Becoming a parent is an exhilarating journey filled with anticipation and joy. As a new mother, you may invest months preparing the nursery, attending childbirth classes, and reading parenting books. However, the arrival of your baby brings about changes in your body, hormones, and emotions.
It may come as a surprise, but as a new mom, you might experience feelings of sadness or anxiety. This is commonly known as postpartum depression or “the baby blues.” According to the National Institute of Mental Health, postpartum depression is characterized as “a mood disorder that can affect women after giving birth.”
Symptoms of postpartum depression include overwhelming sadness, frequent crying, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, disrupted sleep patterns, difficulty focusing, changes in appetite, anger, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal, trouble bonding with the baby, and even thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby.
If you find yourself experiencing postpartum depression, please remember that you are not alone. Approximately 1 in 7 women face this condition. It is a normal part of the postpartum experience and often improves within a few weeks. However, if you don’t observe any improvement after two weeks or struggle to care for yourself and your baby, it is crucial to seek medical attention from your doctor.
If you ever have thoughts of harming yourself, your baby, or others, it is vital to seek immediate help. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member, your doctor, a counselor, or call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
“Is there anything that I can do to help myself when I am struggling with postpartum depression?” The answer is ‘yes’, there are steps you can take. Start by seeking out a support group in your community, which you can find through your medical provider or local pregnancy center.
While getting ample sleep can be challenging with a newborn, try to rest as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones for assistance with newborn care and everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, and laundry. If your doctor approves, engage in low-impact exercises like taking a walk or practicing yoga. Get out of the house for a breath of fresh air. Moreover, set realistic expectations for yourself, as it takes time to adjust to your new “normal.” Remember, there is hope!
If you are currently battling postpartum depression, please reach out to us today. We have caring professionals available to talk and provide support.