The latest statistics from the CDC suggest that nearly 20% of mothers experience varying degrees of postpartum depression. It is far more prevalent then previously thought. If you are struggling with depression after giving birth you are not alone.
Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression
Many new moms experience a flush of extreme emotion after giving birth, both good and bad. Our worlds are turned upside down and a new little being is depending on us day and night. It’s a big change even the second or third time around. Now combine that with some crazy hormones and, yeah, we are in for a world of trouble. Those first few weeks are rough for most parents. However, when the depression lasts beyond the first few weeks of transitioning into life with a baby, it’s time to consider postpartum depression.
What Exactly is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression also known in short as PPD is a form of clinical depression that closely coincides with your life as a mom. Like many mental illnesses PPD itself is a broad spectrum disorder and can be found in various forms or in conjuction with other mental illnesses such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Symptoms of PPD include but are not limited to:
- Feeling low or down or a sense of hoplessness
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Inability to focus on or complete tasks or feeling easily overwhelmed
- Feeling distant or unable to connect with your new baby
- Fears of harming or something bad happening to your baby
- Judging yourself harshly- I am not a good mom mentality
- In some cases suicidal ideation
I think I have PPD, what do I do?
First things first, you need to accept that there is a problem and that it is okay. You need not feel shame.
Make taking care of yourself a priority. Eat a balanced diet, shower, sleep. Do so even if it means asking for extra help to get it done, you are just as much a priority as your new baby.
Surround yourself with a support network. This can be freinds, family, even resources online. Finding someone who has been in your shoes and understands your feelings makes the world of difference.
Seek help, from a medical professional. Treatment options exist, you need not suffer. If you ever expierence suicidal thoughts seek help immediatly even if that means calling a suicide prevention hotline or 911.
Have you experienced PPD? What advice woud you offer a new mother who is struggling?