When it comes to bringing life into the world, many women may initially think that childbirth is the hardest part. While that certainly is no easy feat, the journey following pregnancy can be just as, if not more, difficult. That’s why your OB/GYN wants you to be watchful for depression during your postpartum recovery, so that you can be alert to your needs and reach out for help when you need it. Many women feel pressured to bounce back quickly after childbirth, but in reality, your body will take time to adjust. Postpartum is a period of time that your body needs to recover from childbirth, and that period is different for every woman. Communicate with your doctor after delivery and throughout the postpartum period to discuss any problems you may have with pain, bleeding, or depression.
It is important not to be ashamed of postpartum depression, as it is a very natural condition that occurs for many women after childbirth. Depression occurs because there are sudden drop-offs in estrogen and progesterone following the delivery of a child, and those hormonal imbalances can lead to serious depressive episodes. It is not an uncommon occurrence, and estimates say that anywhere from one in nine to one-fourth of women experience postpartum depression. However, less than 15 percent of those women actively seek help for the condition. It is important not only to get help from your doctor, but also to have a good support system of family and friends after having a baby.
Some women may be more likely to experience postpartum depression, particularly if you have experienced depression in the past or are prone to anxiety. Women who go through a healthy pregnancy and delivery are not the only ones susceptible to postpartum depression. Women who experience an abortion or suffer a miscarriage may also show signs of the condition. Many times, women who go through these issues feel as if they are not allowed to feel depressed, but their condition is no less valid than a woman who experiences childbirth.
Postpartum depression can be extremely dangerous, and some feel as if they are losing their grip on reality. This can motivate a woman to inflict harm upon herself, and in some cases her baby as well. If you find yourself in this situation is it important not to feel ashamed, but to seek help, whether it be from family, a friend, or your doctor. Remember that there is no one to blame and that you didn’t do anything to bring depression upon yourself. It is completely normal to experience postpartum depression, and there are things that can be done to counteract it.
Many women benefit from therapy, support groups, and even medication that can provide relief to postpartum depression. Avoiding alcohol, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can also treat depression. The most important thing to remember is to seek treatment if you experience postpartum depression. As a new mom it is important to have good health, mentally and physically. If you suffer from postpartum depression, now is the time to seek help. Give us a call today at 615-690-6600.