Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that may be seen in women after childbirth. Most new moms who are experiencing postpartum depression usually struggle with intense feelings of depression and anxiety to the point that they will lose the ability to take care of themselves and their families.
New mothers always have feelings that are described as a little unhappy, worried, or fatigued for 3-5 days after childbirth and may last from several days to 2 weeks. This condition is commonly referred to as postpartum blues (or baby blues), which is often confused with postpartum depression, but it is not. It’s normal and generally disappears in a few weeks.
Postpartum depression symptoms
The manifestations of postpartum depression vary from person to person. In some women, the signs are most likely to begin within a few weeks of delivery. In some cases, postpartum depression predictions don’t appear until months later.
If you have least 3 to 4 of the symptoms listed below that last for more than two weeks, which prevents you from caring for your baby and coping with separate daily duties, you are likely struggling with postpartum depression.
Here are the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression:
- You are crying all the time, for no reason.
- Feeling guilty and worthless for no genuine reason
- Constant sadness and depressed mood
- Feeling always irritability and anger
- Insomnia (lack of sleep)
- Loss of interest in the child
- Loss of pleasure from all or almost all of your daily activities
- You are worried that you are not a good mother.
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Lack of strength and energy
- You have difficulty remembering things.
- Decreased libido
- Persistent headaches
- Loss of interest in somethings that you previously enjoyed
- You want to hide from everything and everyone
- Avoiding communication with family and friends
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Loss of appetite or consuming more than normal
- Thoughts about harming yourself or your child
- Difficulties in developing an emotional attachment with your child
If you suspect you have symptoms of postpartum depression, you should consult your doctor as fast as you can so that you can commence with the treatment because, without proper treatment, postpartum depression can last for many months.
How to treat postpartum depression
The leading treatments for postpartum depression are medication and therapy:
- Medication: Your physician may recommend an antidepressant, which is a certified medication for postpartum depression. If you are breastfeeding, it is necessary to know that any medication you take can get into your breast. Although some antidepressants can be taken during breastfeeding, which is considered safe for babies, consult with your doctor to contemplate the possible risks and positive effects of specific antidepressants.
- Psychotherapy: You need to discuss your anxieties with a therapist, psychologist, or another mental health professional. In the discussion, you will be able to recognize the most useful ways to cope with your emotions and find ways to solve your postpartum depression problems.
Self-help tips to overcome postpartum depression
Here are a few things you can do to help you overcome postpartum depression:
- Live a healthy lifestyle: This involve doing physical activity in your daily routines, such as exercising for 10 to 15 minutes several times during the day, strolling with your child around your neighborhood. And eating healthy food that helps you feel better, avoid alcohol and processed foods.
- Massage: Go for a massage therapist or tell your partner to massage you daily.
- Don’t isolate yourself: Talk to your spouse, family, and friends that can help you feel good. Chat with other mothers about their experiences. Check with your physician to discuss if there are any support groups in your area for pregnant mothers or women with postpartum depression.
- Take some “me time” for yourself: If you feel overwhelmed by household duties or stress or moody, take some time for yourself. Tell your mother-in-law or partner or trusted adult to babysit for some hours. You get dressed, leave your home to visit a friend or go to the movies. Schedule your time so that you do some yoga, including meditation.
- Stay positive and read your bible. When faced with a negative situation, concentrate on thinking in a positive manner, read your bible for inspiration. Even if the circumstances do not change, you can change your belief to it. Here are some bible verses for strength.
- Get the right amount of sleep: Even if your baby doesn’t sleep at night, get your mother-in-law or partner to take a night shift so you can get a night of better sleep. Make sure you know these simple tricks to sleep.
For more information about postpartum depression, you should talk to your physician.