Being a new mother is happy time. After all, you’ve just given birth, when is there a more joyous occasion for you and your family? However, many new mothers have the ‘baby blues’ after childbirth. They may experience feeling weepy, having mood swings, feeling overwhelmed or anxious. However, these symptoms are not severe and usually do not last more than a few days or up to a couple of weeks.
The symptoms of postpartum depression, on the other hand, are more severe and last longer. In rare cases post-partum psychosis develops. New mothers who are dealing with post-partum depression often have the additional stressor of added guilt from not being happier about their newborn.
Although postpartum depression cannot be predicted, there are several factors that may put you at a higher risk. These include a history of depression or previous postpartum depression; having experienced stressful life events such as financial problems or marital difficulties; having a weak support system; unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.
The Mayo Clinic lists the symptoms of postpartum depression to include:
• Intense irritability and anger
• Loss online casino of appetite
• Severe mood swings
• Difficulty bonding with baby
• Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
• Lack of joy
• Overwhelming fatigue
• Withdrawal from family and friends
The first thing to bear in mind is that you are not at fault. There are various causes that may contribute to postpartum depression. These include: dramatic drop in hormone levels after birth; drop in thyroid levels; difficulty breast feeding; anxiety about parenting; sleep deprivation; lack of partner support; financial difficulties; feeling a loss of control over your life.
Left untreated postpartum depression can continue to interfere with the mother-child bonding and may cause family problems. Research indicates that children whose mothers had prolonged and untreated postpartum depression are more likely to have behavioral problems as well as delayed language development. It is best to seek professional help as soon as possible.
However, there are several lifestyle and home remedies one can implement to ease the symptoms of PPD. These include:
• Make healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise routinely by yourself and with your baby, take the baby for walks and eat healthy
• Avoid alcohol
• Set realistic expectations. You do not have to be a perfect mother or homemaker.
• Make time for yourself. Remember if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your baby.
• Respond positively to situations. You may not be able to alter all situations, but you can change how you think about them.
• Do not isolate. Seek your family and friends and share with them what you’re going through.