Events & News

Sometimes new moms need a little help

5/8/2017

            Often, when a woman learns she is pregnant there is excitement and great joy to share this wondrous news with family and friends and track the stages of growth of the baby as time passes. As the last weeks of pregnancy wind down time seems to slow. There are backaches, swollen ankles and you can’t see your feet anymore. You just want the baby to get here so you can sleep comfortably, eat without having heart burn, and to see those feet.

            Is there anything that compares with holding that tiny new being, to bond with this child you already are madly in love with? Grandparents, uncles and aunts all come to welcome, hold and admire your baby. It is warm and cozy when Daddy, wakes and says, “Sleep. I’ll feed the baby.” But a new reality sets in when everyone has welcomed the baby and gone back home to their own lives, Daddy has gone back to work and you experience your new responsibilities on your own, often alone. When you have a new baby, your life is forever changed. You might feel so many different emotions that you develop the “baby blues.”

            The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) advises that one in nine women experience depression before, during or after pregnancy. Baby blues last only a short time but postpartum depression lasts longer.

            “Postpartum blues is a relatively common emotional disturbance with crying, confusion, mood swings, anxiety and depression.” It doesn’t last for very long, a few hours to a few days, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

            A more severe condition begins about a month after the birth with delusions, hallucinations, and impaired functions and is called postpartum depression. This is major depression where the woman suffers fatigue, anorexia, sleep disorders, anxiety, excessive guilt and suicidal thoughts.

            Risk factors include mood disorders, depression symptoms during pregnancy, family history of psychiatric disorders and stress factors like negative life events, poor marital relationships, special needs infants, lack of social support and drug abuse.

            Do you cry more than usual?

            Do you feel angry?

            Are you withdrawing from loved ones?

            Do you worry a lot more about your baby? Do you feel distant from your baby?

            Do you feel guilty because you aren’t a good parent?

            Do you think you can’t take care of your baby, that you might hurt your baby?

            If any of your answers are yes, understand that you are not alone. Remember, one in nine women experience this.

            Symptoms of depression may not always be recognized because they are so similar to those things so common during pregnancy … always tired, no energy, trouble sleeping because you just can’t get comfortable and not eating, sometimes for the very same reason.

            Depression is not something to be ashamed of. The sooner the new mom talks to her health care provider and gets started on treatment, the quicker she will feel better. Recovery is a beautiful thing. It’s important to take care of Mom because her well being has a great impact on her children.


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