How will I know if it’s postpartum depression?
Many new parents inquire about the baby blues, depression, and how to distinguish between the two. I clarify that after giving birth, mood swings are very common, especially in the first two weeks. The duration of the illness and its severity are what distinguish the blues from postpartum depression (PPD).
Immediately following birth, hormonal changes can leave you feeling incredibly depressed, teary-eyed, overwhelmed, and confused. You have the ideal confluence of biological triggers that can cause mood changes when you combine this with the constant challenges of caring for an infant.
While the baby blues can be frightening, most parents recover by getting enough sleep and accepting lots of family and social support. The baby blues typically pass after a few days or weeks. But if the uncomfortable emotions and exhaustion persist, you might be suffering from PPD.
Numerous new parents also deal with anxiety that extends far beyond prenatal anxiety. In fact, postpartum anxiety is as common as PPD and may even occur concurrently with excessive and persistent worrying.
Does postpartum depression only affect first-time parents?
After the birth of my second child, I experienced PPD like many other mothers do. It wasn’t just because I suddenly had two little ones in diapers or was having trouble getting good sleep. If you’re wondering why you’re finding it difficult to adjust as your family grows, realize that you’re one of the many, many experienced parents who do because of the complex and intense adjustments that new parents go through with each birth.
If you’ve experienced any of the following thoughts, get in touch with POEM to learn about available resources for support:
Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression is the #1 complication of childbirth, affecting nearly 1 million people in the U. S. each year. The term “symptoms” refers to a broad range of emotional and physical reactions that can happen either during pregnancy or about a year after giving birth. Everybody with PPD experiences it differently, but being aware of the realities and common misconceptions can make you feel less alone.
Normal occurrence%E2%80%94not a disorder | 80% of new moms | Begins within the 1st week after childbirth | May last a week or two, but will subside on its own
Our mom-to-mom support line is open Monday through Friday during regular business hours if you need assistance finding resources in your area or simply want to talk to another mother or someone who has recently given birth.
PPD is often more than depression. In fact, a lot of people experience anxiety, unsettling thoughts, or other unanticipated emotions. PPD is an “umbrella” term that refers to a variety of disorders of maternal mental health.