What is Postpartum Depression
The depression during the early days of childbirth is perfectly normal. But if you have symptoms that don’t go away after a few weeks or get worse, (possibly) you may be suffering from something called as “Postpartum Depression” or PPD or Postnatal Depression.
You are not alone in Postpartum Depression
There are a lot of women who experience Postpartum Depression, or at least some of the symptoms immediately after childbirth, or within the initial few months. It is a feeling which is precipitated by the sudden hormonal change after delivery. The stress, isolation, sleep deprivation and fatigue, what makes it worse is it coming along with the happiest thing in your life. You might not be able to enjoy happiness and feeling more tearful, overwhelmed while being emotionally fragile.
Usually, this phase starts within the first couple of days after childbirth, peak around one week, and then taper off by the end of the second week postpartum.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression
In the beginning, postpartum depression may look like the normal baby blues. In fact, postpartum depression shares its symptoms with the baby blues, including mood swings, crying jags, low energy, sadness, insomnia and irritability between those in numerous non-stop breastfeeding sessions. however, the symptoms are more severe (possible chances of suicidal thoughts, not being able to care for your newborn) and long-lasting.
- If you find that you are withdrawing from your partner or unable to bond well with the baby.
- Or if Your anxiety is out of control, preventing you from a decent sleeping, even when your baby is asleep.
- You find feelings of guilt or worthlessness overwhelming you
- or You begin to develop thoughts which are preoccupied with death.
These are all the “Red flags” for postpartum depression.
Causes of postpartum depression
There’s no single reason why some new mothers develop symptoms of postpartum depression and while few others don’t, also few develop only a few symptoms, for the smaller duration while other may have a long duration depression. There is a number of interrelated causes and risk factors which are believed to contribute to the postpartum depression.
Right after childbirth, women experience a big drop in her (estrogen and progesterone) hormone levels. Even her thyroid levels can drop, which often leads to fatigue and depression. This rapid hormonal change—along with other changes in our body like -blood pressure, immune system and metabolism that she experience being a new mother, also triggers postpartum depression.
Giving birth also brings along numerous physical and emotional changes along with the baby. YA new mom may be dealing with physical pain due to her delivery, her stitches or abdomen pain, the difficulty of losing that extra baby weight, leave her insecure about her physical and sexual attractiveness.
The stress of taking care of the newborn can also take a toll. New mothers are often sleep deprived. In addition, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious about your ability to properly care for your baby. These adjustments can be particularly difficult if you’re a first-time mother who must get used to an entirely new identity.
Coping with Postpartum depression
- Accept your feelings. – It is perfectly normal for the emotions of the new mom in you, to fluctuate. Parenting is not easy, it is the hardest job in the world. All moms might feel angry at their kids even though they have an intense love for them. so it’s a mixed bag. accept it.
- Talk about your feelings.- Share your feelings with other fellow moms, consider joining a parenting support group through Facebook, Instagram. Parenting help groups provide an excellent platform to learn strategies that will help you to manage complex parenting issues. Moreover if nothing else, you will feel better that you are not alone in here 🙂
- Time management strategies. – Time management helps everyone, nothing feels as great as having time under our control. Though with young kids, you may not have an active timetable. But you may have a basic time schedule for yourself and follow it in a best possible way. An hour here or there would be fine, but try to stick to it. This shall help you with finishing your daily chores as well as bring your kids into routine later. It will also help you feel less burdened and in better control of your life.
- Ask for Help. -Many women believe that, they would be a good mom if they do it all alone. But mind you, this job is too hectic and a long one. Do not hesitate to communicate your needs to your spouse/family. And don’t feel guilty stepping back a little to encourage them to help. You may also ask for help from your friends and family, or possibly hire a babysitter depending on your needs and your finances.
- Take time for yourself.- Anytime during the day, take some moments for yourself. Be it a few moments to have a cup of coffee in peace. Even reading the newspaper or a magazine can renew your energy. As they say, (whenever possible)- try to take a nap when your child does. Find a few minutes to exercise, though it might be hard to go to the gym, try some easy exercise at home or take a walk to a nearby park. Don’t forget any form of exercise is good as it releases those mood-lifting endorphins.