Having a baby is stressful, even though you have always been excited for it and no matter how much you love your kid. Because of the lack of sleep, difficult new responsibilities, and absence of personal time, it is not surprising that many new moms feel like their emotions are going haywire. The baby blues are a normal thing, but if your symptoms do not go away after a couple of week or even get worse, you may suffering from postpartum depression.
Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression is a more severe condition, one that should not be ignored. It is a complex combination of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that occur in a woman after she has given birth. The term postpartum depression describe a range of different physical and emotional changes that a lot of new mothers face.
Red Flags for Postpartum Depression
One screening tool designed to detect postpartum depression is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. If you suspect that you are suffering from postpartum depression, follow the instructions carefully. A score higher than 14 means you should consult a doctor for a more complete assessment because it is highly probable that you have postpartum depression. Here are some of the common red flags for postpartum depression.
- postpartum depression symptoms are present for more than two weeks after you give birth, are much more severe than just baby blue, and actually interfere with your regular life.
- You are feeling emotions like anxiety, sadness (crying a lot), depression, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, modifications in your sleeping and eating routine, trouble with focusing, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or yourself, obsession, lack of interest in your typical activities and hobbies, feeling worthless, inadequate, and incompetent to deal with your baby, fatigue, and excessive worry about the health of your baby.
- Postpartum depression usually develops over the first 2 to 3 months after giving birth but may happen at any point after delivery.
Treatment and Drugs
Treatment and recovery time for postpartum depression depends on several factors such as the severity of your condition and your individual needs. If you have an under-active thyroid or an underlying disorder, your doctor may treat those or refer you to the proper specialist. Your doctor may also refer you to a mental health specialist.
Postpartum depression is usually treated with psychotherapy (also known as mental health counseling or talk therapy), medication, or a combination of the two. With therapy, you can discover better methods to handle your feelings, solve your issues, create realistic objects, and react to situations in a positive manner. An antidepressant may also be recommended for your intake. However, if you are breast feeding, any medication you take with get into your breast milk. Nonetheless, many antidepressants today can be safely used during breast feeding, without so much risk of side effects for your child. Here are some tips for breastfeeding!