Let’s Talk About Postpartum Depression

(Originally Posted on Feb 11, 2016)

Postpartum depression is one of those subjects that many women don’t feel comfortable speaking about. It can be difficult to admit that you are feeling the symptoms, and you might even feel yourself trying to push them to the back of your mind. However, this can lead to dangerous outcomes that mothers want to avoid. Here we’ll explore what to look for if you think you have postpartum depressions and how to get help.

The difference between the postpartum baby blues and depression

Some women will have postpartum baby blues, but will not reach the symptoms of full-blown depression. The baby blues will often last a few days up to a few weeks. It often includes symptoms such as mood swings, lack of sleep, an overwhelmed feeling, crying, and anxiety. If these feelings don’t subside after a week or two, you may have postpartum depression rather than the baby blues.

Postpartum depression will be much more severe and will include excessive crying, intense feelings of fear that you’re not a good mother, anger, the inability to think clearly, panic attacks, thoughts of being harmful to your child, being unable to properly take care of yourself and your baby, and much more. Even though you might not want to admit when these feelings start to take over, it’s crucial that you don’t blame them on a lack of sleep or other stressful changes you’ve experienced.

When to get help

Have an open conversation with your gynecologist about how you feel after you’ve given birth. If you do see signs of the baby blues and notice they haven’t subsided after a couple of weeks or are getting more intense, it’s important that you seek professional help. Some women experience thoughts of suicide and are unable to complete everyday tasks such as making dinner or laundry.

While it’s good that you involve your family, they won’t be able to provide you with the proper diagnosis, medication, or therapy. They’ll be able to support you throughout the process of recovery, but you’ll want someone who understands postpartum depression. A doctor has the knowledge and skills to assess your particular needs after you’ve given birth. Each person is different in what they experience after childbirth, and you should never compare yourself others.

Recovery takes time

Whether you or someone you love is going through postpartum depression, it’s important you understand that it is going to take patience and love to overcome this obstacle. Beyond therapy and medication, it takes time and attention. Try not to get discouraged because you aren’t progressing as fast as you would like. You’ll want to take the recovery process one day at a time and celebrate the small victories.

If you feel you’re suffering from postpartum depression, or you are concerned that it could happen to you, contact Palm Beach Obstetrics & Gynecology, and we’ll help in every way we can. Call today at 561-434-0111, or come by our locations in Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, or West Palm Beach.

Dr. Marcela Lazo

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