5 Signs That Tell You A New Mom Is Suffering From Postpartum Depression

A new mom needs all the help she can get. So much has changed for her. Postpartum depression is real so extended your help with a new mom you care about. You should watch out for these signs if you are a new mom or have someone close to you who has just delivered.
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The life-changing experience of labour and birth is one of the most significant experiences a woman goes through, physically and mentally. It is a time of transition where all the changes in her life are very intense. While it is expected to be on cloud nine after the birth of a child, many women feel difficult feelings of sadness.

Baby Blues

It is common for women to have the baby blues usually attributed to the immediate hormonal changes that occur after childbirth. 50 – 70 per cent of all new mothers would experience the ‘baby blues’ where a mother would feel tired, anxious, weepy and overwhelmed. These negative feelings resolve on their own within a week or two following their baby’s birth.

Postpartum Depression

While baby blues resolve on their own, many mothers experience longer periods of difficult feelings called postpartum depression (PPD). 1 in 7 women experiences PPD, a serious mood disorder, where bouts of sadness last longer and more intense. Postpartum depression can occur a few days after delivery or sometimes even a year after delivery.

How to detect signs of postpartum depression?

For many mothers, it is very hard to explain how they feel, what they feel. While the symptoms of postpartum depression can be mistaken for baby-blues, the former does last longer with difficult feelings intensifying. PPD can affect the ability of the mother to take care of her child(ren) and more importantly herself.

Signs of postpartum depression

Symptoms of PPD can vary from one mother to another along with changing patterns. A woman undergoing postpartum depression can have good days where negative feelings do not surface and she can have days where she finds it difficult to get out of the bed.

Here are the 5 signs of postpartum depression in moms that you shouldn’t miss. 

1. Feeling anxious or having panic attacks

Racing thoughts of something that might happen or the feeling of something bad might happen. Breaking out into sweats and constantly worrying about the well-being of the newborn baby or someone close to the mother. Most times, the anxiety can instil fear which can lead to lack of sleep.

2. Unable to bond with the baby and partner

 Mothers going through postpartum depression find it difficult to bond with the baby and even their partner. While distancing herself from her loved ones is not a conscious choice, it is a symptom of postpartum depression.

3. Mood swings

Increased signs of irritability, unexplained anger and weeping. The mother is unable to cope with her feeling of guilt and hopelessness and over-whelmed in containing them.

4. Appetite changes

A sudden appetite change could occur – eating more or eating less. Women undergoing PPD usually tend to eat less as their appetite lessens.

5. Lack of interest in things that they used to enjoy

Suddenly photography, reading, cooking or any activity that they used to find pleasure is no longer fun or point of interest. Instead, these interests/activities which they once loved tend to pose as a burden or a responsibility.

Postpartum depression can occur a few days after delivery or sometimes even a year after delivery.

Seeking Help

Postpartum depression can affect any woman- women who are new mothers and women with more than one child, women who had an easy time in labour or a hard time and it affects women of any age, race or culture but it can be treated.

It is encouraged that mothers talk about how they feel so as to get the right support and for loved ones to look for these signs to help the mother find support. It is important to have strong community support to discourage any feelings of shame that the mother might face.

Postpartum depression is treatable and a psychologist or other licensed mental health provider can help. Mental health is as important as physical health, if not any less. By seeking the help of a professional, a mother will find herself having a safe space to share her feelings. This will help her take steps for her well-being and for her to know that she is not alone in this.

Just remember, you are not alone. Read all about how it affects 1 in 5 Indian women here. 

Here's supermom Mandira Bedi's take on battling postpartum depression and how she overcame the struggles of parenting and motherhood. Watch the video here. 

 

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