Bringing a new baby home and into your family is a very special time. Unfortunately, sometimes this unique time is challenged when a mother experiences conflicting feelings about the experience due to hormones or an overwhelming feeling of change, a condition known as postpartum depression or the "baby blues".
Psychopharmacology (medications) can prove to be very helpful, but therapy has also proven to be highly beneficial to the new mother experiencing depression after giving birth. Seeking support for the mother, and even other family members, is a wonderfully nurturing way to ease into this new time in your life. Postpartum depression can last a short time or it may linger and getting the proper support will allow for a foundation where everyone in the family can enjoy the experience of bringing a new family member into the picture. This is such a precious time, and it is a shame to miss a moment of the beginning stages in a new baby's life.
I have worked with many new mothers who have postpartum depression and I feel very empathic to their situation. It’s a big enough change to physically give birth and take on the 24/7 needs of a helpless infant who needs constant attention and care, and then add an overwhelming amount of hormones and there’s potential that a new mother can feel very unlike her normal self. It’s just very trying and emotionally draining at best, and more often than not, most women are deeply saddened that they are not able to enjoy and appreciate this special time. Therapy really does help, and it has been my pleasure to help mothers work through this period of time.
The following can be signs you (or someone you love) is experiencing postpartum depression:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling very sad or anxious (maybe experiencing a racing heart or a tight chest)
- Inability to make decisions
- Not interested in activities that previously brought happiness
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Lack of interest in the baby
If there are any signs that the mother may be of harm to herself or the baby, please call for immediate help. Call 911 if there is an immediate threat, or call the OB/GYN or pediatrician for assistance or guidance to get the new mom and family to the right professional. Please do not hesitate to call for help.