Postnatal depression is the type of depression that happens to new mothers after the birth of their child. It affects more than 1 in 10 women worldwide. It’s often called the “baby blues” but it’s worse than that. If you feel sad longer than a few days after you have your baby, you may have postnatal depression and need professional care to help you recover.
Here are the signs to look for when you think you or someone you love may have postnatal depression.
- Very low disposition
- Feels as if motherhood is not for them
- Feels hopeless about motherhood and the future
- Often sad, teary, and exhausted
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- Feels worthless to her family, especially the baby
- Worries to an extreme about something happening to the baby
- Doesn’t want to go out
- Doesn’t want to be alone
- Severe anxiety manifestation
If you start feeling any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s imperative that you seek professional help from your doctor. Doctors today are accustomed to dealing with postnatal depression, so don’t be afraid to call the doctor prior to your six-week check-up to find out how to get help.
More than likely your doctor will refer you to a specialist who can deal with postnatal depression more easily. You may end up in counseling or in some cases doctors feel comfortable prescribing medication such as antidepressants to help temporarily while you explore other options to help you get on the right track.
One thing to remember is that not only mothers experience postnatal depression; sometimes fathers do too. Usually, it’s due to lack of sleep and worries about the future and finances. So, if a father is experiencing any of these symptoms, they should also seek expert care to ensure that they can get through the tough months of infanthood.
How to Get Help
You can do a search online for depression support in your area. Just do a search on Google for “Postnatal Depression Support Your Area”. You’ll find many numbers and can best determine which one is for you. You can also always talk to your normal primary care physician about your issues and symptoms, as well as your GYN.
One thing to remember about getting help for depression, especially if you’re afraid you’re going to hurt your baby or yourself, is that the doctor is supposed to take it very seriously. Once you tell them, they may order a 24- to 48-hour hold in which you will be checked into the hospital so that they can do some tests and observe you.
Please do not be afraid. They will not remove custody of your child or put you in jail due to your thoughts, only your actions. The fact that you’re seeking professional help speaks wonders about your devotion to your child and your willingness to get help.