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This week, Dhruv Mehta, a father and digital marketer- is providing some insight on postpartum depression. This is such an important topic to shed light on that is often swept under the rug after birth. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or another mom, take it seriously and encourage the to get the help they need. Below he will dive in to 5 of the subtler signs of postpartum depression to keep an eye out for.
Pregnancy is a beautiful stage in a woman’s life that impacts her life greatly. But, while we celebrate all the good things about pregnancy, we mustn’t overlook problems women face after delivery.
One of the most common and unpleasant experiences new mothers face after childbirth is postpartum depression. The symptoms can be mild or noticeable; however, identifying them is essential so that you can get the required medical attention to deal with them.
Related read: New Mom Care Package Ideas
WHAT CAUSES POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
A woman’s journey towards motherhood is not an easy one. Right from prenatal testing for monitoring the baby’s and mother’s health to passing through each trimester with care, caution and patience are demanded at each pregnancy stage.
Although all the tests and hospital visits are for the sake of the mother’s and child’s wellbeing, it can be frustrating and tiring. Sometimes, these woes do not end with the delivery.
Unfortunately, problems like postpartum depression could arise within a month of delivery for some women. Several factors lead to postpartum depression. There is sometimes nothing one can do to prevent this unfavorable situation, and it is imperative to understand that it is in no way the patient’s fault (blame the hormones!).
Some of the common reasons causing postpartum depression are as follows:
- Chemical changes: One of the primary reasons leading to PPD is the sudden chemical changes in the body. During pregnancy, the level of estrogen in a woman is very high. However, the hormone levels drop back to the pre-pregnancy level soon after delivery. This drastic drop in hormones leads to postpartum depression in some women.
- Psychological change: There is no argument that being a mother is challenging. Some women take longer than others to come to terms with the fact that they are now mothers. Baby blues is a common phenomenon among women after delivery. However, baby blues do not go away anytime soon and slowly develop into postpartum depression for a section of women.
- Age: The mother’s age is proven to be directly related to the development of postpartum depression. Younger women have a higher risk of developing PPD.
5 SUBTLE SIGNS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
1) YOU’RE UNABLE TO SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS
Anxiety and overthinking keep us all awake from time to time. We all have those nights where, no matter what, we cannot get ourselves to block our thoughts and get some much-needed rest.
Among new moms, being unable to sleep the initial few nights after delivery, due to concern for the baby, is quite common. Apart from the fact that a newborn baby disrupts your sleep schedule, taking care of babies and getting them to sleep takes some getting used to.
It becomes a problem when the mother cannot sleep even after a couple of weeks of the delivery. Even when the baby is sleeping without causing any disturbance to the mother, she can have difficulty in falling asleep. This can be a symptom of severe anxiety and postpartum depression that should not be ignored.
Sleep is vital for humans and even more for women after delivery. Therefore, if you cannot sleep even when the baby is sleeping, consulting a doctor is of utmost importance.
2) YOU WORRY ABOUT HARMING YOUR BABY
One of the subtle signs of postpartum depression is constantly worrying about harming your baby. You can have such recurring thoughts which are difficult to control. The sudden responsibility of motherhood can overwhelm you, leading you to think that you cannot ensure the baby’s safety.
Even when you do everything needed to ensure the baby’s safety and good health, you constantly worry about harming the baby in one way or the other. Living in a constant state of concern and fear has serious mental health effects.
If you get these thoughts within a couple of weeks of the delivery, you should consult a doctor. With proper medical care, postpartum depression can be efficiently dealt with.
3) ANGER AND IRRITABILITY
The complicated process of childbirth has some serious after-effects. If you find yourself snapping at your family over petty reasons after your delivery, it could be a subtle symptom of postpartum depression that should be taken seriously.
Anger and irritability are common among new mothers. Due to lack of sleep, sudden changes in the schedule, and overwhelming new responsibilities, you can find yourself angry and irritated all the time.
However, it can be a matter of concern if these negative emotions do not fade even after a couple of weeks. To develop a healthy bond with the baby, it is necessary to have a positive mindset and be at your loving best. Anger can negatively affect your relationship with your partner, family and the newborn baby.
Anger and irritability should be considered a symptom of postpartum depression and treated without any further ado.
4) YOU HAVE TROUBLE MAKING DECISIONS
The decision-making skills of a woman dealing with postpartum depression are seriously affected. If you get overwhelmed while making even the smallest decision, it can be associated with PPD. It is difficult to differentiate the normal confusion one faces in day-to-day life from the symptoms of PPD.
However, one of the best ways to determine if the lack of decision-making skills is concerning is by analyzing its frequency. If you are getting confused about the smallest decisions for an extended period, it can be worrying and a symptom of PPD.
If you have trouble making decisions that can benefit you and the baby, you should consult a doctor and seek treatment.
5) YOU FEEL DISCONNECTED FROM THE BABY
After months of taking care of yourself and being cautious at every step, you give birth to your child. You expected to connect to your baby right from the first day and were looking forward to this day eagerly.
But alas, you feel disconnected from the baby and this is making you guilty and sad. When something like this happens, it is important to understand that it is unintentional and you are not at fault.
Feeling disconnected and failing to establish a bond immediately with your baby is a symptom of postpartum depression. Seeking help from professionals as soon as possible is going to benefit you and the baby in the long run.
Related read: The Complete Postpartum Plan
Postpartum depression is a common problem faced by mothers across the world. Therefore, it is vital to detect its early symptoms and seek professional help to avoid worst-case scenarios.
In addition, the social and psychological effects of childbirth are overwhelming, making it all the more important to give yourself some time to welcome motherhood. Joining support groups, sharing your emotions with your family and loved ones, and seeking medical help is the best way to fight PPD.