Postpartum depression is a heartbreaking condition that robs you of the happy moments you should have with your baby in the weeks after its birth. Instead of feeling that new mom bliss, you’re left feeling sad, detached, and guilty.
When you’re suffering from postpartum depression, that’s normal — and you need to remember, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s look at some key facts about postpartum depression and how you can overcome it.
Know the Difference Between PPD and Baby Blues
It’s common for new moms to feel sad as their hormones level off after giving birth and they can still feel sore or pain from childbirth. The baby blues can last up to a couple of weeks. But PPD is different in that it lasts longer and can lead to more intense feelings.
Are You At Risk?
If you’re still not sure if what you are feeling is postpartum depression or the baby blues, it can help to look at your risk factors which can include:
- Being a teenage mother.
- Having higher blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency.
- Having more than two children.
- Economic instability.
- Being a victim of domestic abuse.
- Severe sleep deprivation.
- Having an ill baby.
- Labor and delivery complications.
What Are the Symptoms?
Knowing the symptoms can be useful, but even if you only have a few, you should still consult with your doctor. Here are some symptoms:
- Feeling sadness, guilt or worthlessness.
- Less interest in your normal hobbies or activities.
- The inability to concentrate.
- Having problems sleeping or sleeping too much.
- No energy to do simple things, like brushing your hair.
- Negative feelings about your baby or life.
- Thinking about harming your baby or yourself.
- Feeling numb or no motherly feelings towards your baby.
What Kind of Treatment Is There?
There are several different approaches to PPD treatment, your doctor will talk to you about what’s best for you, but treatment may include:
- Sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist.
- Counseling sessions with your spouse.
- Group therapy sessions.
- Support groups.
Some holistic or natural treatments:
- Regular exercise, especially outside.
Surround Yourself With Caring, Positive People
Not everyone understands PPD and some people in your life will be more supportive than others. Find the people who you feel truly want to help and have your best interest at heart, and lean on them. Finding someone who doesn’t judge you and just wants to help you can be immensely uplifting.
You’ll Get Through It
PPD will be a tough time in your life — there’s no way around that. But each week after you seek treatment, you should find you feel better. You may still have bad days, but you’ll find before long, that the good days outnumber those days.