Postpartum Depression Awareness

Postpartum Depression Awareness (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What is Postpartum Depression?

Let’s start with a brief description of postpartum depression (PPD). You should know from the get-go that it’s different from the “baby blues,” which are milder and more transitory. Postpartum depression signs and symptoms include a depressed mood, frequent crying, anxiety and/or panic attacks, a loss of appetite (or overeating), insomnia, and more. The baby blues generally last for just a few days or weeks, while PPD symptoms can persist for months if not treated.

“Baby Blues” or Postpartum Depression? ︱National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

So why do we get postpartum depression when we’re supposed to be so happy? You should know that it’s not your fault, and it’s not because you’re ungrateful for your new baby. Giving birth is an intense, exhausting process, and your hormone levels change drastically as soon as the baby is out. You’re tired from giving birth and most likely sore, too — and now you have a brand-new helpless human who depends entirely on you. You’re probably feeling overwhelmed, under-slept, and maybe unshowered too. Your breasts are swollen, you’re leaking milk, and you still look six months pregnant. You may be struggling to breastfeed, or you and your baby may be so good at it that you’re doing it nonstop. It’s no surprise that you may start to feel sad, restless, and completely unlike the regular you.

Giving birth is an intense, exhausting process. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

It Gets Better: Postpartum Depression Treatment

The good news is that postpartum depression and other perinatal and postpartum mood disorders are very treatable. Personally, therapy helped me work through my issues and begin to feel like myself again. My PPD didn’t disappear instantly, but I began to feel a little better each day. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a perinatal or postpartum mood disorder, finding a mental health care provider is a great place to begin. It doesn’t make you weak to seek professional help, and needing some expert support after childbirth is extremely common.

Postpartum depression is very treatable. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

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