You just had a baby two months ago. After a long pregnancy, you finally have the little girl that you've always wanted. However, since the birth of your baby girl you are no longer interested in well.....anything. You can barely keep your eyes open and when you're awake the little bundle of joy you call your baby won't stop crying or reaching her tiny lips towards your now sore, red, sucked dry nipples. Exhausted is an understatement. But what's worse, you don't even know if you want to continue this motherhood journey you signed on to. You cry at least three times a day, have no appetite and feel hopeless.
Whether this sounds like you or someone you know, you probably know a mom who has experienced one if not all of these symptoms.
By the time a new mom wonders if they have postpartum depression (PPD) it's usually too late.They're already knee deep in dirty diapers and a Sam's Club volume of used Kleenex tissue. Of course it's never too late to get help, but what if you saw the signs before you're weeping in your couch pillow every evening for one month straight?
Postpartum depression affects one in seven women. 80% of women experience "baby blues" but 15% experience PPD. Unlike "baby blues", PPD lasts longer than 2 weeks and the symptoms are more intense. (CDC)
Know the signs and symptoms of PPD early:
Crying more often than usual
Feelings of anger
Withdrawing from loved ones
Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby
Worrying that you will hurt the baby
Feeling guilty about not being a good mom or doubting your ability to care for the baby
Loss of interest
Physical aches and pains
Thinking about self harm or harming the baby
So, what can you do to prevent or reverse these symptoms?
Don’t wait until you can’t function or get off the couch to say something
Let your loved ones know the signs and how they can help
Already have your therapist picked out or start therapy before you deliver
If you already deal with mental illness make therapy, psychiatrist, etc. appts for after the baby is born to continue treatment
Make sure your doctor is aware
Explore diet and exercise as a natural method to improve mood
Explore the use of antidepressants if you have tried other things that haven't worked
Herbal supplements or natural methods
Try a sunlight lamp
Don't be one of the women that suffer in silence or longer than you need to. There is help available,...take it!