Our bodies and mind change a lot during and after pregnancy. If you ever feel sad, emotionless with immense emptiness for a prolonged period of time, say more than 2 weeks after childbirth, you should see a doctor. If you feel like you do not love or care for the baby and your maternal instincts are just not there, then you could be suffering from postpartum depression. This is not the end of it all. There is treatment for Postpartum depression and you and your child can get the best possible care.
Postpartum depression is a serious mental illness that affects your behavior and physical health. Postpartum depression should not be confused with “baby blues”. Baby blues are short periods of sadness and emptiness a few days after giving birth. The baby blues often go away in between three and five days. Postpartum depression will make one unconnected to the baby and you might even feel that you are not the mother.
Anxiety disorders may also be experienced by mothers during and after pregnancy.
Postpartum depression is so common in that one in nine mothers suffer from it.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
If you have a number of the following symptoms for a prolonged amount of time, go see a psychologist.
- Feeling sad, hopeless, impatient and overwhelmed
- Having no energy or motivation to even get out of bed
- Crying all the time
- Feeling restless or moody
- Having thoughts of hurting the baby
- Having thoughts of hurting yourself
- Eating too little or too much
- Lack of interest on the baby, not feeling connected
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Having prolonged memory problems
- Detaching from friends and family
- Eating too little or too much
- Lack of sleep or sleeping for too long
There is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Do not feel guilty because society expects you to be happy for the new bundle of joy. Some women are afraid that they will be labelled ungrateful or they may be seen as bad mothers. None of that matters. All you need to do is to seek medical help. Your doctor will be pivotal in helping you figure out if the symptoms are a sign of postpartum depression.
These symptoms of postpartum depression may be as a result of:
- Being tired from labour and delivery
- Lack of enough sleep
- Stress as a result of changes – From going to work and having to stay at home
- Losing themselves into motherhood
- Doubts and feeling unable to take care of the baby well
- Feeling less attractive
- Lack of free time
- Unrealistic goals of being a perfect mother
To help alleviate these synptoms:
- Try resting as much as you can
- Do not overwork yourself – Ask/seek help
- Talk about your feelings to your partner, friends or other family members
- Join a support group
- Talk to others mothers
- Do not make major life changes right after childbirth
Treating Postpartum Depression
- Electroconclusive Therapy
If you are a new mother and you are feeling overwhelmed with prolonged feelings of sadness and unworthiness, you should see a therapist. Do not be afraid to talk about how you feel with someone that you trust. Postpartum depression is real and more rampant. It is okay to feel that way but let is not define you.