Being a new parent is stressful, and can be challenging both physically and mentally at the best of times. New moms often experience mood swings due to hormones and lack of sleep, feeling joyful one minute and depressed the next. These feelings are sometimes called the “baby blues”, and often got away after a few weeks. But what if a new mom is experiencing symptoms for longer she may have what is called Postpartum Depression (PPD).
What is PPD?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is depression that starts during pregnancy or any time up to a year after the birth of a child. PPD presents itself similarly to regular depression. Depression affects a person’s mood, impacting how they think about themselves, others, and the world around them.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
PPD has many of the same symptoms as regular depression. It can make a parent feel sad, worthless, hopeless, guilty, or anxious. It can cause them to lose interest in things they love, withdrawal from people, or have poor concentration. PPD can have some unique symptoms relating to the new baby though. New parents may find themselves not bonding or enjoying the baby. Women with PPD often report feeling like they’re a bad parent. In severe cases, people with PPD have thoughts of harming themselves or the baby.
Who is impacted by postpartum depression?
New mothers that just gave birth most commonly feel postpartum depression. However, any new parent, both moms, and dad, and adoptive parents can also feel it. PPD is caused by a number of different factors, including family history, biology, personality, life experience, sleep deprivation, hormones, and more.
How is postpartum depression treated?
If any new parent is experiencing difficulty, discuss it with your OBGYN, general practitioner, or mental health professional. Doctors are better at recognizing the symptoms of PPD these days, but they still need patients to communicate with them. There are therapies, support groups, and medication that can help with PPD.
Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect parent so don’t feel like a failure. Contact us if you or someone you love is struggling with postpartum depression!
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Dr. Rodriguez founded the Delray Center in 2003 and built it on a foundation of core clinical, professional, and ethical principles that are adhered to still to this day. Dr. Rodriguez founded the Delray Center in 2003 and built it on a foundation of core clinical, professional, and ethical principles that are adhered to still to this day.