After childbirth, a woman may be vulnerable to develop Post-Natal or Post-Partum Depression, more commonly known as baby blues. It is said that 10 – 30% of all new mothers develop baby blues. With so much going on, how do you know if you’re experiencing baby blues or simply adjusting to a new stage of your life? Today we discuss the symptoms and cause of baby blues and how to identify postnatal depression.
What is Postnatal Depression?
Jenna D (name changed) shared her baby blues story online and said she realized something was wrong when she hadn’t showered in days. She said she felt frazzled and couldn’t remember simple things. Her life evolved around her newborn and she wasn’t doing anything for herself.
Women may develop postnatal depression due to too many stress factors as a result of giving birth. It usually occurs within 12 months of having a baby and can range from mild to severe. For some women, it may pass quickly whilst others may require professional help.
How to identify Postnatal Depression
How do you know if you are suffering from baby blues or simply having difficulty adjusting to your new way of life? Herewith some symptoms of postnatal depression:
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of inadequacy and guilt
- Feeling overwhelmed, anxious and unable to cope
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Difficulty bonding with your newborn
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of confidence and low self-esteem
Did you know that fathers may also be vulnerable to post-natal depression?
Treatment options for Postnatal Depression
If you are concerned that you might have the baby blues, consult your doctor. You may be asked to complete a depression-screening questionnaire and have blood tests done. Seeking professional help is crucial for your wellbeing. It is unlikely that baby blues will get better by itself.
Depending on your results, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, hormone therapy and recommend a good psychiatrist for postnatal depression care.
Unfortunately, one cannot prevent hormone changes associated with baby blues but there are a few solutions to prevent ongoing baby blues.
- Don’t be shy to ask for help and support if you feel overwhelmed
- Keep your mind and body healthy and strong with regular exercise and a balanced diet
- Best not to consume alcohol, caffeine and medicine that was not recommended by your doctor.
In conclusion, support from family and friends may be the most important factor when dealing with baby blues. Remember that baby blues is a temporary condition. Over time it will improve. Consult a medical professional at Kiaat Private Hospital for the best postnatal depression treatment options. Kiaat Private Hospital has a dedicated maternity section, known as the ‘Mother and Child Care Unit’. Well-trained staff will assist you on your journey to recovery in a safe and loving environment.