Written by: Sam Rouse, LPCA
A new baby often brings joy and fulfillment to peoples lives. Some mothers often have a baby after years of fertility issues and miscarriage. Society expects mothers to be perfectly happy after all they have wished for comes true. Many times this is not what happens. An estimated 15-30% of mothers experience what is called postpartum depression.
Most all mothers experience some form of the “baby blues.” That does not necessarily mean that it is as serious as Postpartum Depression (PPD.) These mood changes are often attributed to hormonal issues after the birth of a child. Sleep difficulty and adjustment to the new life with a baby can also contribute. Mothers can start showing symptoms of PPD up to 12 months after the birth of the baby. The following are signs and symptoms of PPD:
- Low mood
- Irritability or “grumpiness”
- Difficulty bonding with baby
- Problems with eating or sleeping
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby
Postpartum depression is not the only issue that can affect mothers following delivery. Mothers can also experience anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, even postpartum psychosis. Any type of postpartum mental health issue is very serious and immediate attention is required. If you believe that you are having difficulty following the birth of your child seek medical attention from your OB or primary care physician immediately.
Medications can be used to help the symptoms as well as mental health counseling. Most importantly, with any mental health condition, one important thing is the support system. Surround yourself with the people who support you and educate them about the issue and ways they can help.
If you are having any thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, seek attention immediately by calling 911 or going to your local emergency room. Safety for you and your baby is the most important.
Some of the information here was from postpartum.net