Giving birth to a child, for many women, is one of the happiest times of their lives. When the greatly awaited bundle of joy finally arrives, people become parents, couples become families, and everyone is blissful.
In theory, yes, that is what’s anticipated to happen. Still, for the 1 in 7 women who experience postpartum depression, new-mum bliss is overpowered by a rough mental struggle.
Here are some crucial postpartum depression facts that every mom-to-be needs to know.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum or postnatal depression is a severe mental health disorder that affects the new mothers’ brain and physical and behavioral health. Many women experience “baby blues” or feel empty or sad for reasons unknown after giving birth.
For some, the baby blues may fade in three to five days. However, some women experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, and/or emptiness for periods longer than two weeks. In such cases, the mother is suffering from postnatal depression.
4 Postpartum Depression Issues Every Mum-To-Be Must Know
Here are some postpartum depression facts that every mum-to-be should know to better equip herself for what may come next:
Fact #1: Postnatal depression does not always surface instantly after childbirth
Postpartum depression symptoms may surface and become evident within the first few days or weeks of giving birth and may even take almost a year in some cases. According to the National Institute of Health, it generally emerges within 3 months of childbirth.
Fact #2: Postpartum depression and “baby blues” are not the same
Baby blues are a common and entirely normal phenomenon ensuing childbirth that typically starts within the first 6 weeks postpartum and lasts anywhere from some hours up to 2 weeks. Experts believe this is caused by the massive hormonal change that occurs after childbirth, coupled with sleep deprivation and the significant difference in routine a new mother typically experiences.
Baby blues typically involve crying for unknown reasons and usually clears up on its own without any intervention. At the same time, postnatal depression can be severe and need treatment.
Fact #3: Extreme sleep deprivation can prompt postnatal depression
Any new mother will tell you that getting a good night’s sleep is quite impossible after childbirth, thanks to constant feeding demands and tantrums. That is why sleep deprivation is the first thing experts focus on for treating postnatal depression.
Support and intervention are essential here, as slipping away for hours of solid sleep is pretty much a post-delivery pipe dream. To make things better, you can have somebody bottle-feed the newborn so that you get the much-deserved rest at night.
Fact #4: Having postnatal depression doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother!
It may feel horrendous to have anything other than joyful thoughts about your newborn. Still, postnatal depression and mood disorders are entirely normal. They aren’t a reflection of your capabilities or you as a mom.
If you solicit the support of people who love you and seek treatment, it’ll get better. Remember, seeking help doesn’t make you weak. It means you are human. In fact, you are an absolutely badass human for carrying a child for nine months and bringing them into this world.
Please keep in mind that if your postpartum depression is severe or aggravates with time, you need to seek help and treatment from a mental health expert. Getting help is the best way to make sure you and your joy of bundle remain healthy, happy, and safe.