One in five women has postpartum depression. It may hit once you become a new mother or after concurrent pregnancies. Postpartum depression has become a growing concern that is silently affecting people. For some, they know what is happening to them while others are completely unaware of these dark days. Find out some of the basics around it.
It is different from baby blues
Baby blues are the mood swings attaching negative feelings towards self and baby after birth. They hit forcefully after four days and last a week or days. On the other hand, postpartum depression may come later and lasts up to months. It needs a diagnosis from a medic and can be treated medically. Baby blues come and go.
Dads face it too
This mild depression is not limited to attacking mothers. Dads report cases where they are having unbalanced emotions too. With accumulated pressure from provision, to intimacy changes, men get greatly affected. If they lack a role model and do not subscribe to a support group, emotions that could turn suicidal creep in. Men can resolve to substance abuse or violence as a reaction to their feelings. They might also have a hard time bonding with their children.
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This depression manifests mildly as it increases its force. Be sure to be easy on yourself as you notice the following which should prompt you to seek medical help.
Change in sleep patterns
A newborn is demanding in this sector and the new parents easily get sleep deprived. Adjusting to this in itself is a challenge, with the constant feeding, attention and cuddling needs of a baby. When going through postpartum depression, you may have challenges sleeping when needed. Insomnia is a common indicator as you spend most time awake feeling sad and tired. More of lifeless.
Being anxious over minute issues is the norm for the affected. You worry about your life, finances, the house, and others. Mothers have issues coping with their postpartum body, which is different from what they knew.
This affects their self-esteem and how they view themselves. Such anxiety makes you stop socializing and opt for isolation which is a wrong thing to do as it worsens the situation.
If you are screaming to everybody over the slightest of triggers, the depression has everything to do with it. You find yourself fired up and seem not to know a better way to express your concerns. This rage can be destructive as it may communicate to the other person on a different wavelength. Nobody likes a shouting person. Worse still if you are yelling at your other children. They may end up hating you for it instead of empathizing with your depressed state.
One moment you want to eat, the other time you don’t even want the smell of food near you. When you have a baby and choose to breastfeed, you are naturally meant to demand bigger portions from energy use. Check for appetite fluctuations as a possible red flag.
Postpartum depression is treatable and should be brought forward for medical attention. Instead of suffering silently, be sure to stay in touch with a support system that can notice these symptoms as you may be too deep to notice. Remember, you can live and enjoy life with the new baby.