Pregnancy and childbirth may be a time of great joy, as one is bringing in a new life into this world. However, it can also be a time of great difficulty. Many mothers may experience the “postpartum baby blues” which occurs within the first three days after giving birth and may last for up to two weeks. Symptoms may include crying, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. The “baby blues” may affect up to 80% of mothers. A more severe experience, a type of depression, is postpartum depression. Mothers experience extreme sadness, anxiety, and tiredness for more than 2 weeks. Other symptoms may include:
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
- Eating too little or too much
- Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
- Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with your baby
- Persistently doubting your ability to care for your baby
- Thinking about harming yourself or your baby
Postpartum depression doesn’t have a single cause, but it is not caused by a mother’s flaw. It is likely resulted from physical and emotional factors. Depression or bipolar disorder during pregnancy or before can also affect the likelihood of experiencing postpartum depression. Treatment may include talk therapy and medication. If left untreated, the symptoms may continue for months and even years. This can affect the mother’s relationship with the baby and can negatively impact the baby’s development.
If you believe that you or a loved one has or may have postpartum depression, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Please contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment, or visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.
By: Jenny Barbosa