3 Facts About Postpartum Depression

Welcoming your newborn into the world is one of the greatest joys of life for most new mothers. After a long-anticipated wait, you finally have your baby all to yourself and some of the happiest days of your life have just begun. However, the reality is that sometimes the weeks and months following your delivery can be filled with sadness and anxiety due to postpartum depression.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a mental illness that some new mothers experience months after childbirth. Unfortunately, postpartum depression is a common problem for new mothers affecting nearly one in nine women. Postpartum is a very serious illness and should be treated as such. Here at Mama Llama, we want to provide new mothers with some facts about postpartum depression to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge on this illness before welcoming your newborn.

Postpartum Depression is Not the Baby Blues

It is quite common a few days following childbirth for new mothers to experience feelings of sadness and emptiness. After all, your mind and body have just gone through some serious changes, so these feelings of sadness referred to as “baby blues” are more common than not. However, these feelings are not to be confused with postpartum depression. In most cases, baby blues go away within less than 5 days, but if your feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, or emptiness continue weeks after childbirth you may be experiencing postpartum depression.

Feeling sad and blue after the birth of your newborn is not a regular part of being a mother and postpartum depression is a serious mental illness. Postpartum depression can leave you feeling unconnected to your baby and unfit or unloving as a mother. When these feelings start becoming an everyday interference, postpartum depression is more than likely present and should be treated.

What Causes Postpartum Depression

For starters, your body just went through some major changes. When it comes to postpartum depression, there are a number of factors that could be to blame. During pregnancy, your estrogen and progesterone levels are at the highest level they will ever be. After childbirth, these hormone levels drop quickly back to their normal levels and this sudden shift in hormones is thought to be one common trigger for postpartum depression.

Similar to other forms of depression, postpartum depression can also be on a case to case basis depending on the feelings of the new mother. Some feelings new mothers experience include:

  1. Lack of proper sleep

  2. Self-doubt about mothering capabilities

  3. Overwhelmed with the addition of the new baby

  4. Stress from changes in routines

  5. Exhaustion from labor and delivery

The truth is, every new mother experiences motherhood differently. Still, postpartum depression is not a regular or expected part of being a new mother.

How Do You Treat Postpartum Depression?

Experiencing postpartum depression does not only affect you but your baby as well. Getting treatment is just as important for you and your newborn and there a number of options to help treat postpartum depression.

  1. Therapy: During therapy sessions, you will consult with your doctor, therapist, or psychologist to work through your thoughts and feelings and come up with a strategy to change how depression is making you feel, act, and think.

  2. Medicine: The most common type of medicine to treat postpartum depression is antidepressants. These can be taken while breastfeeding but will help to alleviate the feelings of stress and depression that you are experiencing. There are a number of other viable options including IV and Nasal treatments that should be discussed with your doctor before being used.

  3. Self-Care Techniques: After consulting a doctor or therapist you may be advised to take some matters into your own hands to learn how to cope with your feelings. Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga have all been found as productive self-care habits to get on the road of recovery.

The most important thing to keep in mind about postpartum depression is that it can be treated. Asking for help does not show signs of failure as a new mother but instead signs of strength to get help for you and your baby.

Welcoming your newborn into the world should be one of the happiest days of your life. Unfortunately, sometimes these happy times can be shadowed by feelings of postpartum depression and if not treated can take a toll on both you and your baby. Here at Mama Llama, we want to remind you that you are not alone and that with the proper steps you can conquer these feelings and become the mother you have always dreamed of!

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