True postpartum depression is different from the baby blues. One in every six women experiences postpartum depression. Postpartum depression may occur immediately after birth or many months later. The longer a depression goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more impact it has on the woman and her family. Postpartum depression often leaves women feeling ashamed, isolated and with overwhelming feelings of guilt.
There are many factors that can contribute, including:
- hormonal changes after birth
- sleep deprivation
- a difficult birth
- a fussy baby
- a history of depression
- a history of physical or emotional abuse
- a poor support system or a difficult relationship.
Symptoms may include:
- feeling sad day after day
- no energy to care for self or baby
- feelings of hopelessness
- crying for no apparent reason
- anxiety, frightening thoughts or fantasies
- eating problems
- feeling that something is not right
Common types of Postpartum Depression include:
THERE IS HELP!
Maternal mental health disorders like postpartum depression can affect anyone. We need to ask her how she’s really feeling and listen to mothers when they tell us they are not doing well.
Despite what you may have heard, the maternal instinct is not a switch that flips once the baby comes into the world. For many moms, it’s learned over time and through a collection of experiences and support from other mothers. Let new moms in your life know that this is a journey. They may not have all the answers yet, but they will find their way.
Today ask a new mom in your life how she is really feeling. And, if they are really struggling, you can tell them it’s not uncommon (or not unusual) and help is available.
Provide Postpartum Support International’s Warmline number: 1-800-944-4773.
For more information visit our Resources page.
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