Baby Blues: Do You Have It?
Due to the sudden hormonal and chemical unrest that take place in the body after childbirth, many women experience a form of depression often called the ‘baby blues’, which tends to occur during the first few weeks after giving birth. The overwhelming feelings of helplessness can sometimes even be too much to bear and some might even regret having a baby instead of feeling the joys of becoming a new mom.
Experiencing baby blues when you know you should be feeling happy can be extremely distressing. Postnatal depression is thought to affect around one in 10 women all over the world, maybe even more. As unpleasant as it sounds, they do not normally last for too long and in most cases, they tend to disappear within a couple of months or so.
Postpartum depression can leave a new mom feeling emotional for absolutely no reason and she may frequently experience irrational thoughts. Women with postpartum depression have been known to burst into tears for no apparent reason. They are also prone to be easily agitated and touchy.
When a bout of postpartum depression strikes, it is known to be relentless, rendering its victim hopeless and despondent. For most moms who experience it, even looking after their own selves seems too much, what more taking care of a baby.
While postpartum depression usually strike two to eight weeks after giving birth, it may creep up into a new mom’s life several months or even a year after the baby is born!
Emotional signs of postpartum depression:
- Unable to bond with your baby
- No interest in breastfeeding
- Feelings of hopelessness, as if there is no way out of this disturbing emotional state
- Unexplainable crying spells
- Feelings of not being able to cope with the new status of motherhood
- Nothing seems to make you happy
- Severe lack of concentration
- Bout of memory loss
- Feeling overly anxious about having to care for your baby
- Frequent panic attacks
- Extreme tiredness due to lack of sleep
- Feelings of restlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling generally unwell for most of the time
- Deep feelings of guilt for not being able to feel happy as a new mom
Many new moms who are feeling depressed resist seeking help and there’s a reason for this. Past cases have indicated that most new moms would rather their relatives and friends do not know that they are not feeling great as a new mom. By that, it ironically indicates that these new moms generally know that something is not right with what they’re experiencing.
What’s important to know though, is that the situation, no matter how severe it appears to be, can be successfully turned around with proper help and medication, and a new mom may be able to enjoy her new status as a mother after all.
If you think you have postpartum depression, don’t resign to it. Instead, get help! It is after all, a serious and legitimate condition and you need to get help, just as you would if you have a flu, cough or fever.
Open up to someone you trust, such as your partner or a friend. Remember too that it’s crucial that your GP be made aware of what you’re going through. You’ll have to take the first step so that you can fully enjoy your wonderful journey as a new mom!!