Months of pregnancy bring with them many changes in a woman’s body and the expectations of holding and loving a new baby. The anxious arrival brings forth cries of joy, exhaustion, and often other feelings that you possibly did not expect. Many women experience feelings of agitation and resentment, mixed with tears and the desire to spend some time away from their new baby. They wonder if these feelings are normal and if they are a bad mother.
The “baby blues” are common occurrences for new mothers as they adjust to their new role and the constant demands of a newborn. Mild tearfulness, moodiness, restlessness, anxiety, poor concentration, and insomnia (despite their own exhaustion) are common symptoms of baby blues. These symptoms can occur within four to five days after giving birth, lasting for short spans of time, and generally disappearing within two weeks after delivery. However, symptoms that last longer than two weeks and are more intense than just mild feelings that come and go, it is important that you speak with your obstetrician because you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Talking with someone about your feelings is the most important step, because ignoring your feelings can interfere with your ability to care for your baby and any other children that you have.
Symptoms of postpartum depression do not always begin early after delivery, but often show up months later. Any of the following symptoms should not be ignored:
- Severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with baby or withdrawing from baby completely
- Extreme changes in appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping, even through baby’s cries
- Extreme fatigue
- Feelings of anger or extreme irritability
- Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, or that you are not a good mother
- Panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming your baby
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, please contact Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. immediately. We are here to support you and help you through this difficult time. Postpartum depression is treatable, but only when you allow others to know of your difficulties and allow them to help you.