more than just the blues

I definitely suffered from depression after Ryan’s birth. I was never diagnosed with PPD (postpartum depression) because I never went to get help, but I’m pretty positive I had it. For a long time. Hormones are a bit crazy after birth and emotions run wild. Even if you don’t get PPD, a lesser form known as “baby blues” typically occurs for many women. I think it’s not talked about often enough. Moms need to know they aren’t alone and that the feelings are normal–and that there is no shame in asking for help. Here’s some info:

Baby Blues:
~occurs in 50-80% of moms
~onset is within the first 10 days postpartum
~symptoms include sadness, crying, fatigue, sleep problems, feeling overwhelmed, and labile emotions
~treatment can include support groups and just having someone to listen–but mom should definitely be watched for continuing symptoms of depression

Postpartum Depression:
~occurs in 10-15% of moms
~onset is usually within the first few weeks postpartum, but it can occur anytime in the first year (and last much longer)
~symptoms include sadness, despair, crying, low self-esteem, worthlessness, excessive guilt, lethargy or agitation, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, fatigue, decreased/increased appetite, weight loss/gain, impaired functioning, loss of sexual interest, thoughts of death or suicide, anxiety, irritability and phobias
~treatment can include psychotherapy (as an individual or as a group) and medication

Postpartum Psychosis:
~occurs in less than 1% of moms
~onset may occur one day after delivery, many occur by 3 months, the rest by 1 year postpartum
~symptoms include agitation, bursts of anger, racing thoughts, rapid speech, panic, irrational thoughts, insomnia, hallucinations, inability to care for self and baby, thoughts of suicide/infanticide, paranoia
~treatment can include medication, hospitalization, ECT, and psychotherapy

My biggest advice is to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you’re feeling and ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to suffer. Help can include talking to family members, having a therapist to listen, finding a PCH treatment center (psychological care and healing), medication, or hospitalization.

I’m preparing myself this time and even encapsulated my placenta for those benefits against depression. My family members are also aware to look for signs and I know better this time to ask for help if I need it. So far, so good 🙂 And hey, as someone that went through it, I’malways here, willing to listen and help in any way I can if you’d like to email me. <3

 

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