Overcoming Post-Partum Depression

It is not uncommon for women to experience some degree of emotional let down after giving birth. Crying for no reason, irritability, restlessness and anxiety are all common, especially the first two weeks. ItÂ’s only when these feeling do not go away within a few weeks, or that they are severe enough to interfere with your daily functioning that you should seek treatment.

Symptoms

Post-partum depression includes symptoms such as:
  • Negative feelings toward the baby
  • Fear of being left alone with the baby
  • Lack of pleasure in all or most activities
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of energy
  • Feeling withdrawn, socially isolated, or unconnected
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Agitation, irritability, nervousness, anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Auditory hallucinations (hearing voices)
If you begin to experience any of these thoughts or feelings you should contact your doctor.
 

Treatment

Post-partum depression is very treatable and your doctor can help you get on the right track. The treatment for depression after birth often includes medication, therapy, or a combination of both. There are several types of anti-depressant medications that are safe for breastfeeding mothers, and your doctor can refer you to a counselor if needed.
 
There also are many things you can do at home to help overcome post-partum depression, including:
  • Surrounding yourself with supportive family members and friends, and ask for their help in caring for the baby.
  • Taking care of yourself. Get as much rest as you can - try napping when the baby naps.
  • Trying not to spend much time alone.
  • Spending quality time with your husband or partner.
  • Taking a shower and getting dressed every day.
  • Getting out of the house. Take a walk, see a friend, do something you enjoy. Get someone to take care of the baby if you can; if you can't, take the baby with you.
  • Not expecting too much from yourself. For example, don't worry too much about the housework. Ask friends and family for help.
  • Talking to other mothers. You can learn from each other, and their experiences can be reassuring. Post-partum depression affects 10-15% of moms, so odds are that some of them have had the same experience.
It is very important if you are thinking of harming yourself or your infant, to call your doctor. We can help you over come your depression, so you can continue with a happy and healthy life with your baby.