Top Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression Dr. Hina Sidhu  Revîv Functional Psychiatry & TMS Wellness Center

While it’s a magical and wonderful time, bringing a new child into the world is hard work, filling your life with changes. As many as 15% of new mothers may have the added burden of postpartum depression to deal with on top of everything else.

The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, birth, and a return to normal conditions have predictable emotional responses, but postpartum depression is more severe, and it may last for months. While symptoms of any depression can vary between people, there are some signs to watch for that may suggest a new mother is affected.

The baby blues

It’s common for women who have just given birth to have an emotional stage — often called the baby blues — lasting for a few days up to about two weeks. The baby blues may feature a range of symptoms, such as:

This stage is considered a normal period following pregnancy and birth. Once it passes, most women return to their usual cycle of emotions.

When the blues become depression

Each of the signs of the baby blues are also potentially symptoms of postpartum depression, so it’s often difficult to determine when depression starts. Typically, the intensity of symptoms is one clue, and a duration of the phase beyond about 14 days after giving birth is another. Without treatment, symptoms of postpartum depression can last for months.

Top symptoms of postpartum depression

Because it may be difficult to distinguish between baby blues and depression, what should you watch for if signs and symptoms extend past the two-week time frame? Below are some of the top clues that you may need to act on your symptoms.

Enduring symptoms

If you’re still feeling down after 14 days, or if you notice your baby blues symptoms are getting more intense, you may be developing postpartum depression.

Inability to rest

Your baby’s needs do interfere with your sleep cycle, but during those precious moments when you can sleep, it should be easy to fall asleep and you should feel some sense of recovery, even if it’s not the same as a full eight hours.

Poor decision-making and concentration

Lack of sleep and your external focus on your baby can certainly impair cognitive ability. However, when you have problems with simple decision-making and an inability to determine priorities becomes regular, it could indicate depression.

Lack of bonding

If you’re not feeling connected with your child, and it’s a recurring feeling, it could signify postpartum depression. This may also combine with feelings of guilt and inadequacy about your abilities as a mother.

Guilt and sadness take over

Short periods of upset are normal, but if you find moments of joy are absent, or if you question your decision to become a parent, you could be experiencing some of the most likely early signs of postpartum depression.

Dr. Hina Sidhu and the team at Revîv Functional Psychiatry & TMS Wellness Center are experts at diagnosing and treating postpartum depression. They can help you develop an effective plan to address your depression that fits your lifestyle, restoring enjoyment to your time as a new mother. Call the office or request an appointment online for your initial consultation.

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