by: Bob McGowen
Many people have no notion how hard it is to be a brand new mother, it might make a good reality show People who have never had a child seem to think that being a new mother is this wonderful, continually happy time in a women’s life. While yes it’s one of the happiest times of a woman’s life, you’re not happy all the time, feeling the ‘baby blues’ is normal and a percentage of women will experience postpartum depression.
Are you aware that over 50% of women feel some type of “baby blues” after they have given birth? So you are not alone, and certainly not a bad mother because you are feeling down. Many women can feel restless, impatient, anxious and irritable after they have a baby. If you think about everything you and your baby have been going through the last year, then feeling these things should not surprise you. Can you consider anything more emotional than creating a new life, I cannot, so feeling emotionally spent seems perfectly acceptable.
So what is the difference between ‘baby blues’ and postpartum depression? The ‘baby blues will suddenly appear, and then suddenly disappear. Unfortunately for 10% percent of women the symptoms persist. The symptoms of postpartum depression may include, loss in appetite, tiredness, not having the ability to concentrate, emotional lows and highs, sadness, scared of hurting the baby, or lack of interest or excessive interest in the baby. Realize that women with postpartum don’t experience all of these symptoms, they may feel different ones on different days, or even the same symptoms day in and day out. Because they believe they should not feel anything but joy, they will often begin to feel shame and guilt and eventually become isolated.
The worst part is no one knows what may cause postpartum depression. Factors like lack of sleep, isolation after the baby is born, stress and hormones that affect the brains chemistry are what some researchers think could cause postpartum depression. Many women think that motherhood is this wondrous awesome thing that should be one of the most rewarding experience of your life. On the same day it could be the most satisfying and the hardest ob you’ll ever have. Because of these two clashing ideals you have mothers that become extremely depressed after giving birth.
You may not be able to see that you’re experiencing postpartum depression. You may think you feel down because you are working very hard and sleeping and showers are not priorities. So if a friend or loved one expresses their concern, pay attention to what they are saying. Call your physician immediately when you are seeing the symptoms in your own life. A physician will be an important part of your recovery, you can not rely on just attending support groups. Do not feel ashamed or guilty. Postpartum depression frequently occurs and with help and support from your doctor and loved ones you will be feeling better soon.
Be aware that many women go through the “baby blues” but if you’re experiencing these symptoms for a long period of time call your physician. You need to stay healthy for your new little baby.