Many women think they understand what postpartum depression is. Even if you have had a baby before, you may not be aware of how serious it can be. Postpartum depression, also known as PPD or postnatal depression, can impact anyone who has recently become a parent.
Postpartum depression is not the minor symptoms of depression that are likely to occur within a few days or weeks
of giving birth. The hormonal fluctuations associated with having a baby, coupled with the exhaustion that newborns are known for inspiring give many new moms a few days of feeling weepy or sad at the drop of a hat. It has been compared to really, really bad PMS and it is commonly known as the” baby blues”. That’s relatively normal, while postpartum depression is much more serious.
Postpartum depression can appear as much as a year after giving birth, but usually appears in the first month. There are several different treatment methods, but usually counseling, medication or a combination of both is recommended. While the “baby blues” will go away in a few days, postpartum depression rarely does. Unfortunately, many women are nervous about seeking care because they feel that there is a stigma associated with it, or that having postpartum depression means they are not a good mother. In the past few years, more people have become familiar with it and it seems to be slowly losing its negative associations.
What Causes Postpartum depression?
PPD has many different causes and any of them could be a contributing factor . Some women have experienced it after more than one pregnancy, while for others it is a one-time occurrence There is a lot of disagreement in the medical community about the causes, especially given that some men, who obviously did not endure the physical or emotional changes of pregnancy, will experience PPD. In addition, some adoptive mothers have experience it as well. However, many experts agree that possible causes include:
- Being a single mom or being in an unstable relationship
- Previous history of any kind of depression
- Using baby formula, even if it was planned and not due to breastfeeding problems
- Financial, family or life stress
- Lack of emotional or physical support
- The baby was not from a planned pregnancy
- A sick or special needs child
- Prenatal anxiety or depression
- A Caesarian, complicated or difficult delivery
What are the Symptoms?
Frequent feeling of anxiety, with or without panic attacks, constantly feeling that you’re not a good parent or that you are lacking in a fundamental way are common symptoms of postpartum depression. Low self-esteem, withdrawal from friends and family, anger, difficulty eating and drastic changes in the amount of food that you consume are also commonly noted, as is exhaustion.
Postpartum depression doesn’t have to last forever and you can find joy again. It is important to confront the problem and get the necessary help, so that you can back to enjoying life and getting to know your new baby.