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Are You Struggling with Postpartum Depression?

Source: The NewbornHub

Postpartum depression is not easy to avoid.

You’ve just had your baby; your emotions are jumping around, your hormones don’t want to work together, you’re in pain, your baby won’t stop crying, you keep bursting out into tears at random times. You feel like disappearing off the face of the earth.

This is quite normal. Although not all moms go through it, the majority do.
Just remember that there is a difference between postpartum baby blues and postpartum depression.

Postpartum Baby Blues usually last a week or two after your baby was born.
Postpartum Depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with caring for your baby and to perform other daily tasks.

Signs and symptoms of baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born — may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Crying
  • Reduced concentration
  • Appetite problems
  • Trouble sleeping

Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin later — up to six months after birth. Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Fear that you’re not a good mother
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

With postpartum psychosis — a rare condition that typically develops within the first week after delivery — the signs and symptoms are even more severe. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Obsessive thoughts about your baby
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Paranoia
  • Attempts to harm yourself or your baby

Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment.

Seek help if you have feelings of hurting yourself or your baby immediately. There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed.

Some moms shared their experiences with Postpartum Depression:

“Had a cry every night in the bath and my mom came to visit to help me, it lasted about a month.” Angel{28}, 13-month-old boy, Rustenberg.

“Think I’m still coping with it. Pretending it’s not there. Having a good cry once a week and a good support system. Everything except her makes me cry.” Henriëtte{30}, six-month-old daughter, Randfontein.

“I didn’t know what was going on most of the time. I also didn’t know I was going through it. By about 12 weeks, it subsided on its own.” Ronel {30}, 10-month-old daughter, Walkerville.

5 thoughts on “Are You Struggling with Postpartum Depression?

  1. I suffered for a year before being diagnosed. I was then medicated and stayed medicated right through my 2nd pregnancy. The difference between the two pregnancies and births and post partum periods was staggering.

    1. I had it a lot worse with my second child because of the stresses of having two small kids to look after on my own.
      I cried all day, every day. Eventually it seemed to go away on it’s own when I returned to work.

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