Is it Just The Baby Blues or is Your Problem Much Worse?
Many mothers can testify to a period of feeling low in the few weeks after they have given birth to their baby. Somehow, they just feel tired and overwhelmed and struggle to do basic things in taking care of their newborn, such as breastfeeding them.
This is understandable and it is quite common. The baby blues as this feeling is referred is a phenomenon that occurs in many mothers. It has been discovered that it is triggered by the many changes that occur in the hormonal levels of the mother. These changes affect the moods of the mother. The baby blues can occur even where the woman had a miscarriage or delivered a stillborn, although if you fall in any of these categories you will probably have much more to deal with than just the blues.
It does not make you a bad mother if you cannot help but feel irritated and overwhelmed when your baby cries and you are tempted to ignore them. With proper support and time, the feeling will go away and you will start enjoying spending time with your little bundle of joy.
What about when the bad feeling does not go away?
There are times when a couple of weeks will pass and you still do not feel any better. The blues become progressively worse and you might start having fleeting thoughts of harming yourself and/or the baby. This is a more serious condition referred to as postpartum depression. If you think you are suffering from it, you should seek professional help.
What causes post partum depression?
Varieties of theories have advanced on the cause of post partum depression, but it is essentially caused by the hormonal changes previously mentioned. The depression however is more likely to occur in mothers who experienced it with their first baby and mothers who did not get adequate support from their partners during the pregnancy.
What are the signs and is it dangerous?
Post-partum depression manifests itself in a general sad feeling in the mother. They feel unworthy and incompetent most of the times and these feelings overwhelm them. Victims of post partum depression might experience a loss in appetite and they lose weight, while others actually eat more.
Post-partum depression is told apart from the baby blues in that the feelings are more intense in the previous case and they last longer. If left untreated, it can lead to post partum psychosis where the mother is engulfed by an uncontrollable urge to harm herself and/or the baby.
Is it treatable?
Yes, post partum depression can easily be taken care of by professionally trained therapists. There are medications that are prescribed to the mother while she also has someone to talk to, who understands usually makes the mother feel much better.
If you suspect you are suffering from this, do not hesitate, book an appointment with your therapist and you will soon be on your way to recovery. If ever you feel an uncontrollable urge to harm your baby or yourself, do not keep quiet! Speak out and you will be helped.