Postpartum mood disorders are more common than you may think. Although overall they probably don’t receive enough attention from the general population, postpartum depression has become the most popularly discussed. However, there are five different postpartum mood disorders people may experience after the birth of their baby. Thankfully, doctors and scientists are devoting more time and energy toward understanding mental illness more and more every day, but we still have a long way to go. Most evidence shows that postpartum mood disorders are correlated with the hormonal changes your body will endure, but sometimes life circumstances can play a role is amplifying mood disorders for people. Whatever the reasoning, if you experience any postpartum mood disorder hear me say this: You are not a bad parent, you are capable of caring for your baby, and you can get through this.
We all need help sometimes… the key is asking for it when we need it. If you find yourself in a rut, or if you see your partner exemplifying any of these symptoms, call your doula, midwife and/or doctor. They will point you in the right direction.
Baby blues is classified as a less severe version of postpartum depression, but is still worthy of attention. Approximately 70-80% of people experience baby blues after giving birth. It typically begins within the first few days after bringing baby home, and last no longer than 14 days.
Postpartum depression is an illness similar to baby blues, but it extends past 14 days, and can begin any time within the first year of baby’s life. If you’re feeling down, blank and non-emotional about anything for longer than 2 weeks, seek professional help… you do not have to suffer alone.
Postpartum OCD is similar in some ways to postpartum depression, but has clear deviants. Obsessive compulsive disorder after having a baby often leads the mother to feel overly fearful and therefore making decisions based on irrational fears.
Of course introducing a baby to your life is going to spark some level of anxiety for almost everyone… but postpartum anxiety is more extreme.
Postpartum psychosis is the rarest of the postpartum mood disorders affecting only about 1 in every 1000 mothers. It rarely goes unnoticed because it’s symptoms are clear.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you don’t have anyone to reach out to, reach out to me. You’re not broken, you’re not bad, you’re just going through something horrible right now — and trust me, it’s worse to do that silently.
Suicide hotline: 1 800 273 8255
My personal phone number: 1 425 478 7247
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