Postpartum depression does not discriminate. You can develop it whether your pregnancy was easy or difficult. You can suffer from it if you are a first time mom or already have a child, married or unmarried, and it occurs in women of all ages, races, and education. Simply put, it can happen to any woman, even you. That’s why understanding postpartum depression and how to deal with it is valuable information for all expectant mothers.
How To Recognize PPD
Some people consider the mood swings and rocketing emotions that occur after childbirth as baby blues. It is quite common, but it’s not postpartum depression. So how can you tell the difference? One way to recognize PPD is the severity of the symptoms. It is common to feel sad, lonely, and a bit overwrought after the birth of a child. Hormonal changes are happening taking a toll on your equilibrium, but when these feelings don’t go away in a few weeks, it may be postpartum depression. Some of the common warning signs include the following:
- Constant anxiety or having panic attacks
- Loss of pleasure in previous everyday joys, even sex
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Crying for long periods of time
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Irritability and anger
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your newborn.
PPD does not go away on its own. It can show up days or even months after birth, and it can last for days or months without proper treatment.
What To Do About PPD
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms for more a few weeks, contact Genesee Valley OB/GYN. It is essential to let your provider know what is going on. Your physician may recommend counseling, support groups, or medications depending on your circumstances. At the same time, you can take some measures on your own to help deal with PPD.
Get Needed Sleep
Yes, it’s difficult to get sleep with a newborn. Seek help from a friend or relative to give you time to catch an hour or two of sleep during the day. Take your nap when the baby is napping. Pump out a bottle ahead so your partner can do the feeding at night letting you get needed ZZZs.
Walk And Walk Some More
Take the baby out in their stroller for a long walk, weather permitting. If it’s too cold for your little one, you certainly can bundle up and stroll alone. Your partner or a friend can babysit for a short time. Walking is beneficial as an antidepressant for women especially.
Schedule Some Me Time
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your mother, mother-in-law or good friend is just waiting for you to ask. Pick a set time every week so you can plan ahead. Then you can watch a movie, get a pedicure, take a nap, or whatever YOU feel like doing.
Focus On The Facts
What you are experiencing is not your fault. 1 out of 7 women suffer from PPD. Know you are being proactive to get past it. One half of women with PPD began to have symptoms during pregnancy. so it’s important to ask for help immediately. Contact Genesee Valley OB/GYN if you are experiencing any symptoms of postpartum depression.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (585) 641-0399 or request an appointment online today!