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Having a new baby into the family can be very challenging, both physically and emotionally. New mothers may experience mood swings, feeling joyful in a minute and depressed the next. Feelings of this type often go away after having a baby. However, some new parents may experience this that may last much longer—and this is called postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that affects many women after having a baby. This type of depression affects the way a person feels. Mood can impact the way a person think about herself, how the person relates to others and her interaction with the world. Without proper treatment and support, depression can last for a long time.
Common symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Feeling Depressed or severe mood swings
If you are feeling sad, moody, guilty or hopeless for more than a week, this could mean you are having a postpartum depression. Also, some reports show that women do not feel any joy about having their new baby, and they have no pleasure from the things that they once enjoyed.
Taking care of your newborn disturbs every new mother’s sleep, but having postpartum depression can cause larger sleeping problems. You may have a hard time sleeping or even sleep too much. Not getting enough sleep can lead to depression, and depression can hinder your sleep.
Loss of appetite
One of the most common symptoms of depression is eating less or much more than the usual. Good nutrition is very important especially if you are breastfeeding. If there is a sudden change of your appetite, and you feel sad or overwhelmed, you should consult a doctor.
Severe feeling of anxiety
Women experiencing anxiety may feel nervous, frightened, restless or stressed. New moms may worry too much about their baby’s health or safety. If you are constantly overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of your new baby, or if you are nervous in handling everyday tasks, this could be a sign of postpartum depression.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
There is no known reason why some women have postpartum depression and others do not. The lack of sleep and the sudden drop of estrogen and progesterone hormones after childbirth may also trigger the disorder. If you had a depression in the past, you may have more chance to develop postpartum depression.
How can Postpartum Depression be treated?
If your symptoms of postpartum depression persist, consult your doctor or a mental health professional. Symptoms eventually go away with the help of antidepressant medications and/or counseling.
The following strategies may help one manage the stress that is experienced by new mothers.
- Having enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Support from family and friends
- Eating healthy meals
- Finding time for oneself, you could ask someone or hire a babysitter to watch over your child.
One of the biggest challenges of a woman in her life is adjusting to motherhood but it is normal to feel overwhelmed. With the right help, this would take away the depression inside your head, and then you will be able to enjoy and overcome the challenges in having your new baby.