You just had your baby and you feel like a million bucks, right?! No? Then you are not alone. Many new mothers go through the baby blues or postnatal depression, also called postpartum depression. This is a fairly common yet emotionally exhausting experience that can leave you anxious instead of celebrating this momentous occasion. If you were not expecting to feel this way, it can take you by surprise; after all, you have been waiting and preparing for this day for nine months, and here you are feeling this way!
First of all, one in 8 women experience severe postnatal depression. It is common to experience fleeting moments of sheer joy followed by copious tears, and all without any apparent reason. While many mothers are spared the unpredictable mood swings, most do experience some form of the baby blues. This can include trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, moodiness and irritability. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Some women can have longer lasting effects that may need to be addressed more aggressively by professionals.
The hormonal changes that a woman undergoes soon after childbirth are largely responsible for the baby blues. Some women also become insecure about their attractiveness after pregnancy and childbirth. For others, stress can be the trigger combined with coming to terms with one’s new identity as a mother. But when these symptoms become more pronounced over time and result in a woman spending most of the day in sadness, it must not be ignored.
Symptoms of postnatal depression
- Lack of interest in the baby
- Excessive Sleeping
- Feeling exhausted all the time
- Worrying that you might hurt the baby