Mixed emotions, depression and anxiety are a part of giving birth for most women. Of course there are those that say they never felt sad but whatever to them. This post is not for you.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is mild to severe depression occurring after a woman gives birth. It typically occurs within the first three months postpartum, but can happen right after delivery and up to one year after birth. PPD is different from the baby blues as it is long lasting. Baby blues are natural reaction to such a major life change and the symptoms usually fade within two weeks..
While there is no single cause for PPD there are several factors involved. After having a baby there is a significant drop and change in your hormones. Other factors contributing to PPD include financial strain, life stress, difficulty feeding the baby (for breast feeders), a baby with colic, and lack of support. Also of note those suffering with depression or having suffered with depression in the past are at greater risk for PPD.
Postpartum depression symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Intense irritability and anger
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Loss of interest in sex
- Lack of joy in life
- Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Severe mood swings
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
If these symptoms persist for more than two weeks or begin to interfere with your ability to care for your baby it is time to seek help. You may start by calling your OBGYN and they may make necessary referrals.
Postpartum depression is a REAL thing. If you happen to be one of the women who has/had this struggle SEEK HELP. There is no shame. Never let anyone make you feel like a bad mother for having this disorder. I would say it takes a better and stronger mom to admit to having PPD and seek help. Remember you can not be the best for your family if you are not well.