brought your newborn baby home and couldn't be more excited. After months of waiting to meet your little one, they are finally in your arms. Maybe this is your first child or another addition to the family. However, something feels off. It's been a few weeks or more, and you can't shake the feelings of sadness. Having the "baby blues" is something that many women commonly experience after giving birth. However, these feelings will stop after a few weeks. They also don't stop you from being able to care for your baby in the ways you want to.
Most people commonly mix up having baby blues with another disorder known as Postpartum Depression Disorder (PDD). While both are very real conditions, PDD doesn't go away quickly on its own.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression lasts much longer than your typical baby blues. And it goes beyond just feeling sad or unmotivated. A woman may experience PDD for up to a year or more after giving birth.
Some signs of PDD can include:
Feeling depressed for long periods of time
Changes in sleeping habits (not being able to sleep at all)
Eating more or less than you typically would
Lack of motivation to do anything
Feeling like you can't bond with your baby or connect to them on a deeper level
Causes Of Postpartum Depression
PDD does not have a single specific cause. Instead, there can be many different reasons why a woman may be experiencing it. Most of it can boil down to the physical and hormonal changes your body rapidly goes through during pregnancy and afterward. However, those aren't going to be the only reasons why PDD manifests itself. Other reasons include:
The emotional toll of having a baby and giving birth
The huge life changes and adjustments needed to care for a newborn
Lack of sleep
Not enough time for self-care
A history of depression or other mental health concerns
Not feeling supported during this time
Treating Postpartum Depression
What you are going through right now is not easy. Giving birth and caring for a newborn baby are taxing and exhausting. It's a huge adjustment for the mother and father to adjust to this new life and routine. Even though it is overwhelming to deal with PDD, you can find ways to cope.
1. Remind Yourself It Doesn't Last Forever
Postpartum depression can last a while, but that doesn't mean it will go on forever. As your body and mind adjust to motherhood, the symptoms of PDD will begin to lessen.
2. PDD Does Not Make You A Bad Parent
Many women blame themselves for having PDD. It makes them question whether they are doing enough for their baby. Or they may worry that they aren't connecting with their newborn in a meaningful way.
PDD does not make you a bad parent. You are doing your best right now, even if it doesn't always feel like it. Give yourself the grace and acceptance to understand that you are undergoing a huge change. Each postpartum period will be different for everyone, whether this is your first or third child.
3. Reach Out To A Therapist
Nobody should have to go through their struggles alone. At the end of the day, we all want to feel supported and understood in what we are going through. If you recognize the signs of PDD, don't hesitate to reach out to me. It is never too late or wrong to receive the help you need to improve your mental health. Let's connect soon so I can show you how postpartum depression counseling can help you.