Of all the things that could go wrong during and after having a baby. Depression, or rather postpartum depression was the last thing that I thought could affect it. Not because I thought I was immune to this commune depression that affects millions of women around the world. But because I had prepared myself and my husband and done everything I could NOT to have it. But try as I light. Nothing prepared me for the whirlwind of emotions that women experience after having birth. Mix that in with the constant worry and the sleepless night and I found myself frustrated, questioning my decision to be a mother but most of all feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by it all.
What is postpartum depression
The centre for disease control or CDC as it is more commonly known describes postpartum depression as “…depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues,” a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby. “Baby blues” symptoms typically resolve on their own within a few days”. The CDC estimates that one in ten women experiences postpartum depression. But even with this overwhelming number. It is often overlooked and not often spoken about. In part because women like myself are ashamed t admit that they have or have had it.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression
- Crying more often than usual.
- Withdrawing from loved ones.
- Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
- Worrying that you will hurt yourself or your baby.
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mother
Whilst these are only some of the symptoms of postpartum depression. It is important to note that like many mental health conditions. The symptoms may vary from person to person. The important thing to note is how you feel everyday. And if you feel off for longer than a few days, speak to a doctor and see what treatment options are available.
Who is at risk for postpartum depression?
- Young mothers
- Women who had trouble conceiving
- Women with a history or family history of depression
- Women who gave birth to babies preterm
- Moms of multiples like twins, triplets etc
- Not having adequate support
- Mothers of babies who have to hospitalized
Like the symptoms. The above list is just a guide line. And women without any of these underlying issues can also have postpartum depression. Which is why it is important to know the signs and know that you are not alone and can get the help you need. Especially as postpartum depression, like other types of depression is treatable.