If you’re feeling down after the whirlwind of emotions that come with pregnancy and child birth, you’re not alone. Did you know? Approximately 8 in 10 new mothers feel down after giving birth.
What are the ‘baby blues’?
It’s no secret that adjusting to being a mom is difficult. New moms will often feel tearful, impatient, irritable, restless or anxious during the first few weeks after giving birth. Oftentimes, these feelings will go away on their own. Taking a nap, getting more rest, connecting with friends and families, can all help many moms beat the ‘baby blues.’
What if the ‘baby blues’ don’t go away?
Unfortunately, for 1 in 5 new moms, the ‘baby blues’ don’t go away. This is called postpartum depression and often appears four weeks after delivery, but can happen any time during your first year after giving birth.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
Women experiencing postpartum depression may have one or several of the following symptoms:
- Nervousness, anxiety, panic, restlessness.
- Sluggishness, fatigue, exhaustion.
- Sadness, hopelessness, irritability.
- Eating and sleeping problems.
- Poor concentration, confusion, memory loss.
- Over-concern for your baby.
- Lack of interest in your baby.
- Feelings of guilt, inadequacy, worthlessness.
- Exaggerated emotional highs, lows or both.
- Fear of harming your baby, yourself or both.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can be mild or severe, and the severity of the symptoms can change overtime.
COVID-19 and postpartum depression
During this time of uncertainty in our world because of the COVID-19 outbreak, your feelings of anxiety, stress and concern could be heightened. Some symptoms of postpartum depression can be mistaken for normal worry and stress many people are experiencing due to COVID-19.
Make sure to focus on what is causing your feelings. If you feel worried about your family and their safety because of the virus, you, like many other moms, may just be overly cautious right now. If these feelings persist, contact your health care provider about postpartum depression.
What should I do if I have postpartum depression?
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. While these symptoms and feelings will not go away on their own, they are treatable with medicine, talk therapy or both.
Talk to your health care provider about how you are feeling. They can help you decide the best treatment for you and can connect you with a mental health professional.
Are there at home treatments for postpartum depression?
There are some things moms can do at home to help manage depression symptoms:
- Rest as much as possible.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything.
- Ask for help with chores and night feedings.
- Talk with family and friends about how you are feeling.
- Get fresh air by going for a walk (keep social distancing in mind).
- Spend time with your partner.
- Talk with other mothers.
- Join an online support group during COVID-19. Once the outbreak slows and socializing is allowed again, we recommend going to an in-person support group.
- Avoid other major life changes during this time.
But remember, these tips do not replace care from a health care provider or mental health professional.