It’s an undeniable fact that the birth of a child brings the parent utter bliss and happiness. Yet there are studies that say that about 60 percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. This state of depression varies in intensity with each mother.
The word ‘baby blues’ should not be confused with postpartum depression as the later could be a more serious condition. The ‘baby blues’ effect as many as 80 percent of new mothers and is identified with much more milder signs disappearing within a few days to a couple of weeks. On the contrary, PPD is a clinical problem and last for several weeks to months.
A new mother encounters many tough challenges starting from learning how to feed and care for the child to deal with sleepless nights. So it’s natural to feel tired, irritable and anxious in the first few days or a week. However, if these feelings of depression last for more than a few weeks or months and start to effects the way a mother could care for her child and herself then it’s a sign that it needs medical attention. Postpartum depression doesn’t resolve on its own.
In this context, it’s important to understand the signs of PPD which include intense and lasting signs of:
1. Feeling sad and hopeless
2. Increased irritation and snapping at people around
3. Loss of interest in earlier pleasurable activities
4. Withdrawing from family and friends
5. Feeling suicidal
6. Crying spells
While professional help is mandated in managing PPD, support and empathy from the family and friends help greatly in overcoming it. The new mothers should take it slowly and not shy away from talking to someone about it. The new mother may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy. Many times, talking about it with our dear ones helps us gather their experiences of it which can be helpful in normalizing it. Remember, you did great throughout your pregnancy. Your mind and body went through a lot of changes due to this. You don’t have to suffer in silence when there’s help available.