Not only does our body go through many changes during and after pregnancy, but our mind does as well. “Postpartum” refers to the time after childbirth. The birth of a baby can trigger a variety of emotions- excitement, joy, fear, anxiety, and also, depression. It is common for most women to feel sad or empty the first few days after giving birth. But, if this sad, hopeless, empty feeling does not go away and lasts longer than two weeks, you may be suffering from Postpartum Depression.
One in nine new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. It is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, as it can be caused by a number of factors: changes in hormone levels, history of depression, emotional factors, lifestyle factors, and fatigue.
Postpartum depression signs and symptoms may include:
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Feelings of not connecting with your baby
- Feelings that your baby is someone else’s baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Eating too little or too much
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Overwhelming fatigue/loss of energy
- Reduced pleasure/interest in things that typically bring you joy
- Intense irritability/anger
- Fear that you are not a good mother
- Feelings of shame, guilt, or inadequacy
- Inability to think clearly/concentrate/make decisions
- Severe anxiety/panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
- Memory problems
- Headaches, aches, pains that do not go away
Postpartum depression can occur in new fathers, as well as new mothers. They may feel sad or fatigued, be overwhelmed, experience anxiety, or have changes in their usual eating and sleeping patterns ― the same symptoms mothers with postpartum depression experience.
If you believe you have postpartum depression, seek help from a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Postpartum depression can be treated with talk therapy, medications, or a combination of both. At Inner Clarity, we have providers who specialize in working with clients who are experiencing these conditions and are here to help.