In response to my post last week about this, I got many comments and e-mails from other moms who had similar experiences!
I really wish that someone had helped me figure out I had PPD. Then I could have made some different choices, which could have helped my transition to having 2 kids be so much better.
That is why I want you to know what to look for. If you do have PPD, the sooner you get help the better.
How do you know if it is the Baby Blues or PPD?
It is pretty common for you to feel overwhelmed right after your baby is born. You are sleep deprived and there are so many new things you are learning. You are also having huge hormonal fluctuations.
However the Baby Blues lasts for a short period of time. Also with Baby Blues you still feel like yourself,
maybe overwhelmed, but still YOU.
So if you are more than 3 weeks after the birth and still feeling blue or overwhelmed that is a sign it could be PPD.
PPD not only hurts you, but can hurt your whole family. Get help, the sooner the better. One of the first steps is to figure out if you have PPD.
Symptoms of PPD
Keep in mind there can be so many different symptoms of PPD. It isn’t one size fits all. I didn’t feel “depressed” rather I was angry and overwhelmed. I didn’t know those 2 things were symptoms of PPD. I assumed the only symptom of PPD was depression!
- Inability to sleep OR sleeping a lot.
- Change in appetite.
- Extreme concern and worry about the baby OR a lack of interest or feelings for the baby.
- Feeling unable to love the baby or your family.
- Anger toward the baby, your partner, or other family members.
- Anxiety or panic attacks.
- Fear of harming your baby. These thoughts may be obsessive, and you may be afraid to be left alone in the house with your baby.
- Sadness or excessive crying.
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering.
- Feelings of doubt, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, or restlessness.
- Lethargy or extreme fatigue.
- Loss of interest in hobbies or other usual activities.
- Mood swings marked by exaggerated highs and lows.
- Feeling emotionally numb.
- Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.
- Frequent calls to the pediatrician with an inability to be reassured.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, which may include thinking about or even planning suicide.
- Obsessive-compulsive features, including intrusive, repetitive thoughts and anxiety
An Easy Screening Tool
There are screenings you can take online, which is an easy way to start.
If the results say you possibly have PPD, then please tell someone! Get some help.
Your main support person (birth partner) is a great person to tell. But they may not know what to do to help.
Resources for help
A great website for you (or your support person) to start your research is Post Partum.net They have great information for moms and dads. They also have resources to find trained therapists in your area!
A great book is PostPartum Depression for Dummies.
Please if you think you may have Postpartum Depression, get some help. (Make sure you get help from someone who is trained to help moms with PPD!!! Don’t make the mistake I made.)
Some moms are worried that drugs are the only answer. They don’t want to be medicated and so they try to deal with it on their own.
There are many different ways you can deal with PPD. Using medication is one option, but there are many others as well!
Finding the right help to deal with it is going to make your parenting journey much easier.