Postpartum Depression? You’re Not Alone
The birth of a child is a time of joy and excitement, but for many new moms, it can also be a time of anxiety, stress, and inexplicable sadness. Postpartum mood disorders affect 10-15% of all new mothers. Postpartum depression can develop in the weeks after birth, and some begin women showing signs as late as 6 months post-labor. If you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, it’s important to realize that your feelings are valid. Reach out to get the help you need for the sake of you and your baby.
Signs You May Be Suffering Postpartum Depression
The postpartum blues, or “baby blues,” are feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, and frustration that many mothers experience in the days after childbirth. The baby blues rarely last longer than 1-2 weeks, and don’t require medical treatment. Postpartum depression, however, is a more serious condition that usually requires medical care. Signs of postpartum depression include:
- Difficulty bonding with your newborn
- Feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of motherhood
- Withdrawing from your spouse, family members, and friends
- Guilt about your shortcomings as a mother or feelings of shame and worthlessness
- Loss of appetite or increased eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Feeling numb or disconnected from the world around you
- Inability to enjoy activities you used to love
- Cloudy thoughts and an inability to concentrate
- Anxiety and/or panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Fear that if you reach out, your baby will be taken away
Every mother experiences postnatal depression differently. Some women may have each of these symptoms at one point or another, while other mothers may experience only a few. If your symptoms last longer than two weeks or become a barrier to living life normally, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. If you have thoughts of suicide or of harming yourself or your baby, seek immediate assistance.
If you think you may be experiencing postpartum depression, there is hope. Postnatal depression and anxiety are both temporary and treatable. Call Cherokee Women’s Health to schedule an appointment today.