We recognize the arrival of a baby is like no other experience in life. New mothers may feel a sense of overwhelming love, joy, fear, confusion, and exhaustion. Experiencing all these different emotions, along with impatience, irritability or crying is common. If the emotions come and go, the feelings are typically called the “postpartum blues.”
Postpartum blues will usually get better within a few days or even a week or two without treatment. However, if symptoms stay for longer periods of time with greater intensity, it may be postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression can occur up to one year after having a baby but it most commonly starts about one to three weeks after childbirth. One in ten women experience postpartum depression.
Some of the symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Severe anxiety and despair.
- Feeling out of control, hopeless, or worthless.
- Deep sadness and frequent crying.
- Inability to sleep.
- Lack of appetite.
- Feeling angry or irritated with a partner or baby.
If a person is suffering from these types of symptoms, they should reach out for help from family and friends especially if they question whether or not they can handle caring for a baby. If systems continue without relief, they should contact their Rosemark provider.
CAUSES OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
There are many contributing factors to postpartum depression including labor, delivery, and postpartum care. There are numerous reasons and circumstances that cause postpartum depression, the following are the most common:
- Changes in sharply decreasing hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone in the hours after childbirth may trigger depression in the same way that smaller changes in hormone levels trigger mood swings and tension before menstrual periods.
- Women who have had a history of depression at any time in their life or who currently are being treated for depression have an increased risk of developing postpartum depression.
- Doubtful feelings about pregnancy are common. If the pregnancy is not planned or is not wanted, this can affect the way a woman feels about her pregnancy, unborn baby, the father and eventually the newborn baby. Even when a pregnancy is planned, it can take a long time to adjust to having a new baby.
- Parents who have sick babies or that are sick themselves and have to stay in the hospital longer may feel sad, angry, or guilty. These emotions can affect how a woman deals with stress.
- Many women can’t sleep and many get overtired after giving birth. It can take weeks for a woman to regain her normal strength and energy. For women who had a cesarean birth, it may take much longer.
- Lack of support from others and stressful life events can also greatly increase the risk of postpartum depression.
Please seek help from your Rosemark provider if you think you may have postpartum depression. Do not wait until your postpartum checkup to call!