Having a baby can be exciting but also overwhelming. Feeling moody, exhausted, unable to sleep, anxious, and nervous after your baby is born is normal. Approximately 80% of new moms experience the “Baby Blues.” This is due to rapidly changing hormones and physical changes such as milk supply coming in. The great news is that these symptoms will go away on their own and it is not an illness. However, if your symptoms persist more than 2-3 weeks after the birth of your baby, call your doctor to rule out postpartum depression (PPD) and seek help.
PPD affects 1 in every 8 to 10 women. It usually occurs within the first year after childbirth. PPD is not a character flaw or sign of personal weakness. It does not mean there is anything wrong with your ability to be a mother. The symptoms of PPD range from mild blues to severe depression. Some of these symptoms include lack of interest in family and friends, lack of interest in sex, not enjoying life as much as you used to, trouble concentrating, thoughts of harming your baby or yourself, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, and uncontrollably crying.
Some ways to cope with PPD:
- Talk openly about your feelings with your spouse, family, friends, and healthcare provider.
- Ask for help with baby’s care from friends and family.
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Exercise for more energy. Walking and mild exercise can help.
- Join a postpartum depression group, such as Postpartum Support International (postpartum.net).
Appropriate treatment for PPD depends on your individual needs and the services available in your area. Your physician might even recommend a combination of treatments. Sometimes relief and comfort come from simply talking about your feelings and being reassured that other women have experienced what you are going through and that PPD is treatable.
Here at Ashley Pediatrics, we take an extra step to evaluate new moms along with their babies. Our screening tools allow us to determine if you as a new mom will benefit from seeking help if necessary. We want your family to adjust well to the baby’s new arrival and we want to provide you with all the support that you need to succeed in your parenting journey.