1 out of 7 new moms will suffer from postpartum depression.
The first two weeks after giving birth can be filled with crying spurts, sadness, fatigue and even anger towards family members or the baby. This period called the “baby blues” and usually goes away without any intervention. If these symptoms continue and worsen into a severe depression, it’s called postpartum depression.
This can occur anytime in the first 12 months.
Contributing postpartum depression factors include:
- history of anxiety
- A history of depression
- Lack of sleep
- Family/life stressors.
The main warning signs to watch for are:
- Lack of attachment with your baby
- Having feelings of wanting to harm yourself or your baby,
- Feeling very irritable or angry,
- Inability to sleep even when you have the opportunity,
- Lack of desire to leave the house or engage in social interactions.
If you feel like you can’t react how you want to, that you’re snapping at everyone around you, if you want someone else to hold your baby all the time, please don’t feel ashamed or guilty, call your doctor!
Some things you can do to help with these feelings are:
- Get out of the house when you’re able.
- Just sitting on the porch.
- Going for a short walk can help.
- Fresh air and sunlight.
- Find some time to yourself every day, even if it’s only 5 minutes.
- Take that time to meditate, clear your mind, breathe deeply and refocus.
- Write in your journal.
- Healthy food choices.
- Get some sleep, it can help significantly.
If your depression is getting worse and not better and your sleep is very limited, you may need to find some way to get that rest, even if it means adjustments to nursing schedules, help from your partner with a nighttime feed or getting some help with the baby during the day so you can nap.
Please do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about therapy or starting an antidepressant medication. Call us. We can help!
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