..where little means a lot

Are You A New Mom?
Get free samples of Baby formula, Diaper
Baby Magazines, and Coupons.

By Planning Family

The Essentials on Postpartum Depression

If you feel down, low, helpless, anxious or teary despite the joyous occasion in the family, despite feeling enthralled with motherhood, well you are not alone. Your emotions may be totally unexpected but they are real and not imaginary.

When it is the blues

If you feel down, low, helpless, anxious or teary despite the joyous occasion in the family, despite feeling enthralled with motherhood, well you are not alone. Your emotions may be totally unexpected but they are real and not imaginary. Some facts you probably didn't know:

• According to research some form of emotional upsets - fear, self-doubt, irritability, angry feelings towards baby, etc - take over a large percentage of all new mums (75-80%).

• Termed baby blues, these symptoms are common and therefore considered a normal phase of pregnancy.

• These feelings typically set in immediately after childbirth (1-3 days after childbirth)

• If you had to deal with PMS before becoming pregnant, you can expect a more dramatic version of symptoms now.

• Raging hormone is but one factor responsible for baby blues.

• These 'down' feelings can be attributed to a lack of sleep

• Physical ailments you may be experiencing also play a role.

• Lack of spousal or family support especially at this time serves to push matters over the hill.
For no clear reason you may:

1. cry easily

2. have trouble sleeping

3. have poor appetite

4. become indecisive

Many new mothers are confronted with feelings of inadequacy, fragility, helplessness and loneliness; some even begin to doubt their ability of handling their newborn and therefore see themselves as bad mothers. Baby blues usually lasts for a short time - a few hours to a week or so - and go away without the need for treatment. The typical cycle of this phase:

• it sets in 1-3 days after delivery;

• peaks between the 5th and 7th day;

• and makes an exit within the next 72 hours

However women will still continue to feel emotional, tear easily over the smallest of issues for the next month or so but generally with each new day, there is a marked improvement until the old self resumes.

When it is postpartum depression

Nevertheless there are cases when the symptoms don't go away even after the stipulated period. For some these feelings continue unabated for weeks; for others there are no such upsetting moments in the postpartum period - upswing in emotions, depression to be specific, suddenly erupt out of the blue some 2-3 months later. Both examples typify what's known by many as postpartum depression. Now some facts:

• About 20-25% of new mums are plagued by this condition

• It is mainly characterized by an overwhelming sense of sadness, doubt, helplessness or hopelessness that worsens over time

• Extreme situation is when the mother is not able to care for herself or her new baby; has thoughts of inflicting harm on self or baby

• Overanxious about baby or total disinterest in or feelings for baby

• Marked change in appetite

• Sleep disorders despite fatigue or wanting to sleep most of the time

• It can continue to last 6 months and beyond after the baby's arrival

• If left untreated, it can continue to bother even after the baby has turned one

Can you be prone to postpartum depression

• Fatigue plays key role in determining your chances of falling victim to depression. You are most prone to depression if you continue to experience extreme, unrelenting fatigue even after 2 weeks of delivery. Research shows that if your fatigue continues and does not wane within this time frame or if your fatigue increases and worsens with time, you may be at an increased risk for depression.

• Studies also suggest that some women more than others are prone to depression, much in the same way they are susceptible to mood swings during PMS; in short some women are genetically sensitive to the physiological changes that occur in the body after giving birth.

• Since the finding suggests that this form of depression is triggered in sleep-deprived women; it is not a mental, psychotic breakdown as one is inclined to believe. With timely intervention, overcoming this illness is possible.

• In very rare situations does depression take a severe turn and alter a woman's ability to think rationally about herself or her kid; chances of this is very remote and this ailment is completely different from what has been outlined so far, and hence not something you should concern yourself with.

Help yourself

• Using fatigue as a guide, you with your doctor's help may be able to detect your risk and intervene before the problem goes out of hand.

• Make arrangements with a grandparent or a nanny to mind the baby; ensure you get time off to catch up with your nap and spend some time away from your baby in the healing phase

• Be open with your doctor and get the medical advice you need; discuss options and alternatives to deal with this situation. Medications such as antidepressants or hormonal therapy for postpartum depression may be prescribed. Be sure to get full a check up, including blood test to measure thyroid function before any treatment for depression is administered.

Remember, you are not a failure or at fault or mentally ill if postpartum depression come knocking on your door; they just mean that you and your body are adjusting to the hormonal imbalance and other changes that follow childbirth.

Share this
Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
Home | About Us | Preconception | Pregnancy | Parenting |

Free Newsletters
| Contact Us | Feedback | Sitemap
All Rights Reserved. © 2022 Welcome Baby Home | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
Just had a baby? Click Here