Make an Appointment: [email protected] | 949-257-2759

  • Maternal Mental Health “Baby Blues” Perinatal & Postpartum Depression

    The birth of a baby is a beautiful event filled with anticipation, happiness, and excitement in welcoming the new baby. You have probably had dreams of being delighted after childbirth. Instead, you face disappointment, confusion, and heartache in not understanding your emotions and responses to motherhood impacting your mental health and well-being. Moreover, attachment bonds negatively impact your ability to provide the emotional connection and bond with your baby.

    It is common for new mothers to experience a temporary episode of the “baby blues” and feel anxious, stressed, or moody after the birth of their baby. This usually subsides with support from your partner, family, and friends. However, one in every eight to ten women within one year or more after the birth of a newborn infant develop postpartum depression or postpartum mood disorder. According to researchers, hormones may cause unbalanced chemicals in the brain to fluctuate, increasing your anxiety and depression and increasing moodiness.

    New mothers may be hesitant or ashamed to share with anyone, even their physician, how awful they feel. You may think that these feelings and thoughts will mean that you are a bad mother. It is essential to understand that postpartum depression is not a character flaw or sign of personal weakness. Postpartum depression can affect any woman, regardless of her culture, age, race, or social-economic status.

    Most new mothers experience postpartum “baby blues” after childbirth, which commonly includes sensitivity, mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. Baby blues typically begin within the first two to three days after delivery and may last for up to two weeks. If these symptoms do not subside, postpartum depression sets in, producing an acute and severe form of depression.

    What Is Perinatal Depression?

    It is one of the most common Obstetric & Gynecology medical complications for women during pregnancy and the postpartum period after pregnancy. The condition affects one in seven women and begins during pregnancy, throughout the pregnancy, and the twelve months after giving birth.

    Symptoms of Perinatal Depression

    Frequent crying or weepiness

    Difficulty sleeping

    Low energy

    Appetite changes

    Loss of enjoyment in pleasurable activities

    Increased anxiety

    Baby Blues Symptoms

    These typically only last a few days to one or two weeks after the birth of your baby and dissipate after this period.

    ·       Mood swings

    ·       Anxiety

    ·       Sadness

    ·       Irritability and moodiness

    ·       Feeling overwhelmed

    ·       Crying spells

    ·       Poor concentration

    ·       Appetite problems

    ·       Sleeping disturbance

    Postpartum Depression Symptoms

    Sadness and unmanageable crying

    Isolating from family and friends

    Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping

    Changes in appetite – overeating or undereating

    Excessive irritability, anger, and worry

    Being afraid and fearful

    Lack of energy and motivation

    Difficulty form a bond with your baby

    Guilt, despair, unworthy, hopeless

    Difficulty concentrating or make decisions

    Thoughts of self-harming or suicide

    Thoughts of harming the baby

    Postpartum Depression Risk Factors

    Previous depression diagnosis

    Postpartum depression in previous pregnancies

    Miscarriages and Infant Grief and Loss

    Becoming a first-time mother

    A family history of mental illness: bipolar, depression, anxiety

    An alcohol and substance abuse history

    Past trauma history emotional, physical, and sexual abuse

    Medical complications at birth and delivery

    Extreme sleep deprivation

    Baby’s health and medical challenges

    Lacking support from your partner, family, and friends

    High stress related to interpersonal relationship issues

    Previous menstrual cycle moodiness

    Experiencing depression during the pregnancy

    High stress with financial, immigration, or legal issues

    Multiethnic and multiracial bias and microaggressions

    If You Are Experiencing a Crisis, Suicidal Thoughts or Thoughts of Harming Your Baby

    If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, immediately seek help in taking care of your baby.

    ·     Immediately call 911 or the local hospital emergency room

    ·    Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK

    ·     (1-800-273-8255) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

    ·    Chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

    ·    Contact the Crisis Text Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

    · Text HELLO to 741741.

    ·     Seek help from your primary care physician

    ·     Call a mental health professional

    ·     Reach out to your partner, close friend, or family.

    ·     Contact a spiritual leader in your faith community.

     

    References

    Postpartum depression. Office of Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression.

    Postpartum depression. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/postpartum-care-and-associated-disorders/postpartum-depression.

    Viguera A. Postpartum unipolar depression: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search.

    What is postpartum depression? American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/postpartum-depression/what-is-postpartum-depression.

     

    Share this:
    • Twitter

       

    • Facebook

       

    Share this:
    • Twitter

       

    • Facebook