Postpartum depression is not uncommon. However, it is one of the least talked about issues. Several new mothers tend to suffer from postpartum depression without even knowing or realizing it. Many women experience postpartum blues in the form of feeling sad or moody within a few days of the delivery of the child. Symptoms of postpartum depression last long for two weeks and slowly settle with time. However, if these are severe, it needs medical attention.
Hence, it’s imperative to identify the signs of postpartum depression. Here is a list to help you.
Sadness brings increased irritability, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness. There might be frequent crying spells after childbirth. Apart from crying, if you feel sad or unhappy about being a parent or you feel down as a mom, this is not normal. These may be major signs of postpartum depression. Being tired of a newborn baby is normal, but being sad or hopeless is not.
Serious mood swings can be a warning sign of postpartum depression. The mother starts losing interest in enjoyable activities. She might feel like disconnecting from the baby and distancing herself from the baby. Such conditions occur because of mood swings. There may be situations like emotional highs and lows. The mother starts losing interest in things that she used to enjoy earlier. If the new mother depicts difficulty in attention and concentration, it may be difficult to resume daily functioning and routine. This will impact her mood and slumber.
Sleep and appetite issues
Do not overlook the changes in sleeping and appetite patterns in a new mother. Unintended weight gain or weight loss can be a serious sign. Similarly, if there is a sudden increase or decrease in sleep, it can impact the overall quality of sleep. These can be symptoms of postpartum depression. If the new mother does not get adequate sleep in a day, it can affect her quality of life. Also, not getting proper nutrition due to loss of appetite can affect the baby while breastfeeding.
With feelings of lethargy and tiredness prevailing for the most part of the day, energy levels could also be reduced during such conditions. Sometimes, the mother might have trouble making decisions due to mental fatigue. The body and the brain will not function well in such conditions. With fatigue, the mother might get a feeling of social withdrawal, opposing to meeting family and friends.
Worrying about the baby’s health and well-being, the mother might get into excessive anxiety. This may happen with hormonal changes, changes in their body image, and the stress of new challenges in life. Anxiety also comes with doubts about being a good mom when the baby is sick or premature. Excessive anxiety gives rise to different symptoms like sadness, mood swings, disturbance in sleeping and eating patterns, etc.
If you notice some early signs of postpartum depression, consult your doctor for the same. You can also visit a counselor for help. When things get intense, the mother may try to harm herself. If the condition doesn’t get better after two weeks of delivery, you must get a check-up done. Problems like postpartum depression affect both, the mother and the baby.
The baby might not get the much-needed care and pampering while the mother is suffering from the blues. In such cases, the partner and family members should support the new mother in dealing with such situations. It is important to notice the changing patterns and consult the doctor if the problem persists. One should always discuss things with their near and dear ones and make mutual decisions.