The “Baby Blues”
It is very common to experience uncomfortable and decidedly un-joyful emotions during the first two to three weeks after your baby is born. You may feel weepy, anxious, and overwhelmed. This is an understandable response to the enormous changes you are going through. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Ask for help. Give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling. Things will get better and you and your family will find your stride.
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
PPD is quite different in intensity and scope from the “baby blues.” If you are experiencing PPD you may be feeling depressed, despondent and pessimistic about the future. It often includes a loss of interest in the baby and other things that were previously enjoyed. You may have intrusive or persistent thoughts of escaping, of suicide, or of harming your baby.
The symptoms last longer than two weeks and can begin anytime within the first year after the birth of your child. These longer-lasting changes to mood generally do not go away on their own.
All this can be overwhelming and scary. While one in four mothers have PPD, many women are crippled with guilt about these feelings and try hard to hide what they are experiencing from others.
Postpartum depression is treatable. It is understandable. It is temporary with professional help. Call us to talk about how we can help.
Postpartum anxiety is characterized by constant worry or feelings that something “bad” is about to happen, and the inability to control racing thoughts. You may be unable to rest or sleep, even when your baby is sleeping. There is often a loss of appetite, dizziness and nausea.
Postpartum psychosis is very rare, but when it does occur it is a life-threatening medical emergency.
You may feel confused, disoriented, and have moods that are dramatic and quickly changing. You may hear voices (that others cannot hear) telling you do something, or have non-logical and delusional ideas. You can become extremely agitated or be numb and dissociated.
Postpartum psychosis is an emergency. You are not yourself. Because there is a significant risk of harm to self or others, immediate medical treatment must be sought. Check in with your doctor or call 911. Call us for follow-up therapy support.