There are many things that are not publicized about pregnancy, but arguably one of the most shocking for new mothers is postpartum depression (PPD). This condition should not be confused with “baby blues”.
Baby blues tend to last anywhere from two days to two weeks after birth. This condition is caused by changes in hormones and estrogen directly after birth that causes mood swings, fatigue, irritability, and sadness. However, this condition is extremely common and it is important to keep open communication with your doctor during this time as things return to the new normal. Symptoms of baby blues are excessive crying, anxiety, and feelings of restlessness.
However, postpartum depression is a bit different. One of the main differences is the timeline of PPD. The symptoms begin one to three weeks after giving birth. The symptoms stay much longer than baby blues and are much more severe. Symptoms include feeling depressed most of the day, every day, feeling shame and guilt, feeling panicked a lot of the time, severe mood swings, having trouble bonding with your baby, and much more. This is not uncommon; in fact, it affects up to 1 in 7 women.
So let's talk a bit about the science behind PPD. While scientists are not completely sure about the causes of PPD, they operate under the assumption that it has to do with the extreme change in hormones from pregnancy to afterbirth. However, some doctors dispute this because fathers do not experience these hormonal changes but still can suffer from PPD.
If your loved one has just given birth and seems to be acting less like themselves, here are a few signs to look for that might mean they are suffering from PPD:
- They have little interest in things they normally do
- They express feeling tired all of the time
- Big changes in appetite, either eating a lot more or a lot less than is normal for them
- Big weight fluctuations, this goes hand-in-hand with number 3 but if they are gaining or losing an abnormal amount of weight
- They show signs of having trouble concentrating or making decisions
- They have severe mood swings
- They are showing signs of being in a constant state of fear or panic
- They are having trouble bonding with their baby
It can be really difficult to watch your loved ones suffer. It can also be extremely hard to have the feelings that are experienced with PPD. Here are some ways you can reach out for help.
- Call the PSI HelpLine at 1-800-944-4773 or text Help
- Join an online support group. They have available meeting times 5 days a week. Find more information here: https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/
- Find a professional to help: https://psidirectory.com/
- PSI also offers free and live phone sessions for moms every Wednesday: https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/chat-with-an-expert/
If your loved one is experiencing PPD, the best thing you can offer them is your support. Let them know they are not alone. If you are experiencing PPD, give yourself grace. You just brought life into the world, this is a very unique time. Just know you are not alone and there are many wonderful resources available to you to help you begin to feel better.
If you are experiencing symptoms of the baby blues, Monarchs can help! Our supplement, Baby Blues, is designed to make it easy for new moms to get the nutrients they need to support their recovery and well-being during this critical time. At Monarchs, we're committed to helping new moms feel their best during the postpartum period and beyond. Baby Blues is just one of the ways we're supporting your health and well-being as a mother. Find that here: https://www.monarchsco.com/collections/womens-hormones/products/post-partum-dietary-supplement-baby-blues
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