The Hollywood baby boom has brought Postpartum Depression into the forefront of media attention. Who can forget the fierce debate between Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields? What really happened with Britney Spears after the birth of her second child? So, how can you tell if you just have the Baby Blues, or if you need to seek help from professionals?
Baby blues are common within the first 3 to 5 days after delivery, and can last as long as two weeks. A new mom with the blues may cry more easily than usual and may have trouble sleeping or feel irritable, sad, and “on edge” emotionally. These symptoms are actually similar to those experienced during premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Postpartum is a condition that occurs in only 10 to 20% of new mothers. Some health professionals call it postpartum non-psychotic depression.
Postpartum may be of concern to you if:
- your symptoms include depressed mood, tearfulness, inability to enjoy pleasurable activities, trouble sleeping, fatigue, appetite problems, suicidal thoughts, feelings of inadequacy as a parent, and impaired concentration
- you obsessively worry about the baby’s health and well-being
- these feelings interfere with a your ability to care for your baby
- these symptoms persist for two or more weeks
If you’re experiencing these any symptoms (or other unusual symptoms not included here); Don’t worry! Postpartum is easily treatable by your doctor and rarely becomes a long lasting problem.
Share your concerns with your doctor as well as your friends and family to get the help, support and guidance you need. Being a new mother is a challenge you don’t have to face alone.
We’ve recently added a book to our line up that explains Postpartum Depression in a clear, easily understood way. The author, Linda Sebastian, suffered from postpartum anxiety herself and has been a nurse practitioner for more than 20 years specializing in psychiatric disorders.
Among the topics covered
- Who is at risk for postpartum depression
- Symptoms and causes of postpartum depression and anxiety
- Effects on the baby and family members
- Why so many women are caught off guard by these disorders
- Why health professionals are often unprepared
- Options for mental health treatment and medications
- Advice for fathers and other family members
You can buy the book here:
Readers: Please share your stories with us about any postpartum experiences you may have had.