You’ve just given birth and everyone is ecstatic! Why do you feel so low?

After childbirth, many women have troublesome feelings. At least 60 to 80 percent of new mothers experience the “baby blues”, a mild form of depression that begins a few days to a week after delivery and generally lasts no longer than two weeks. If you have the blues, you may be weepy, anxious, and unable to sleep. You may also be irritable and moody.

If your blues have lasted more than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression (PPD). Ten to 20 percent of new mothers develop a full-blown clinical depression, which can last from two weeks to as long as a year.  The drastic drop in hormone levels, the emotional high of giving birth coming to an end, as well as the change in lifestyle of taking care of a newborn are all possible explanations of PPD, although experts have yet to pinpoint the cause.

Symptoms of PPD include

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • difficulty concentrating
  • sadness/crying that persists all day
  • diminished interest in almost all activities
  • change in appetite
  • moodiness and irritability
  • excessive guilt
  • panic attacks
  • suicidal thoughts
  • thoughts of harming the baby

 

If you think that you may be suffering from PPD, it is important that you consult your doctor right away.