Postpartum depression is a depression that occurs after childbirth. Postpartum can occur within the first 12 months of having your baby. According to researchers, more than 3 million women suffer from postpartum depression per year. Women who suffer from postpartum depression are at a high risk of suffering from major depression later on in life. This depression is treatable and can be diagnosed by your medical professional Symptoms may include frequent mood changes, feeling sad and emotional without reason, loss of appetite, difficulty bonding with your baby, feeling fatigue, angry, loss of interest to engage in activities, insomnia, hopelessness, mood swings and intense irritability. If you notice any of these symptoms occurring be sure to see your doctor right away. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy or self-care such as finding time to do things that are relaxing and interesting for you.
I suffered from postpartum depression and I just thought that’s how your body and mind felt after having a baby. I would find myself in the room with my son and I would began to get emotional and feel so alone. I had more than enough help from my man (my son’s father) my family and my friends but inside I just felt alone. I would easily get irritated and feel overwhelmed causing my moods to frequently change. I also had trouble sleeping due to the fear something might happen to my son or he may suffer from accidental suffocation because he slept on his stomach a lot and his doctor advised me to be careful and recommended I have him sleep on his back. So I decided to see my doctor and he diagnosed me with postpartum depression he gave me two options to either see a cognitive behavioral therapist or participate in self-care. The thought of having to see a therapist I found odd so I decided to go with self-care instead. I started taking an hour or two each day and I would pray, read my bible and go for a walk. That little time spent with myself and God really helped me recover from postpartum depression. It went away for some months and I noticed it coming back when I went back to work and tried to adjust to that schedule and find time to enjoy my little one before and after work. I learned to balance everything out and started putting my son on a schedule for when he would eat, go to bed, do tummy time, reading time and when he would wake up in the morning. It really helped!
Adjusting to life after having your little can be emotional and challenging but your life doesn’t have to change drastically you can gradually change it for the better. Your body goes through a physical change, your mental state is challenged due to lack of sleep and constantly having to tend to your little one who will require so much of your time during their early stages. These are also the best moments and a lot of firsts for your baby so this time also brings you so much joy. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes a lot easier just continue staying encouraged when challenging moments come.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help or seek your doctor if you believe you’re experiencing postpartum depression.