When we think about a newborn baby, we typically smile in delight as we watch the new mother care for her new bundle of joy. With all the coos and laughs and first everythings, from the outside it seems as though having a new baby is a joyful experience. And it can be for some.
The reality of it all is that postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 20 percent of all mothers according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Postpartum depression should not be confused by the typical “baby blues,” however, which begins within the first few days after delivery and can last for up to two weeks. Postpartum depression is a more severe, long-lasting form of depression that eventually may cause you to be unable to care for your baby or handle other daily tasks according to the Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms to look for:
Severe mood swings
Difficulty bonding with your new baby
Withdrawing from relationships
Change in sleep patterns (insomnia or sleeping too much)
Loss of interest in things that used to bring you joy
Intense anger or irritability
Inability to think clearly
Anxiety and panic attacks
Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
The best thing for you do to is to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned you may be experiencing postpartum depression. He or she will be able to assess your symptoms more thoroughly, make a diagnosis, as well as get you the assistance you may need.
But remember, you’re not alone in this. You’re never alone.