Depression before or after birth is common in new moms and they even have special names for that, which are postpartum depression and baby blues. Because having a baby can be quite stressful, no matter how much you’ve looked forward to it or how much you love your child. Considering the sleep deprivation, new responsibilities, and lack of time for yourself, it’s no surprise that a lot of new moms feel like they’re on an emotional roller coaster. So, read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms and how to identify between postpartum depression and baby blues.
Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression
The fact is many women experience at least some symptoms of the baby blues almost immediately after childbirth. It’s caused by the sudden change in their hormones after delivery, combined with many related issues like stress. These might make you feel more overwhelmed and emotionally fragile. Generally, this will start within the first couple of days after your baby’s arrival, peaks around one week, and disappears by the end of the second week postpartum.
Baby blues are perfectly normal. And, people usually consider it’s just mild postpartum anxiety. Plus, if you need then here is how to deal with baby blues. However, if your symptoms don’t go away after a few weeks or get worse, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression is more like a big of a deal that you can’t ignore anymore. In the beginning, postpartum depression can look like normal baby blues or just normal stress. In fact, it shares many common symptoms like mood swings, sadness, and irritability. The difference is that with postpartum depression, the symptoms are more severe such as an inability to care for your newborn baby.
During this time, you may find yourself withdrawing from your partner or being unable to bond well with your child. Or, your anxiety can get out of control, preventing you from sleeping or eating appropriately. From feelings of guilt to beginning to develop extremely negative thoughts like to hurt yourself or even worse. These are all red flags for postpartum depression. Also, here is a screening tool designed to detect postpartum depression. Relax and make sure you follow the instructions carefully.
Postpartum Depression Negative Effects
There’s no single reason why some mothers develop postpartum depression while others don’t. But, a number of interrelated causes and risk factors are believed to contribute to the problem:
- Hormonal changes. After childbirth, every mom will experience a big drop in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. On top of that, your thyroid levels can also drop, which leads to fatigue and depression. These rapid hormonal changes plus the pregnancy side effects before delivery can be the main factors to trigger postpartum depression.
- Physical changes. Giving birth not only gives you some emotional changes but also brings numerous physical changes. Whether you are dealing with physical pain from the delivery or the difficulty of getting back in shape, all of that can make you feel insecure or stress about your physical and attractiveness.
- Stress. The stress of caring for a newborn can also have a roll in this. All moms have sleep deprived. Also, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious about your ability to properly care for your baby. These adjustments can be particularly difficult if you’re a first-time mother who has to get used to an entirely new life.
The Bottom Line
Several factors can predispose you to postpartum depression. And, the most significant is a history of postpartum depression, as a prior episode can increase your chances of a repeat episode from 30 to 50%. A history of non-pregnancy related depression or a family history of mood disturbances is also a risk factor. Others include social stressors, such as a lack of emotional support, an abusive relationship, and financial uncertainty.
One of the best things you can do to deal with or prevent postpartum depression is to take care of yourself. The more you relax for your mental and physical well-being, the better you’ll feel. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way towards helping you feel like yourself again. We believe you will be a good mom! Don’t let any depression interfere with this precious time of being a mother. If you have any questions, just let us know in the comments!