Depression After Pregnancy

Having a baby brings most new mothers happiness and a sense of accomplishment. After getting through the pregnancy and labor all mothers expect an easier time with their offspring at least until adolescence.

If you are a new mother and you don’t want to join in the festivities around your new child then don’t worry you are not alone. Almost 80 percent of women who have just given birth experience get the baby blues. Postpartum depression or PPD starts two days after giving birth and in some cases may last months after delivery.

Most new parents are adjusting to the burdens of being responsible for a new life as well as the long feeding hours. It is natural for new moms to feel to cranky and irritable after birth but if your mood hasn’t changed in two weeks then you are most likely suffering from PPD.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

ymptoms of PPD include insomnia, anxiety, moodiness and irritability, less interest in everyday activities and withdrawal from family and friends. It’s important to know if you have PPD or not. If you suddenly find yourself crying for no reason and having panic attacks it’s time to talk to your doctor about it.

There is no clear cut reason for PPD. It can be a combination of hormones, the environment, psychological or genetic factors. In fact postpartum depression can affect almost every mother and it can start weeks after you have given birth.

Those especially at risk for PPD are mothers who have a history of depression in their family; have unwanted pregnancies; unsupportive spouses or partners; problems at home or their jobs; experienced childhood trauma or live alone. These are all contributing factors and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop PPD if you are any of the above.

Types of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression have three common types. Postpartum blues or the baby blues affect the most women. It is also the easiest to treat as it usually goes away after a few weeks. A supportive spouse or partner to help you with the household and the baby will usually chase those baby blues away. A more serious form of the baby blues is postpartum depression.

This type of PPD can last for a year after giving birth and usually requires therapy to cure. The most severe type of PPD is postpartum psychosis. This is very rare and immediate hospitalization of the mother is needed. Postpartum psychosis is marked by extreme delusions and hallucinations. Suicide is a risk for the mother for this type of PPD as well as an increased danger to the baby.

How to overcome postpartum depression

New mothers will rarely talk about suffering PPD. A perceived stigma about not enjoying motherhood and misdiagnosing PPD often cause new mothers to suffer in silence. There is no reason to be ashamed of being depressed at this very rocky time in your life. There are various ways to overcome PPD and it is easily treatable. Aside from any medication that your doctor may provide you here are some ways to cope with PPD.

  • Take care of yourself. There is no logical reason to beat yourself up for feeling depressed at this point in your life. Take care of your needs. Eat right and try to get eight hours of sleep. You are not a bad mother if you are suffering from PPD.
  • Get Help. Your spouse or partner isn’t there just for decoration. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of chores you need to do ask him for help. Or call your mother and other relatives to stay over a few weeks. If your baby blues haven’t disappeared in two weeks don’t feel shy about going to a therapist.
  • Be realistic about your expectations. Don’t expect to be the perfect mother for your first baby. People make mistakes. If you miss one feeding or can’t handle the constant crying don’t panic or feel anxious.
  • Go outside. Going outside every once in a while can do you a world of good. The fresh air and sunshine will vastly improve your feelings of being imprisoned into your new role in life. If you are still feeling too weak to walk around just sitting outside and getting some sun will be good for you and your baby.
  • Talk with a support group. You aren’t the only woman to ever experience postpartum depression. There are message boards and support groups on line to help you talk about your feelings. Don’t keep your anxieties and fears bottled inside you. Connect with your partner and tell him what you are feeling.
  • Sleep. Mothers with PPD often don’t sleep when their baby’s asleep. Getting some sleep lessens depression and anxiety. You aren’t neglecting your baby if you catch a few hours of sleep. Hire a babysitter if it will make you feel better.

Motherhood can be a daunting task. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of asking for help. Getting over postpartum depression isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be a deadly disorder. You need your health to face the coming storm of your baby growing up.


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