7 symptoms of postpartum depression to look out for
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Welcoming a baby can be an emotional rollercoaster ride of joy, anxiety, fear and more. It can also get overwhelming and bring forth a whole new set of challenges, including dealing with postpartum depression.
According to online statistics, one in nine women suffer from postpartum depression. Despite being prevalent among new mothers, it can be hard to spot the symptoms. Here are seven common signs that you should be wary of.
1.Your baby blues won’t go away
It’s normal to feel down and tired after childbirth, but this usually fades in a few weeks once you start adjusting to your new life. However, some new mums go through a more serious and long-lasting form of depression.
Are you experiencing extreme mood swings, high levels of anxiety and irritability, or excessive crying even long after your baby is born? You could be suffering from postpartum depression if these feelings become more intense instead of diminishing as time goes by.
2.Loss of interest in hobbies and things you once enjoyed
You have no appetite even when your favourite food is in front of you and nor do you feel like being affectionate with your partner. Hobbies that once brought you great pleasure are no longer enjoyable. These abrupt changes in habits could be an indication that you are suffering from postpartum depression.
3.Difficulty bonding with your baby
It’s one thing to be disinterested in your old hobbies, but imagine feeling the same about your precious newborn. Motherhood should be a time filled with pride and excitement despite its many challenges along the way. Another warning sign to look out for is feeling no emotional attachment to the little angel that you just painstakingly birthed.
4.Change in sleep patterns
The arrival of a newborn might disrupt your sleep pattern, unless you have a confinement nanny who can help to nurse and tend to your baby during the wee hours. But something might be wrong if you find yourself unable to rest properly even when your child is not clamouring for attention, if you are exhausted but yet can’t fall asleep, or if all you feel like doing little else except for staying in bed to snooze.
5.You have trouble making decisions
Maybe you are too worn out to think straight… or maybe you just can’t be bothered to care. Being unable to make simple decisions such as whether to take a shower or feed your baby is a red flag that should not go ignored.
6.You feel guilty, worthless and inadequate all the time
You are consumed by negative emotions, from guilt and shame to hopelessness and despair. You constantly feel like a bad parent or that you are not doing enough for your little one. You may even feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity or think that you have lost control over your life and see no light at the end of the tunnel. These are all signs that should be dealt with as soon as possible.
7.You think about harming yourself or your baby
Thoughts of suicide or hurting your baby are advanced indicators of postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis, a rare and serious mental illness that typically develops within the first week after delivery. Symptoms include confusion and disorientation, hallucinations and delusions, paranoia, and obsessive thoughts about your infant.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to speak to a loved one and consult a medical professional immediately. Learn to relax and be kind to yourself. The sooner you seek treatment, the earlier you can start to feel like yourself again. Remember: You are not alone.
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