Defined as: depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.
Everyone is different and no two women experience exactly the same feelings. Symptoms of postnatal depression might include a combination of:
- Feelings of anger or irritability
- Lack of interest in the baby
- Appetite and sleep disturbance
- Crying and sadness
- Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness
- Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
- Possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself
- Feel constantly tired
- Cry often for no apparent reason
- Feel panicky
- Worry excessively about her own or the baby’s health
- Have a lack of feeling for the baby
Postpartum depression can be a very difficult experience. Becoming a new parent is hard enough—and the challenges added by depression can seem overwhelming. It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect pregnancy, perfect birth, perfect baby, or perfect parent. You are doing the best you can. And with care and support, you can recover and enjoy time with your family.
If you have symptoms of postpartum depression, you should see your doctor as soon as possible so that you can get started on treatment.
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