Becoming a mother is probably the best experience in any woman’s life. It will bring lots of joy and fulfillment to your life and can be a dream come true for some of us. This is the time when you probably start experiencing the real unconditional love. But wait! What happens if after bringing this bundle of joy to life you start feeling insecure, inadequate or even worst sad, angry, and want your previous life back?
If you have had a baby within the last 12 months and depending on your symptoms, you may be experiencing postpartum disorders, also known as postnatal depression or anxiety. First of all, don’t panic! You are not alone. There are about 600,000 women per year in the USA experiencing this condition, and I say “condition” because this is not an illness and it’s also temporary.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BABY BLUES AND POSTPARTUM DISORDERS?
The symptoms are similar between the two; however, baby blues lasts about 3 weeks after the birth of the child and dissipates after. There is also a difference in the intensity of the symptoms.
The most important factor is to be aware of it in order to treat it. Untreated postpartum depression may turn into chronic depressive or anxiety disorder. Here are the symptoms:
SIGNS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION:
Crying: You cry a lot for no apparent reason. Hormone changes play an important role here. You should know this is normal and temporary.
Sleeping problems: You may want to sleep all day. It’s okay. Your body is adapting to a new lifestyle and may be exhausted. Some moms, on the contrary, cannot sleep at all. If that’s your case, you may feel so nervous with your new situation that you can’t fall asleep.
Fear of being with your baby: Are you afraid of touching your baby and hurt him? Do you think you’re going to drop him or that you cannot take good care of him? You probably don’t want to nurse your baby?
Fear of losing your baby: Some new moms think that someone will steal their babies in the park or in the car while stopping at the light. Some others have nightmares about it and cannot cope with the anxiety while they are awake. This fear is very common, especially with new parents.
Sadness: You feel very sad for no reason. You have a beautiful life but you feel you cannot overcome this feeling. Emotional lows are normal because of the dropping of progesterone and estrogen hormones. You may be tearful now and happy just minutes later.
Anxiety: Are you constantly feeling worried about the health of your baby, his growth, and development or anything else regarding the safety of your child in an obsessive way? There are some techniques I can teach you to overcome this feeling.
Feeling overwhelmed: You feel that you can’t handle your new 24/7 role and that your life is a mess because you don’t have the time or the energy to be a mother, take care of the house, your job and be a good spouse at the same time, aren’t you? Relax! Ask for help so you can find the way to do it. This is transitory.
Concentration issues: Do you go to the kitchen and can’t remember why? Are you having trouble making simple decisions like what to do for dinner? Lack of focus can be a consequence of sleep deprivation and all your overwhelming feelings.
Thoughts of hurting the baby: You have these disturbing thoughts of hurting your newborn. You may feel embarrassed and guilty about it or maybe not. Some women under postpartum depression experience these feelings. Don’t be scared! But you should ask for professional advice right away.
Hopelessness or helplessness: You maybe feel weak and lost. You feel that your new situation is never going to improve. But remember, this is only temporary. It will go away with some help.
Irritability: You feel angry toward your baby because you feel he took away your freedom or you are angry at your husband for not helping you too much.
No social life: You may feel that you are so busy taking care of the baby that there is no time for a get- together with friends as you used to. You may feel like the slave of the baby.
No bonding with your baby: Many women don’t feel the bonding with their babies for the first few weeks. Give yourself some time and patience.
Numbness: You don’t feel anything at all, not good or bad feelings about being a new mom. Numbness is a reaction to protect yourself from the uncertainty of motherhood.
Eating disorders: Overeating can be your escape valve to the anxiety of the unknown. In the other hand, some moms lost their appetite and don’t feel like eating at all because of the anxiety too.
Feeling of incapacity to be a good mom: You may feel that you are a lousy mother and your baby deserves someone else better than you.
Feeling of having lost your life: You feel that nothing is going to be the same again in your life. You are sad and angry because you cannot turn back and do the things you liked to do before becoming a mother.
I have good news for you! Postpartum depression is a 100% treatable. Some mothers are more vulnerable to PPD because of a genetic tendency in their families. I am sure you would like to snap out of it, but maybe you can’t do it alone. Be patient with yourself but get professional help now.
Remember that you don’t have to struggle with depression any longer. I, as a mother and family counselor, understand how hard can be for a new mom to deal with these huge changes in life and are happy to offer my help. The sooner you get help the better. Call me to schedule a consultation right now. If you would like to read about me CLICK HERE .
To Your Family Success!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com and follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/