing to light something that I think effects most new parents but is rarely ever talked about.

  28. Thank you so much for writing this post, it sums up everything I’m feeling right now. I have a partner who does nothing to help with our three children, ontop of dealing with crippling anxiety. Sometimes it just becomes too much and I can’t stop myself from flying into a fit of rage. I’m starting to feel like I’m going crazy and no one is listening but I see now I’m not alone in these feelings…

  29. Tears, sighs of relief, joy, more tears…… WOW. Thank you for sharing your experience. I feel like I have read thousands of articles about life with a new baby but I have never once seen the word RAGE. This has been my secret. My painful truth. I have two perfect babies, a two and half year old and an 8 month old. Two babies who should always feel safe and loved by their mommy but who have been frightened by my rage too many times. I have thought, “if I were a neighbor and heard me, I would call child protective services.” RAGE. Rage that I can not stop. Rage that I want to keep going once it starts because I feel justified. Rage that leaves me shaking until minutes after when it is gone and then I have regret and pain. My situation has me very alone. In a foreign country. With a toxic and emotionally abusive husband. Just reading that this is something that other women experience is like the comforting hug that I have been looking for. I cannot say thank you enough

  30. Hi. I just want to say that I’m so very thankful that you posted this. That you cared enough to share this with other women who might be feeling the same way. Because I am. And I’m scared. And ashamed.And sad. And so many other things. But because you, and women like you, shared your experiences honestly, I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, so I will get better. Thank you so much. And God bless all you other moms who’ve experienced or are experiencing this. Get better. I’m rooting for you.

  31. I didnt even know rage was a symptom of depression till this year. I had horrible outburts, thankfully im still married but their were moments. Had these experiences after my 1st girl, second pregnancy- she was a NICU baby so 1st year was hectic. She is 6 now and im just now learning about this- definitely advocating for better care for mommies

Leave a Reply to Ester Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *