Postpartum depression is a serious condition where new moms, usually within the first six weeks after having their baby, start to have symptoms of depression.
As with clinical depression, the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) vary from one person to another. One mama may have all of these signs, while another may have one or two, but both can still be diagnosed with PPD.
Having PPD isn't easy to discuss for a number of reasons, but one of them is that new moms feel as though they should be filled with pure bliss because they just had a baby. They feel guilty if they feel otherwise.
Postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of. If you think you might be struggling, here are eight common signs that might tell you if you are:
1. You're not connecting with your baby
New moms want nothing more than to have an instant connection to their little one, but sometimes it doesn't happen. You may even feel resentment toward your baby at times, or imagine your life if you didn't have a baby. Of course you love your child, but PPD can make it hard to fully appreciate them.
2. You're extremely overwhelmed
Being a mom is difficult, there's no question about that. All new moms feel overwhelmed at times and that's totally normal. However, when you're constantly overwhelmed it's become debilitating, it might be time to seek professional help.
3. You can't sleep (or it's all you can do)
Newborns can take a toll on your sleeping patterns, but this is different. Either you can't sleep no matter how tired you are or you can't stay awake for anything. Many moms who have PPD also struggle sleeping while their baby is asleep.
4. You feel guilty
Thoughts like, "my child deserves better," "I'm a horrible mom" and "this baby would be better off without me" are serious signs of PPD. These thoughts make you feel extreme guilt, even though you're a wonderful mom. These are some serious feelings that should be discussed with a medical professional.
No one deserves to feel like they'll never be happy again. These feelings can result in harmful thoughts and actions, but with the right help and guidance you will feel happy again.
6. You've been crying a lot
Another sign of PPD is that the smallest things make you cry. If you're constantly crying and getting upset at every little thing, it's hard on you, your husband and your baby. Granted, the pregnancy hormones can also make you feel like this, but PPD is different - make sure you talk to someone for the sake of your and your family's happiness.
7. You have panic attacks
Becoming a mom is stressful. You're suddenly in charge of a little human who can barely lift his or her head yet, and you're expected to feed, nurture and care for this child for at least 18 years ... or more. Every mom will feel stress, but panic attacks are a sign that your motherly stress is on a whole different level.
If you have a family history of depression, your pregnancy was unwanted (or unplanned), you had depression while you were pregnant or many other things, you could be prone to PPD. However, this doesn't mean you'll automatically have it. Knowing your history is just a good thing to be aware of so you can prepare or even understand a bit about what may happen after you have your baby.
Postpartum depression is a serious condition that needs to proper treatment, just like any other medical condition. Although every case is different (and there are many other symptoms), knowing what to look for can help you know when you need help. Seeking help early on can help new moms take control of their mental health and truly enjoy their time with their new baby.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.