Learn tips on dealing with Postpartum Depression.
The last thing any one expects is to have baby blues after giving birth. Unfortunately, there is a reality around postpartum depression and although it doesn’t mean that the mom is weak or unable, it just means that it needs to be diagnosed and treated.
It’s possible for new moms to experience postpartum depression for a few days, or a few weeks after giving birth. In extreme cases, the baby blues can last even longer. Continue reading to learn more about postpartum depression symptoms and tips for helping a loved one who may be experiencing it.
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Postpartum Depression & Baby Blues Symptoms
Here are our 5 tips for combating postpartum depression:
- Build a bond with your baby through singing, smiling, massage or skin to skin contact
- Take care of yourself as the mother
- Reintroduce exercise, slowly
- Build a support network before giving birth and after
- Don’t be wary of psychotherapy or medication
It’s important to point out that there isn’t just one single cause of postpartum depression. Oftentimes it can stem from emotional issues such as sleep deprivation or anxiety or from physical changes such as a large drop in hormones causing tiredness and other symptoms. There are various types and severities of signs of the baby blues and maybe felt a few days after giving birth and they are:
- Mood changes
- Being overwhelmed
- Inability to concentrate
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty Sleepy
Baby blues is something that is felt after giving birth and can oftentimes be mistaken for postpartum depression. The main difference is that when someone is experiencing postpartum depression symptoms they are more severe, last longer and can ultimately interfere with daily life and caring for the baby. These symptoms tend to develop within a few weeks after giving birth and these symptoms may include:
- Excessive Crying
- Difficulty feeling a bond with the baby
- Extreme mood swings
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Changes in appetite such as loss in appetite or eating too much
- Loss of interest in hobbies that were previously enjoyed
- Intense irritability
- Intense anger
- Fear of not being a good mother
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling Shame
- Feeling Guild
- Feeling Inadequate
- Inability to think clearly
- Inability to concentrate
- Severe anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself
- Thoughts of harming the baby
- Thoughts of suicide or death
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Helping Those Suffering
Finding help is easy if you know what to look for. If you notice that one of your loved ones is experiencing any of the postpartum depression symptoms helping them find help is incredibly important. New mothers may feel embarrassed to admit that they are feeling down but this can be helped by visiting a doctor, and doing so as quickly as possible is important. It’s time to reach out to a doctor you can do so by calling the primary care provider or mental health professional. There can also be a call placed to a suicide hotline or to a spiritual leader.
There are some risk factors that can lead to the development of postpartum depression which are:
- History of depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Previous postpartum depression
- Family members who have had postpartum depression
- Stressful events in the last year
- The newborn has complications
- Difficulty breastfeeding
- Relationship difficulties
- Little to no support from friends and loved ones
- Financial problems
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Unwanted pregnancy
The prevention of postpartum disorder can be started by speaking to a medical professional about the risks if you are wanting to have a baby. If you are at risk for developing postpartum depression your doctor can then monitor you closely during pregnancy as well as after giving birth to detect it early. The earlier it is detected the better the treatment works, and faster.