You've just given birth to a delightful and beautiful baby and everyone is overjoyed - everyone except you. It is normal for women to feel a little overwhelmed and even a bit sad when they have given birth. This emotional vulnerability is quite common as the hormones in a woman's body are agitated and trying to find their place again. These 'baby blues' commonly last for up to two weeks and include irritability, insomnia, anxiety, weepiness and moodiness. However, if these 'blues' don't lift after two weeks, you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
Insomnia: The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, even when the baby is asleep, is one of the key signs to postpartum depression.
Sadness and weepiness that persists throughout the day.
Feeling disinterested in activities that you normally enjoy and even those you don't are another factor to consider in PPD.
Finding it difficult to concentrate.
Drastic changes in appetite.
Irritability and moodiness or mood swings.
Feelings of guilt to excess.
Anxiety or panic attacks.
The medical industry is constantly missing diagnosis of postpartum depression in mothers. Between 10 and 20 per cent of mothers will develop postpartum depression and many times it is 'sloughed off' as adjusting to being a new mother and feeling a little anxious about having a new baby. In most cases, where these 'blues' have lasted longer than a couple of weeks, the mother is actually experiencing true postpartum depression.
PPD can be mild to severe, from simply feeling weepy and moody to having thoughts of suicide and/or harming the baby.
If you think you may be suffering from PPD, seek help immediately. Be honest with yourself, your significant other and your healthcare professional that you fear you may be suffering from postpartum depression and clearly state the symptoms you have been having.