Childbirth can trigger so many emotions, from joy and excitement to overwhelming anxiety and even depression. In fact, Postpartum Depression, or PPD, affects 1 in 8 women.
WHAT IS PPD?
Postpartum Depression, also known as the ‘baby blues,’ is common after
childbirth. The fluctuation of hormones causes new moms’ brains to go awry. After birth, estrogen and progesterone drop dramatically and is the most supported cause of PPD. Although moms may say it’s difficult to rest after giving birth, the lack of sleep is also a noted variable that plays into the development of PPD. Postpartum Depression can affect any woman regardless of race, age, culture, or economic background.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Although these feelings are temporary, they are serious. With a wide range of symptoms,
PPD can reveal itself in many forms. If you’re a new mom, look out for:
- Mood swings
- Severe change in appetite
- Low self-worth/self-esteem
- Extreme fatigue
- No interest in pleasurable activities
- Detachment from family and friends
- Extreme feelings of guilt, worthlessness, despair
- Having thoughts of self-harm or harming your child
- Trouble concentrating or remembering
- Persistent physical problems, such as chronic headaches and upset stomach
New moms can be reluctant to let anyone know of their condition because they think they’re expected to be thrilled to have a new addition to the family, rather than overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. Postpartum depression can affect how mom takes care of her newborn and herself, which is why it’s so important to seek treatment.
- Have an open conversation with your spouse, healthcare professional, family, or friends about how you feel
- Ask for help with childcare from family and friends
- Nourish your body with healthy foods and exercise regularly
- Antidepressant medications are able to be prescribed by a healthcare professional upon diagnosis
- Join a postpartum depression support group online or in person
If you or someone you know is struggling with Postpartum Depression, call the toll-free PPD hotline at 800-944-4773.