Pokémon Go Prevented My Postpartum Depression

Moms everywhere seem to be sharing their postpartum depression stories.  I greatly admire their courage in doing so; it lets other moms know that they’re not alone. As someone with a history of depression, I felt like I was under a microscope as soon as we brought our baby home. It seemed like all of my doctors and family members were screening me for the warning signs.  Or, maybe I was projecting that fear – the fear that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy being a mom after working so hard to become one.  

The Hormone Crash
I wish I had read beforehand how your hormones crash after giving birth. This explains {in addition to the lack of sleep} why during the first week home, I burst into tears when I couldn’t figure out where in the house I heard my husband with the baby. knew I was losing control of my emotions; it was like a heightened version of PMS. But I wasn’t sure how to answer people’s questions about if I was doing okay. I had never done this before, surely it would get better?

The Addiction
I was lucky enough to have a summer baby. Going for walks around the neighborhood made me feel so much better than being hidden away in bed. About a month in, when our daughter was still sleeping more often than not, I noticed my husband playing a game on his phone. It had a cute creature on the screen, but it appeared real-time as if it were in our house.  I didn’t know the first thing about Pokémon, but I immediately downloaded the game to see if I’d like it. Before I knew it, we were walking around the neighborhood looking for Pokémon together!

I found myself really enjoying my walks with my sleeping newborn once they had a purpose {as if staying sane wasn’t a legit purpose}.  Sometimes I would think, “The weather isn’t as nice today”, but then the thought of hatching a new Pokémon egg would get me out of my cave.  And often, just circling the block lead to meeting a new neighbor — the cute baby effect.  

The Controversy
All trends must have their haters.  Soon after Pokémon Go took off, the negative memes began. The gist was: don’t you have something better to do than playing a kids’ game?  Well, there’s only so much Netflix-binging you can handle when you’re at home with a tiny human that can’t yet communicate with you. I do understand the need to pay attention to my environment while playing {never while driving!}.  I also had a vision of what I don’t want to become after seeing some parents and toddlers on tablets, at a playground. If there’s a chance for my daughter and me to be interacting, I will gladly take that over a video game. However, it was an easy way for me to pass the time on our long days of Dad being away at work!

A lovely fall walk


Baby carrier nap on the trails

I’m definitely not saying that this game is the only thing – or even the most effective thing – in preventing me from getting full-blown postpartum depression. It’s not a game that everyone’s going to be interested in playing. But it’s important to let yourself have a little fun, and get out there, after having a baby.  

Are there any phone apps that help you pass the time as a Mom?

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