Are your experiencing mood swings and postpartum depression after the birth of your baby? If so, this is not uncommon. In fact, approximately 70-80% of women experience mood swings after the birth of a child. This can be very confusing for new mothers due to the fact that the negative emotions follow such a joyous event. Many women are ashamed of these feelings, so they suffer in silence. However, talking about these feelings is essential in order to overcome postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is probably due to the hormone changes that occur both during pregnancy and after the baby’s birth. The chemical changes happening in the brain during this time can result in mild to severe depression. In addition, the life changes that occur, such as sleep deprivation, disruption of “normal” life, and emotions from the experience of childbirth can all play a significant role as to how the new mother feels.
Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can include mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, inability to concentrate, trouble sleeping, and consistent crying.
Some women will enter a much deeper form of depression, which can be so pronounced that it disrupts their normal functioning. If this is you, please reach out for help! It is so important that you get the support you need. Even if you are only experiencing mild symptoms of postpartum depression, or the “baby blues,” it is vital that you seek help, as about 20% of women who have mild postpartum depression will go on to develop a more lasting depression. If the depression has lasted longer than two weeks after delivery, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
Postpartum depression can leave a new mother feeling hopeless and worthless. It can also cause her to lose interest in her baby. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include insomnia, severe mood swings, overwhelming fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, difficulty bonding with baby, lack of joy in life, withdrawal from friends and family, feelings of shame and inadequacy, intense anger, and thoughts of harming self or baby.
Postpartum depression can develop any time within the first year after childbirth. And women who have experienced depression before are at a higher risk of developing it.
I know that it can be difficult to reach out for help--especially under the curse of depression. But there is a way out of the darkness! I want to help you find that way out. Remember you are not alone. Many women have gone through postpartum depression, and many people are dedicated to helping these women heal. Psychotherapy is a smart and responsible way to take care of yourself, so that you can take care of your precious baby in the best way possible. Together we can face the depression head on. We can explore your treatment options and look beyond the feelings of sadness. There is a way out. Let's work together to find it. Contact me today to schedule an appointment in my Longmont or Boulder, Colorado, office.