If you’re a new mom and suffering from anxiety or depression, you’re not alone. Learn how to help someone with postpartum anxiety and depression.
Plus, learn who’s at risk, what common symptoms are, and where to seek help.
After giving birth, it’s normal to feel off for a few days.
Your body went through a major transformation. Your hormones completely drop off. And your life has changed forever.
Many women go through a period of depressive symptoms after birth known as “the baby blues”.
The baby blues are typically characterized as:
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Difficulty sleeping even when the baby is sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritability or nervousness
These symptoms are unpleasant but typically resolve on their own within 1-2 weeks.
However, if your symptoms last longer than a few days or are so severe you aren’t able to take care of yourself or your baby, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety.
What Are Postpartum Depression and Anxiety?
Postpartum depression and anxiety are symptoms that last longer than 2 weeks. They range from mild to severe and don’t typically resolve on their own.
Common symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) are:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or depressed
- Trouble sleeping and eating
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Lack of interest.
Postpartum anxiety typically includes the following symptoms:
- Racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Constant worry
- Constant fear something bad is going to happen
If you experience any of these symptoms and they don’t go away after 1 or 2 weeks, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider right away.
How Common is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression and anxiety are extremely common and can affect anyone.
In fact, studies show 1 in 9 women will suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety (Womenshealth.gov)
After birth, your body goes through a huge hormonal shift. Plus, you’re not sleeping well and adjusting to a completely new life.
These changes may trigger postpartum depression or anxiety for women.
You might not experience symptoms right away, but instead, they might occur months later.
If you breastfeed, symptoms might not occur until you begin weaning.
Even if you don’t feel depressed until 6 months after birth, it may still be postpartum depression
Who’s at Risk for Postpartum Depression or Anxiety?
If you experience anxiety or depression during your pregnancy, you’re at a higher risk for PPD or anxiety.
Also, women who have a history of anxiety or depression are at a higher risk of PPD or anxiety.
Learn more about postpartum mood disorders in the video below. Watch my interview with Nicki, a postpartum advocate who has helped many women suffering from these exact disorders.
She provides loads of helpful information, including ways to help friends or loved ones who may be suffering.
How to Help Someone with Postpartum Depression or Anxiety
As mentioned in the interview, if you or someone you know are suffering from any of these symptoms, help is available.
The resources mentioned in the video include:
- Postpartum Support International Get Help Line: 1-800-944-4773
- PSI Online support group meetings: https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/
- PSI Chat with an expert: https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/chat-with-an-expert/
- Resources for Dads: https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/resources-for-fathers
- Helpful websites: www.postpartum.net
If you or a loved one are suffering from symptoms of depression or anxiety after giving birth, first, remember that you are not alone.
It’s very important to recognize the signs early and seek help right away. These symptoms are very real, and also very treatable.
Please share this post with anyone who may need some help or may be interested in these amazing resources. We moms need to stick together to help each other out during a difficult time.
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