Having a baby is a wonderful but challenging experience. Pregnancy, giving birth and having a newborn are all separate major mind and body life changes. Hormones fluctuate and the stress of the newborn’s sleep and feeding schedule can be overwhelming. Exhaustion and depression can set in easily.
Post partum depression or “the baby blues” is something every new mother should be aware of. The first step in guarding against post partum depression is taking very good care of yourself.
Women are nurturers who tend to put everyone else in front of themselves. This is especially true when it comes to family. Children in particular can be a draining source. Newborns and toddlers are helpless and they need complete care. This can definitely leave a new mom feeling neglected.
Half of the battle against fighting postpartum depression can be won by accepting help. Some women are under the unrealistic impression that they must provide complete care for their newborn without any help. When your mother in law volunteers to come over and care for the baby. let her help out. When your husband says that he will get up and tend to the crying baby, let him do that.
Post partum depression affects about 70-80% of women after they give birth. With so many changes it is no surprise that some women are depressed after birth. Be on the lookout for signs of post partum depression. If you find yourself constantly in tears, are finding it very hard to fall asleep or stay asleep and are unsure of your mothering skills, you may be experiencing post partum depression.
There are some conditions that can predispose you to post partum depression. Women who have had post partum depression once are more likely to experience it after other births. If you have a psychiatric illness prior to becoming a mother your risk of having another one is increased. To many changes prior to giving birth, such as moving to a enw town or losing a loved one can make your more likely to experience post partum depression.
Post partum depression with recognition and proper treatment usually cleared up without any effects. However, some new mothers will begin to experience a more severe mental illness. Women who have bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia may experience episodes of these disorders following post partum depression.
Post partum depression is likely the result of all of the major life changes that happen simultaneously when a women gives birth. Women come from a variety of different backgrounds and have different biological make up. Some women will experience post partum depression on a large scale while others will only have mild episodes. There will be a portion of mothers who complete skip the post partum depression phase.
In order to fend off post partum depression, you should make sure that you and your loved ones are aware of the symptoms. If you do not see a clearing in post partum depression after a few weeks or if it seems to be getting worse, get help.
Most of the time women in the midst of post partum depression do not realize they are experiencing an episode. Husbands, mothers, sisters and brothers and any one who is close to the new mother need to be aware of what post partum depression is.
Watch for an inability to care for the baby, a loss of appetite, suicidal thoughts or comments and a loss of pleasure in things she used to enjoy. What you will want to look for are the signs of depression following childbirth.
Reduce stress and cut down on the chance of post partum depression by taking time outs. Everyone including mothers need time to themselves. Enlist someone in your family or a very close friend to give you a baby break every now and then. DO not try to be a mom in isolation. Accept help and take care of yourself.