Tips for Dealing with Postpartum Depression
Although not solely affecting pregnant women, postpartum depression is a condition that is most commonly experienced during the period following delivery. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects about 10 to 15% of women who give birth. Symptoms can appear as soon as a few days after delivery, or even a few months down the road.
Postpartum depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. With hormone levels up and down after giving birth, the frequency of emotions can also go haywire and cause depression to occur. Untreated postpartum depression can lead to serious problems, including suicide.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Each woman who experiences postpartum depression will have their own set of symptoms. However, many women with the condition share many similar symptoms. It is important that you know the symptoms of postpartum depression so you are able to better recognize the condition should it affect you.
The most common symptoms and signs that you could be suffering from postpartum depression include:
- Uncontrollable crying
- Unreasonable fears
- Shortness of breath
- Fear of 'going crazy'
- Insomnia/Trouble sleeping
- Feelings of sadness
- Chest Pains
- Inability to bond with your baby
- Loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Trouble caring for a new baby
- Feelings of hopelessness
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms it is possible that you are suffering from postpartum depression. This is a condition that will not go away on its own. It is a good idea to speak to a doctor or mental health professional at once. The professional can recommend the best treatment option available and help you feel brand new once again. The quicker that you can identify the signs of postpartum depression and seek help, the sooner you can begin living life and enjoying it to the fullest with your new baby.
Are you at Risk for Postpartum Depression?
Although any woman can experience postpartum depression after giving birth, certain women are at a higher risk of developing the condition than others. You are at an increased risk of postpartum depression if any of the following factors affect you.
- Anxiety or depression during pregnancy
- Family history of depression or other mental health conditions
- Low Self-Esteem
- History of anxiety or depression before pregnancy
- Unplanned pregnancy
Tips to Deal with Postpartum Depression
It is never easy to deal with postpartum depression when so many other changes are taking place in your life. There are coping strategies that can make things just a little bit more bearable. It is a good idea that you use as many of the following tips as possible if you are dealing with postpartum depression or feel that it could be sneaking up on you.
Stop Trying so Hard
You want to be a great parent, and trying so hard could really be taking its mental toll on you. Stop trying so hard to be that perfect parent, and instead focus on being loving, caring and involved with your newborn. If you expect too much from yourself, failure is only bound to come.
As a new mom it is usually pretty difficult to get a lot of sleep with a newborn around. Lack of sleep can cause a number of difficulties in your life, including poor decision making and difficulty concentrating. You can reduce these problems by ensuring that you are getting as much sleep as you possibly can. Housework can wait until later. What is important is that you are okay and sleeping soundly.
Have a Support System
If you have friends and family available for you to talk to and count on, it is certainly much easier to deal with postpartum depression. Trying to deal with this condition on your own is a big n-no. Never think that you can do it alone. We all need someone there to help us, to care and to make things okay.
Get out of the House
Take every chance you get to go outside. Whether it is for a short five -minute breath of fresh air or for a shopping trip, getting out of the house will help you revitalize yourself mentally and emotionally. It is good to get outdoors!
This article is for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor with specific concerns or changes to your or your child's health.