’You are just unthankful!’’
‘’Cheer Up! What’s wrong with you?’’
‘’You are so BLESSED! Stop whining for nothing?’’
These are some of the things I heard when I had my firstborn. I didn’t know what was happening to me?.
I am a Horrible mother. I am a failure at this. I thought to myself while nursing my firstborn at night and screaming silently in my pillow.
Why didn’t I feel that motherly bliss that is so glorified and is the crux of any woman’s existence?
What was wrong with me?
Yes, I was going through Postpartum Depression. I didn’t realize that until my sister pointed it out. I asked for help and found it luckily. Still, it took me some time to recover completely and start enjoying the new phase of life.
So if you are finding it hard to make it through the day, if you are struggling to keep up with the sole responsibility of a newborn baby, messy hormones, sleep deprivation, and cultural stigma- Know that you are not alone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
YOU JUST NEED HELP!
Did you know around 10%-20% go through postpartum depression after giving birth? And most don’t even have an idea of what they are going through. So here, I am going to chalk out 7 PPD signs you must look out for after giving birth.
Baby Blues Get Worse
Did you know that in the United States, around 70%-80% of women go through baby blues? Since your body has been through so much for 9 months, It’s pretty common to feel down or low on energy after 2–3 weeks of giving birth. Moreover, the labor pains, the birth experience, and caring for a newborn can take a toll on a new mother’s health. Baby Blues go away on their own, but if they don’t and you are still feeling depressed after weeks or months, you are most likely suffering from postpartum depression.
Nothing Seems Interesting
You had a huge to-do list once you popped out a baby. But all of a sudden, you don’t find anything interesting. Your favorite TV shows don’t cheer you up. Intimacy with your partner doesn’t attract you. No food seems tempting. All you want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep or hide from the world. If that sounds like you, you need to consult a doctor for a PPD diagnosis.
Guilt Consumes You
‘’I am a bad mom’’ ‘’I am a failure at this’’. If this is what goes through your mind all day, know nothing is wrong with you. You have Postpartum depression, which is the reason for having negative thoughts. Being a new mom, feeling overwhelmed is okay, but if you find yourself crying excessively and not enjoying the parenthood phase, these are initial signs of PPD.
Many depressed women find themselves sleeping less or sleeping way more. The natural sleeping pattern is severely depressed when you are suffering from depression — having a baby, and late-night feeding sessions don’t help. But even if the baby is not around and you find it difficult to fall asleep or are always feeling drowsy- you may be suffering from PPD and need immediate help.
Mental Condition Gets Worse
One of the significant signs of PPD is that your mental condition keeps getting worse. You can’t focus on anything, and you may be forgetting things. Nothing seems interesting, so you quickly get distracted. You feel unconfident, that you are not good at anything. And most of all, you blame yourself for the tiniest things. You are an emotional wreck, and the slightest thing can trigger an emotional reaction. All these things point toward Postpartum depression.
Feeling Lethargic and Exhausted
Raising a tiny human is no easy task. Birthing and then taking care of a baby while your body is still healing is a tedious process. And if we add PPD to the mix, the physical symptoms get even worse. If you feel lethargic, fatigued, and low on energy, along with other physical symptoms like headaches, muscle pains, and sleep, PPD is the culprit here.
Difficulty In Developing a Bond
You couldn’t wait to meet your little one, but now that he is here, you don’t feel the bond. You get irritated by his constant demands. That motherly feeling, which is so over-hyped, is nowhere to be found. You are unable to develop a bond. Sometimes you feel like running away from the bay. In severe cases of PPD, mothers also feel the urge to harm the baby.
How Late Can You Get PPD?
There is no blanket statement to make here. For some women, it might last longer, while for some, it may resolve in the weeks following birth. A study in 2014 concluded that in many women, PPD symptoms start to get better after 3–6 months.
But there is also research that indicates that many mothers were still suffering from PPD after six months. Some even reported feeling depressed after 3 years.
There are many factors involved in delayed postpartum depression. Their depression may not have been treated effectively when it first got diagnosed.
What’s The Next Step?
There are many factors to consider that can cause PPD. Ranging from hormones, family history to age, social support, and marital conflict can lead to PPD. Most moms do not tend to seek help when they are suffering from depression.
According to Postpartum Progress, only 15 percent of women going through PPD seek professional help. And those who have gone through miscarriages are not even part of this study.
Most women feel asking for help means they have failed as mothers. However, that is not the case. PPD can be treated effectively with proper medication and counseling. Depending on the severity, the doctor will prescribe anti-anxiety or antidepressants along with support groups.
If you are going through any of the symptoms discussed above, don’t hesitate to reach out and discuss them with your loved ones. Seek therapy and put your and your baby’s health first.
This story was written by one of our blog writers, who was affected by PPD. Thanks, Shaima for sharing and writing this story.
Sharon the Co-Founders of Soothic was also affected by the baby blues for a short 4 week period after the birth of our first child.