25 Aug Fighting off Postpartum Depression: How to be a happy mom?
Are you experiencing frequent mood swings and difficulty sleeping after giving birth? Don’t worry – You are not alone. Every year, more than 3 million moms in US are affected by Postpartum Depression (also known as PPD). So, what exactly is PPD and how do you cope with it?
During pregnancy, moms go through dramatic changes in their bodies and emotions due to hormonal fluctuations. So it’s quite common for new moms to experience light depression symptoms right after delivery. This is called postpartum baby blues (PBB). These symptoms can begin within the first two to three days after delivery, and typically lasts about two weeks.
According to Mayoclinic.org, the basic signs and symptoms of PBB may include:
- Mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Reduced concentration
- Appetite problems
- Trouble sleeps
However, some moms fall into a more severe depression symptoms and for longer periods. Unlike PBB, the postpartum depression usually latest for more than two weeks, and at much stronger intensity. Many moms who suffer from PPD often have hard time adjusting back to their normal daily routines. At times, PPD can last up to six months after birth.
Common symptoms of PPD includes:
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
- Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
- Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
- Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Intense irritability and anger
- Fear that you’re not a good mother
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
The single most important step for overcoming PPD is awareness and acceptance. Do not consider PPD as character flaw or personal weakness. Recognizing PPD as a natural complication of giving birth is crucial for a quick recovery. Immediately consult with your physician about your concern when you feel your symptoms worsen. If the symptoms do not cease after two weeks or feels like getting worse, schedule an appoint with your physician immediately.