Having a baby is a joyous time full of love and happiness. However, it can also be a time full of emotional and physical changes. The variety of changes in the body after giving birth can lead to postpartum depression (PPD), a common ailment among many new mothers. Though PPD can vary in degrees of severity, it is important to know the signs and symptoms. So, keep reading to find out about the five main symptoms of postpartum depression.
Sleeping and Eating Problems
With a new baby, it can be hard to find the time to sleep and eat a proper diet. While those things are normal for new mothers, your sleep and eating habits are important. Many women who suffer from PPD experience extreme changes in their eating and sleeping habits. For instance, those with PPD may not be able to sleep at all, regardless of the situation, or they may sleep all the time. Also, a lack of appetite is also one of the first signs of depression.
It’s natural to feel tired after having a baby. But if you find yourself exhausted more often than not, it could be a sign of postpartum depression. Many women with PPD find themselves tired all day, with no energy to do even the most basic of tasks. Exhaustion can be seen in a variety of behaviors, and it can be felt both physically and mentally. Fatigue can mean having no energy to take care of yourself, your home, or your family.
Extreme Feelings of Worthlessness, Guilt, or Hopelessness
It is amazing the extent of feelings you have once you give birth. You may experience a rainbow of emotions, and your hormones after giving birth don’t help. Many women often feel like they are on a rollercoaster of emotions for the first few weeks after having the baby. They may cry at random times or have feelings of frustration or anxiety.
But if these feelings become overwhelming or last longer than two weeks, it could be a sign of PPD. Women with PPD often worry about their parenting, feel guilt over everything, and may even feel like they are worthless.
Withdrawal or Loss of Interest
Everyone must have a support system, and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to being a parent. It is common and healthy to reserve time for yourself and your baby after they are born. But women who suffer from PPD often withdraw from their normal lives as a result of their mental state.
People with PPD and other forms of depression often disconnect from the world, their support systems, their families, and their interests. If you feel zero interest in anything after your baby is born, especially things you once loved, it could be a major sign of postpartum depression.
One of the most important symptoms of postpartum depression is the appearance of extreme thoughts. Feelings of guilt, frustration, worthlessness, and more can manifest itself into extremely unhealthy thoughts about yourself, your baby, and your family. Some women with more advanced forms of PPD may have thoughts about hurting themselves, their baby, or others. These feelings may also include guilt for having these feelings in the first, which makes women less likely to tell others about this extremely serious symptom.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to know that you are not alone. Millions of women all over the world deal with postpartum depression each year, so it is okay to ask for help. Be sure to contact your healthcare team immediately if you think you may be at risk for postpartum depression.