This Guest Post comes from the talented Erica Johnson, the main Editor for Inner Parents. She is a proud mother of two and is very passionate about the latest parenting tips and baby products.
5 Things You Should Know about Postpartum Depression – Guest Post
Few people talk about postpartum depression, and even fewer want to admit they have it. They may feel shame in admitting that they aren’t as blissful as they are “supposed to be” after having a baby. A lot of women are told that it should be the happiest time in their lives, so they feel embarrassed to admit that it’s not.
Learning more about postpartum depression can ease this stigma and encourage more women to get help for this serious condition. Here are 5 things you should know about postpartum depression
1) Anyone Can Get it
Postpartum depression can strike any woman who has a baby. Woman who have a family history of depression, anxiety, or mood disorders have a higher risk of PPD, but even women with no history can get PPD. Those who have serious mood changes with their menstrual cycles are also at higher risk. Women who have PPD after one pregnancy have a 75 percent chance of developing it in the next pregnancy.
2) Onset May Be Delayed
Just because you feel fine during the first few months after having your baby doesn’t mean you are in the clear for postpartum depression. PPD can actually occur any time within the first year after giving birth. Symptoms usually occur in the first three months, but every case is different.
3) It Can Start During Pregnancy
Despite its name, postpartum depression can actually begin while you are still pregnant. You can feel depression as early as you get morning sickness. Regular prenatal care is important for identifying the earliest stages of depression, as well. Medication and talk therapy can begin during pregnancy to make the transition to motherhood a little easier.
4) It May Not Feel Like Depression
Again, the name can be misleading. Postpartum depression can feel like sadness and hopelessness, but it can also feel like anxiety, irritability, fear, regret, grief, apathy, or insomnia. Some of those things are a normal part of the period after pregnancy, which can make it hard for some women to tell that they are actually experiencing PPD. That’s why it’s so important for women to have plenty of support from friends and family after a pregnancy and to see a doctor regularly. This network will identify the symptoms early.
5) Treatment for Postpartum Depression is Available
Postpartum depression can be treated through talk therapy and medication. Some women can also find relief through therapies like meditation, massage, acupuncture, or exercise. However, you should not feel shame if your postpartum depression does not respond to these types of therapies. Professional treatment is needed for all cases of PPD, including for those women who find some relief through alternative therapies.
Postpartum depression is a serious condition that can threaten the health of the mother and prove dangerous to the baby. If you suspect that you have the baby blues, you should talk to your doctor about treatment. If you suspect that someone you love might have PPD, offer her the support and compassion to help her get the help she needs.