Postpartum depression is much more than the “baby blues”. The symptoms are more intense and last for a longer period of time. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression during or after giving birth take our quiz to find out about getting help.
As a first-time mom, welcoming a new baby into your family is a joyous occasion. Many women feel overwhelmed with love and happiness when they meet their little one for the first time.
However, postpartum depression also commonly occurs after the birth of a child. Studies show that approximately 1 in 10 American women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. While women can experience varying symptoms, they can be difficult to navigate.
Identifying postpartum depression is the first step in receiving the proper care. This postpartum depression quiz can help you analyze your symptoms and decide on the steps to help you recover.
Keep reading to learn more about the baby blues and find out where to get the help that you need.
After childbirth, it is common to feel an avalanche of emotions. Feeling depressed after giving birth is common given the amount of responsibility and change that comes with parenthood. A new baby means major changes in your lifestyle as well as a shift in your priorities.
While taking care of a new baby can be rewarding, it can also be challenging for many mothers.
It is common to feel frustrated, anxious, tired, and even sad within the first few weeks after giving birth. In most cases, these feelings eventually go away once you settle into your new role. But for other women, the feelings can be severe and persistent.
If the feelings of depression don’t seem to lessen after a few weeks, they can get in the way of being an effective parent.
Postpartum depression is classified as a major depressive disorder and does require treatment. With the right support and treatment modality, it is possible to recover from PPD and go on to being a happy and healthy parent for your child. Ignoring these symptoms can exacerbate uncomfortable feelings.
Understanding postpartum depression symptoms is an important part of making a diagnosis. Symptoms vary for each woman and they can be mild or severe. Here are some of the most common symptoms that a woman can experience with PPD:
These are some of the common symptoms that women can experience with this disorder. In some severe cases, the symptoms can be more harmful. Women can have thoughts about hurting themselves or their babies, in rare, but possible cases.
While postpartum depression does not discriminate, certain factors can make you more prone to developing it.
A family history of depression, previous issues with mental disorders, or a stressful pregnancy can all increase your risk of struggling with PPD. Medical problems following childbirth can also add to the risk of PPD. If your child has serious medical issues or an unexpected diagnosis, it might also increase the chances of postpartum depression.
Although some are predisposed, PPD can affect any woman after childbirth. Taking care of yourself, your health, and your environment can all help promote calm and tranquility before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Many changes happen before and after child labor that can cause postpartum depression. While there is no single cause, emotional and physical issues can increase the risk of baby blues.
During pregnancy, your body is in overdrive producing estrogen and progesterone. They peak during the third trimester and after you’ve given birth, they drop dramatically. This sharp decrease can play a major role in your mood and emotions.
Before you become a parent, one of the most common things you hear from other parents is that you should prepare for the lack of sleep. For most first-time parents, getting used to a rigorous schedule of feeding, changing, and holding the baby can be challenging.
During the first few months, babies need to feed every two to four hours. This means that breastfeeding mothers won’t be able to get deep enough sleep to feel fully rested. Sleep deprivation will likely add to the overwhelming feelings of depression.
Having a baby means switching gears and taking care of someone else before yourself. For a lot of people, this is a difficult change. Even if you have always dreamed of having a baby, the adjustment period is difficult.
Coming to terms with the new family dynamic and putting your needs to the side can be a challenging shift. It can take some time before you accept your new parental role.
Taking care of a newborn baby can be anxiety-provoking, especially for first-time parents. Many sources will tell you that it’s instinctive but for some, it can be overwhelming. Many mothers feel that they aren’t doing a good enough job and that can lead to feelings of sadness or depression.
It is important to be gentle with yourself and remember that you are trying your best.
After childbirth, many women struggle with their self-image. The body goes through big changes and it is not always possible to return to your pre-baby body.
For some women, this can be a difficult realization. It can make you feel less attractive, less sexual, and less desirable to your partner. It can also make you feel a loss of control over your life.
One of the factors that can lead to PPD is how old you are when you are having a baby. Younger mothers are more likely to develop PPD. This can be because there is a sense of loss of youth or the pregnancy was not planned.
As previously mentioned, a history of mental illness can also increase the risk of PPD. It can be a history of depression within your family or previous struggles with mental issues of your own.
Struggling with emotional stress can be detrimental to your pregnancy in many ways. There is a myriad of causes behind emotional stress during pregnancy including:
These are stressors that can exacerbate the symptoms of postpartum depression. It is important to remember that getting treatment for depression can help you recover and enjoy parenthood.
If someone you love is struggling with PPD, there are ways that you can offer them your support. As a partner, friend, or family member these are some effective ways that you can be there for your loved one with PPD.
Knowing what to look for is an important part of helping your loved one. With all of the changes that come with having a new baby, it is easy to overlook the signs. Most of the attention and focus is on the needs of the baby.
However, ensuring that mommy is doing well is also very important. Educate yourself on the signs of depression and know when things don’t look right.
Lending an ear is much more effective than you might think. Actively listening and asking questions can not only help your loved ones express themselves, but it can also give you the information that you need.
Be gentle and listen attentively without probing.
Offering to help can make all of the difference. Offer to run some errands, bring over home-cooked food, or provide some help around the house. Small efforts can go a long way.
A first-time mom might feel uncomfortable asking for help. Be sure to offer words of encouragement to seek treatment options. In some cases, if the PPD is not getting better, professional help can be an effective option.
Several different treatment modalities can help you recover from postpartum depression. Here are some common treatment types that might be right for you.
Counseling is a form of psychotherapy. It is also called “talk therapy”. With this type of treatment, you get one-on-one sessions with a mental health professional to help you navigate your symptoms of PPD.
They can help you understand your depression and equip you with tools and strategies to help manage your symptoms.
At SoCal Sunrise Treatment Center, they offer client-focused psychotherapy. They create a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
CBT is an effective and popular type of therapy. The idea behind CBT is to take destructive thought processes and replace them with newer, healthier ones.
For many patients, mental health issues are exacerbated by negative thought patterns and behavior patterns. It aims to change these patterns and develop coping strategies to eliminate these intrusive thoughts.
CBT also teaches coping skills that increase problem-solving skills, boost self-confidence, and recognize distorted perception. This allows for new and productive thoughts to take precedence.
In severe cases, talk therapy might not be enough to eliminate PPD symptoms. In those cases, some medications can help regulate mood and behavior.
The purpose of antidepressants is to balance chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.
These are responsible for regulating serotonin and dopamine, both of which give us feelings of pleasure and happiness. Antidepressants are available in a variety of strengths to suit your personal needs.
However, before committing to medications, it is imperative to get an evaluation from a mental health professional. You should never take medication unless they are prescribed to you by a doctor. As a parent, you want to consider medication as a last resort as it can affect your breastmilk and other functions in your body.
Many women experience postpartum depression and while it can be challenging, remember that you are not alone. Taking the postpartum depression quiz is the first step in recognizing your symptoms. Getting treatment is important for the health and happiness of both you and your baby.
Taking the right steps toward recovery will strengthen your commitment to yourself and make you feel like a strong and confident mom!
Be sure to visit our website and check out treatment options at Southern California Sunrise Treatment Center.