Some degree of emotional upheaval is completely natural after childbirth. As many as 80 percent of new moms experience a phase known as the ‘baby blues’-a rather glib term for a very distressing emotional state. This phase of teary despair tends to come in the days following childbirth and hang around for a couple weeks before you begin to feel more like yourself again.
Postpartum depression may feel similar in nature to the baby blues, but it’s a far more severe and persistent condition than the hormonal drop after childbirth. If your baby blues don’t seem to fade away after a few weeks then you may be suffering from this difficult form of clinical depression.
What Are The Risk Factors?
Some women are more prone than others to develop postpartum depression. If you have a family history of mental illness, or a history of depression or anxiety yourself, then you may be more likely to fall ill after giving birth. Difficult life circumstances can also trigger postpartum depression, such as financial problems or issues in your relationship with your partner. However, you don’t have to fall into any of the risk factor categories to experience depression- some women feel that the illness strikes out of the blue with no prior warning.
What Are The Symptoms?
Postpartum depression is characterized by a distinctive set of symptoms. If you experience any of these warning signs then you may need to see your doctor:
What Can You Do?
Taking care of a newborn baby is hard work. When you add postpartum depression into the equation, things can feel extremely unmanageable. It’s important to take the necessary steps to care for yourself during this hard time.