Postpartum depression is a form of depression that comes after giving birth to a child. Many new moms go through a period of mood fluctuations after having a baby. Some only last a few days (often known as “baby blues”), but some can last for weeks or even months. This is not a negative reflection on the mother or the child. It’s a common issue that affects approximately 1 in 7 women.
In this guide, we will discuss some potential causes of postpartum depression so you can understand what your body is going through.
Physical And Hormonal Changes
You just finished growing an entire human being inside your body. You’re going to experience some physical changes as a result. Once you’ve given birth, you will have a drastic drop in estrogen and progesterone, along with sudden weight loss and other transformations. Some women go through adjustments with their thyroid hormones, which can cause fatigue and depression. These physical transitions can be difficult to cope with.
Body Image Issues
Some women feel depressed after giving birth because their bodies don’t look the way they want them to. The media makes these issues even worse, setting unrealistic expectations for post-pregnancy weight loss. It will take time to get your body back to the way it was. In fact, you may never look exactly like you did before your pregnancy. You are still beautiful though, even if it’s a new kind of beauty. You can work with a depression counselor to boost your self0esteem and feel confident in your new form.
It’s no secret that having a newborn takes a toll on your sleep schedule. Sleep deprivation can increase depression symptoms in every stage of life, not just after giving birth. As you sleep, your mind processes all the information from the day and your body heals any wounds that may have developed. If you can’t get consistent, solid rest, your mind doesn’t have a chance to sort through the stress from being a new parent. Once your child starts sleeping more in the night, your depression may fade away on its own.
There is no definitive cause of postpartum depression, but stress is one of the biggest contributing factors. Think about a time when you’ve felt overwhelmingly stressed – bills were late, you lost a job, someone close to you went into the hospital, etc. You probably had a hard time sorting through your emotions, and every new obstacle seemed like a massive hurdle to overcome.
The stress of being a new parent can be just as overwhelming, and you may find yourself second-guessing every decision that you make. Have faith in yourself and remember that you were able to get through stressful times before. You can get through this, and you will be a wonderful parent. In time, you will be able to enjoy all the wonders that motherhood has to offer.