Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This post is based on research done by myself and my personal experiences with Postpartum Depression. Please seek medical attention if you are overwhelmed.
Let’s start by getting the statistics out there. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of getting reduced to a number so let’s get that part out of the way.
While 70% – 80% of women experience Baby Blues only 10% – 15% of women suffer with Postpartum Depression. So what’s the difference?
For starters, Baby Blues have an onset within 5 days while Postpartum Depression on the other hand can develop within 6-12 weeks of delivery. That being said, Postpartum Depression can also develop well into the first year after childbirth.
After seeing these symptoms you can be left feeling confused, overwhelmed, and worried. I mean, some of the symptoms are in both categories – right? There’s one more major difference. After giving birth your body’s hormones need a chance to get back to prepregnancy levels. Therefore, Baby Blues can last for about two weeks after giving birth. Mood swings such as depressed mood, sadness, iritabiliy, and anxiety are all common after childbirth (remember 70% – 80% of women experience Baby Blues).
What if the symptoms don’t go away?
If the symptoms don’t go away or get worse it’s a strong sign that you or a loved one may be suffering Postpartum Depression. Remember, Postpartum Depression can show up as late as a year after giving birth. Most OB offices have a followup appointment around 6 weeks after delivery and administer a test for Postpartum Depression. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of Postpartum Depression it is important to seek medical attention and go under a physicians care.
Postpartum Depression Left Untreated
Postpartum Depression left untreated can be very harmful to the mother and cause family problems and bonding issues with baby.
Women suffering Postpartum Depression often feel as they have failed in some way, but this is simply not true. A lot of women don’t seek help for reasons such as denial or embarrassment. If you or your loved one are experiencing symptoms of Postpartum Depression please seek help. Getting help prevents the situation from getting worse and can lead back to a healthy life.
Tips on getting better:
- Seek medical advice
- Make time for yourself – this may be hard with a newborn depending on how much help you have. While feeding the baby whether breast or bottle, read, write, do something engaging to lift your spirits.
- Eat healthy
- Increase intake of nutrients and vitamins – fish oils promote a healthy brain and B12 promotes a healthy nervous system
- Exercise – you can do this with a newborn. Take the baby for a walk. Down the street, in the park, at the mall, it doesn’t matter. Just get active!
- Stay in touch – It is so easy to isolate yourself from loved ones and friends. Put yourself out there!
- Rest – a very important tip to getting better. Napping when your baby naps is a no-brainer here. Sleep when you can. It is important for your own mental health and your overall well being.
- Communicate with your spouse and family. Educate them on what you’re going through. Let them know that you need support. Most people that haven’t experienced it don’t understand it.