As a new mother, you may have encountered the term "baby blues." It is a mild, temporary period of mood swings, sadness, and anxiety that new moms experience shortly after giving birth. But what if the feelings of sadness and anxiety linger? Is it still considered baby blues?
Imagine feeling like you've lost your sense of self after having a baby. You used to enjoy socializing with friends, but now you feel anxious and withdrawn. No matter how hard you try, you find it hard to shake off the feeling of sadness.
You cry frequently and feel guilty for not being able to bond with your baby. You try to push through the fatigue, but you're running on fumes.
You're unsure what's wrong with you, but you know something isn't right. This is how most mothers describe their experience with postpartum depression.
As a new mom, recognizing the signs of this condition and seeking help when necessary is crucial to your well-being.
What Are Postpartum Depression Symptoms?
Affecting approximately 15% of new mothers, the percentage of postpartum depression highlights the importance of understanding its symptoms. This way, individuals affected by this condition can receive proper support and care.
Postpartum depression presents itself through various emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms. All of which can significantly impact a new mother's overall well-being.
- Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness
- Overwhelming anxiety or panic attacks
- Intense irritability, anger, or mood swings
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Decreased interest in activities that used to spark joy
- Thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby
- Feelings of inadequacy, guilt, or shame as a parent
- Changes in appetite, including overeating or loss of appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Headaches, muscle aches, or stomach issues
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Neglect of personal hygiene and self-care
- Difficulty completing daily tasks or caring for the baby
- Persistent crying or tearfulness
Remember that postpartum depression can look different for everyone, and the severity of symptoms may vary.
Seeking help and getting proper treatment can address symptoms and potentially shorten the duration of postpartum depression. Working with a healthcare provider to create a personalized treatment plan can also increase the chances of a successful recovery.
How Do Postpartum Depression Symptoms vs Baby Blues Symptoms Differ?
Baby blues typically occur within the first few weeks after childbirth and can last up to two weeks. Symptoms include mood swings, tearfulness, and fatigue.
However, if the symptoms last longer than two weeks and interfere with your ability to care for yourself and your baby, you might be experiencing postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression lasts for months after giving birth and is more severe. Its symptoms include sadness or hopelessness, lack of interest in activities, difficulty bonding with your baby, withdrawal from loved ones, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
It's essential to differentiate baby blues from postpartum depression because the latter can have long-lasting effects.
Baby blues are caused by hormonal changes after childbirth, and they usually improve on their own within a few weeks. In contrast, postpartum depression is caused by various aspects. These include hormonal changes after childbirth, life stressors, and preexisting mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
For example, a drop in estrogen and progesterone levels after giving birth can impact mood and potentially trigger symptoms of postpartum depression.
Additionally, financial problems, relationship issues, and lack of social support can increase stress levels and contribute to the likelihood of developing this condition.
How Postpartum Depression Is Treated
Postpartum depression can be treated with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Therapy can help you work through your feelings and develop coping strategies.
Antidepressant medication may be prescribed by your healthcare provider to help balance your mood. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, exercise, and self-care can help improve symptoms.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is another promising treatment for postpartum depression. It involves using a magnetic field to stimulate specific brain areas, which can regulate mood and reduce symptoms. This non-invasive treatment is administered over several weeks and may be an option for those who have not found relief from other forms of treatment.
It's vital to undergo postpartum depression treatment if you are experiencing symptoms. The longer you wait to ask for help, the longer it may take to recover. Finding a support group or talking to friends and family can also be helpful.
Postpartum depression is a real and serious condition that affects new mothers. It is essential to recognize the symptoms and get support if you are experiencing postpartum depression.
Asking, "What are postpartum depression symptoms?" isn't enough to prevent it. You can strengthen postpartum depression prevention by having a support system, prioritizing self-care, and communicating openly with healthcare providers about any concerns or issues.
Remember that caring for yourself is as important as caring for your baby. You may also ask for help from your family, friends, or support groups.
You're not alone, and there are many resources available to you. With the proper support and treatment, you can overcome postpartum depression and enjoy motherhood to the fullest.
If you know anyone struggling with postpartum depression, reach out for help. Roots Mental Wellness offers TMS and other mental health treatments that can help you on the path to recovery.
Call us today to find out more about our services and to schedule a consultation, or click on the depression treatment near me to get started with your treatment.