- Women's Health
Know Someone Who Might Have the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
Know Someone Who May Be Experiencing the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
Do you think you know a new mom that may be experiencing the baby blues or even postpartum depression? A large number of new mothers struggle with these issues. This article provides insight in to what she is going through and offers some helpful advice. Symptoms and differences of the two difficulties are outlined.
Many new moms experience mild depression. They are sad. This confuses them because they feel they should be experiencing joy after giving birth to their long awaited arrival. This sadness usually lasts no more than a few days. It is commonly known as the baby blues. Moms going through this need a lot of rest.
You can support them by being compassionate and being someone with whom they can share their thoughts and feelings. Reassure them that what they are feeling is completely normal. Encourage them by letting them know these feelings will soon pass.
About 10% of new moms are affected by postpartum depression. Its onset is usually 1 to 3 weeks after giving birth and can last for several days, weeks or even months. The length of time one suffers varies from woman to woman. Hormonal changes are thought to be one cause of postpartum depression. Studies have shown that having complications in labor is not a risk indicator of this disorder.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression include:
- feeling hopeless
- having a lack of energy
- feeling confused and unable to focus
- having a lack of appetite
- having a hard time falling asleep at night
- experiencing panic attacks
- having a lack of interest in sex
- having suicidal thoughts
- experiencing overwhelming fear and guilt
- having feelings of sadness
- feeling irritable
- crying often
- showing little or no interest in their newborn
Women are advised to consult their doctor if these symptoms last longer than three days. Often antidepressant medication or psychotherapy is recommended.
It is important the new mom know she will recover. Let her know that the bad days will lessen and eventually disappear altogether. She will need lots of rest, support and help. Encourage her to eat small amounts throughout the day. Enlist the help of family and friends. It will be helpful if she journal her thoughts and emotions. Walking and other methods of exercising are also therapeutic. Reading is often a useful outlet. It is vitally important that she discuss her symptoms with her doctor. It will also benefit her if she can find someone to talk to that will be compassionate and nonjudgmental. If you are this type of friend, you can provide her with this much needed care.
There are postpartum support groups in some areas. Check with the area Health Unit or Mental Health Unit to determine if there is one in your area. In addition, there are websites that offer postpartum support. Seek the necessary supports. There are professionals that are ready and able to help. You could be the one person to lead her in the right direction.