New mothers are usually depicted as happy and glowing after the birth of their child. However, the less spoken aspects of post-pregnancy is postnatal depression, (also known as postpartum depression) which 15% of women will experience.
If you feel empty, emotionless or sad for longer than two weeks before or after your pregnancy, it could be a sign of postpartum depression. Here are 7 signs that you could be suffering from postpartum depression.
What causes postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a serious medical condition that can cause severe mood swings, exhaustion and a sense of hopelessness in first-time mothers or women who have given birth before.
Leaving this undiagnosed can result in these feelings intensifying which can put you and the baby at risk of neglecting simple tasks such as taking care of yourself. It is crucial to contact your doctor as soon as possible to receive treatment.
Depressed or severe mood swings
Should you feel depressed or experience severe mood swings, especially over small things, then it is a sign. If these feelings last for more than two weeks, it is crucial to see a medical health professional who will help you.
Having a child usually means there will be a lot of changes that mothers need to adapt to in their lives. While this can be challenging at first, it does get better over time. However, if you find that you spend most days crying and overwhelmed, there is a deeper problem at hand.
Most women spend their time bonding with their baby, but if suffering from postpartum depression, this could result in the mother feeling detached from the baby. Their child, as a result, does not invoke emotional feels or attachment that is crucial for the bonding process.
Withdrawing from loved ones
The task of meeting with friends and family seems to be arduous. Due to the exhaustion levels that postpartum depression brings, most mothers would prefer to spend time indoors sleeping with a lack of motivation to complete basic tasks such as taking a bath or feeding themselves or the baby.
Change in diet
Postpartum depression is like any other depression that affects most people’s diets. You will find that you either eat less or more than you usually do.
Feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
Mothers are prone to overwhelming negative emotions during this period. Emotions such as being highly irritable and angry most of the time occur. There are also constant feelings and thoughts of feeling like they are not a good mother, shame, guilt and hopelessness.
Altered manner of thinking
Making decisions becomes harder during this period. Postpartum depression can result in a diminished ability to think clearly or concentrate even when it comes to simple tasks. Mothers can also become restless, have severe anxiety attacks, or thoughts of harming themselves or their baby in some way.
Postpartum despression can occur in fathers too as the birth of their child means a change of life as they knew it and they may struggle to adapt. If not treated it can last for a month or even longer, which is why it is important to consult your doctor as soon as possible.