What is Postpartum Depression also known as PMADS?
Postpartum Depression is said to be experienced by 20% - 50% of all moms. The symptoms include: social withdrawal, deep sadness, crying spells, hopelessness, excessive worrying, irritability, short temper, mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, emotional, difficulty making decisions, problems sleeping, and scary feelings about harm coming to your child. A woman experiencing postpartum depression may have a couple of these symptoms or may find themselves relating to many. Onset of symptoms usually begin within the first two weeks but are often masked by "typical new mom" symptoms therefore these may present anytime within the first year.
What causes postpartum depression or anxiety?
The EXACT cause of this is unknown but we CAN recognize some common risk factors. One is not required to have any certain number of these and may even present with only a few. These include: family history of mental illness, personal history of mental illness, prior history of trauma or loss, high stress, difficulty or high risk pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, birth trauma, special needs child, fussy baby, perinatal loss or death, conflicts with spouse or partner, financial struggles, and limited social supports.
What can I do to feel better?
We will work together to help you feel better! In addition to counseling you may benefit from medication (if we decide this is the route for you I can assist you through this process). You may find that focusing on self help measures such as incorporating healthy meals, increasing water, increasing sleep, going outside for a walk, getting together with friends, and spending time with your partner may help you BEGIN to feel better. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and fatty/ sugary foods may also help some.
Don't forget to talk to your healthcare provider.
You are not alone, You are NOT to blame, and with the right help, You WILL GET BETTER!