How To Deal With Postpartum Depression
PPD is a lot more common than many think. 10-15 percent of women who have had children experience postpartum depression, and some may even think that they have some type of flaw as a parent because of it. This is completely not the case though and experiences vary from before giving birth to a year after birth.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a medical condition that occurs during the postpartum period, which is usually between one and six weeks after the birth of your child. These six weeks after childbirth are extremely important because it is the time that you and your baby are getting adjusted to life at home. During these six weeks, if you begin to feel depressed, get anxiety, experience dramatic mood swings, or feel shame and guilt then you should consider seeing your doctor. Postpartum depression can be sneaky. The condition can occur before or after any birth and experiences of PPD through different pregnancies are not uncommon either. PPD can tear someone down to the point of not having the energy to carry out day-to-day tasks for yourself that you might have had no problem doing before pregnancy. Postpartum depression is common in the United States and it should be something that every mother (new or existing) be aware of and know about.
What Are The Causes?
The main cause for postpartum depression can be linked to the endocrine system. This system comprises of every hormone in a male or female's body and controls things like mood, sleep, sexual function, and reproduction just to name a few. These chemical levels regulate everyday in normal life but, during pregnancy a woman's estrogen and progesterone (female reproductive hormones) increase dramatically then, drop severely. Medical professionals say after 3 days these hormones go back to how they were before pregnancy but, this hormonal imbalance does play a role in PPD. Also, if you have a history of depression, are going through a stressful time during pregnancy, or have limited support can be causes as well.
Signs and Symptoms:
Loss of pleasure
Thoughts of suicide
Crying often, even with no apparent reason
Being uninterested in your baby
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is very important that you see your doctor and consult with them.
How To Know:
Seek medical or professional help when:
Symptoms still occur past 2 weeks
Can't function or do everyday tasks
Having thoughts of harming yourself or your child
Having extreme anxiety or panicked throughout the day
If there is history of depression in your family and you are expecting or planning to have a baby, you should let your doctor know ASAP!
During Pregnancy: Your doctor can monitor you for symptoms, seek out family, friends, and other supporters to keep yourself in touch and not isolated. Your doctor can prescribe certain medications even while you are pregnant.
Post-Pregnancy: Keep in touch with your doctor and continue to get monitored for symptoms.
After your baby is born, make sure to maintain a balanced diet, rest when you can, don't stress, FaceTime or Skype with family and friends when you can, expect hard days, try minimal exercising like going for a walk or just getting out of the house for a little break. Remember to not let the moment scare you and just take everything with a newborn one step at a time, do the things above and don't be scared to ask for help because help is ready when you need it. God Bless!