5 Early Warning Signs of Postpartum Depression

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A baby’s birth can set in motion a plethora of strong emotions, from joy to anxiety and fear. However, this new phase can also bring with it an unexpected thing — depression. So, should new moms consider visiting a postpartum depression therapist, or will everything pass with time? 

What Are Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression?

Many new moms go through “baby blues” after childbirth, exhibiting symptoms such as sleep difficulty, mood swings, and crying spells. Baby blues typically begins within the first two to three days after delivery and can last up to two weeks.

Some moms, however, experience a more severe and prolonged form of depression, referred to as postpartum depression (PPD). It is sometimes known as peripartum depression, as it can begin during pregnancy and continue after childbirth. 

So, how do you know you are suffering from postpartum depression? Read on, we discuss the early warning signs of this condition. If you suspect you have PPD, ensure you talk to a therapist as soon as possible.

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Never-Ending Baby Blues

It is common to experience a mood deterioration during your child’s first two weeks. Once this period has elapsed, you should start feeling better. However, if these symptoms persist, it could be more than just the blues. 

As mentioned before, a remarkable difference between baby blues and PPD is that while the former may begin a few days after childbirth, the latter may start during pregnancy and continue long after. Additionally, baby blues disappear on their own, while for PPD, treatment is necessary. Lastly, the emotions associated with PPD are more intense than those linked to baby blues. 

Your Thoughts Are Consumed with Guilt or Sadness

While it is common to feel upset from time to time, frequent crying spells and feelings of unhappiness about parenthood should be cause for alarm. Therefore, if you find yourself constantly doubting your capabilities as a mom, this could be a sign of postpartum depression, and it may be time to seek counseling. 

You Start Losing Interest in the Things You Previously Enjoyed

Another warning sign of postpartum depression is detaching from the people and activities you previously used to enjoy. Do you still meet up with your friends group to enjoy a good laugh? Do you still get affectionate with your partner? Are you still an avid sportsperson and food enthusiast? If you notice drastic changes in the things you used to enjoy, it could be a sign of PPD.

Trouble During Decision-Making

You could also tell if you have postpartum depression by looking at the way you make decisions. It could be because you are too tired to think straight, or you just do not care anymore. So, if you notice you are having difficulties getting out of bed, sticking to your exercise routine, or even taking a shower, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.

Self-Harming Thoughts

Advanced postpartum depression may be characterized by suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself or your child. In some severe cases, new mothers may experience a rare mental illness called postpartum psychosis. All these are causes for concern that require the immediate attention of a therapist. 

The Takeaway

Postpartum depression in new mothers is a serious issue. If you feel unhappy and depressed following your baby’s birth, admitting it may be embarrassing, but it is the first step to finding the help you need. Ensure you talk with your primary health care provider, and if you are having suicidal thoughts, seek help from your loved ones in taking care of your baby.

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