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Giving birth to a new baby really takes a toll on a new mother in several different ways. Not only physically but also mentally.
In fact, many new mothers experience extreme sadness and unexplained mood swings shortly after giving birth without even knowing why. This is most commonly called postpartum depression.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that develops in a new mother who has recently given birth.
The difference between postpartum depression and like “typical” depression is that many new mother’s who have suffered from postpartum depression started experiencing it after they had their baby.
What Causes Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression can be caused by many different things that happen naturally in a new mother’s body and even some outside contributors. Some of those include:
- dramatic changes in hormones
- being overwhelmed as a new mom
- self-esteem issues
- physical changes in body
- difficult labor or childbirth
- lack of family support
- financial difficulties
- relationship problems
- excessive worries
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How Do You Know If You Have Postpartum Depression?
There are many times that new moms just do not realize that they are suffering from postpartum depression until another person points out their behavior changes. Some of this is due to adjusting to the new duties of being a mom and caring for a baby.
But here are a few of the most common signs of postpartum depression to be on the lookout for.
*I am not a doctor or a medical professional. These are just my experiences with postpartum depression after having my first baby. Please seek the advice of your doctor if you suspect that you have postpartum depression. This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.
1. Extreme Sadness
Do you start crying and just have no idea why?
Sadness can be different for everyone but if you go to bed and wake up feeling sad and down in the dumps without any reason, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.
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2. Horrible Guilt
Did your labor or delivery not go as planned? Do you feel guilty about it?
This was one of the biggest symptoms of postpartum depression that I had as a new mom after having my daughter. I had this perfect birth plan set up and none of it went the way I had planned. Instead of having a natural birth, I had an unplanned C-Section and then wasn’t able to breastfeed my daughter.
Needless to say, I blamed myself and my body for failing to do what it was made to do.
If any of this sounds like you please don’t beat yourself up and talk with someone about how you are feeling.
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3. Loss Of Interest
Have you lost interest in doing things that you used to enjoy?
Losing interest in doing things that used to bring you joy in the past is a huge red flag of postpartum depression. In fact, some moms don’t even want to get out of bed due to not feeling like doing anything.
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Are you feeling irritable most of the day? Do you feel like you snap at people or get angry for really no reason?
Irritability is very common in postpartum depression and can really start to ruin relationships without you even realizing it.
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5. Difficulty Sleeping
Are you having trouble getting to or staying asleep at night?
While all new moms have trouble getting some sleep due to their newborn keeping them up at night, some moms experience difficulty getting to sleep even when their baby is sleeping. They often stay up just laying in bed unable to fall asleep at night.
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6. Thoughts of Self-Harm
Do you have any thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else?
If you ever have any thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please get help immediately. These feelings are not at all normal and can have extremely bad results if you do not get yourself checked out by a doctor.
Many new moms that are suffering from postpartum depression have these thoughts and are able to get help to relieve them.
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7. Lack of Concentration
Are you trying to get something done, but you can’t seem to concentrate?
With all of the chores and tasks that new moms have to do, it’s no wonder that you can’t concentrate, but if it becomes a severe problem you may need to talk with your healthcare provider about postpartum depression, especially if you have any of these other symptoms.
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8. Change In Appetite
Are you pushing your plate away or maybe even eating much more than you used to?
Changes in eating is a classic sign of postpartum depression in new moms. Whether you are eating less or eating much more to make yourself feel better. This is something that needs to be checked out by your doctor.
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Do you feel anxious almost all of the time?
Anxiety can be truly crippling for anyone – especially for new moms. I remember having severe anxiety and constantly worrying about who I let hold my baby and if they would drop her. It literally ruled my daily life.
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Will Postpartum Depression Go Away On Its Own?
Honestly, postpartum depression can affect every single person differently and therefore it may take longer for one mother to get through it than another.
With treatment, postpartum depression can get better and you can return to your normal life once your symptoms have subsided. This can take anywhere from 6 months to a few years. It all depends on the person.
How Can I Get Help?
Most obgyn’s will check in with you at your 6-week postpartum visit after having your baby. During that visit, they commonly ask new moms about how they are feeling mentally. Just always remember to be completely honest with your doctor.
And if you happen to experience symptoms later after giving birth make an appointment with your regular primary care doctor to discuss the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.