During and after the miracle process of pregnancy, your body and mind both go through so many changes. These changes are usually accompanied by stress and excitement about having a baby and becoming a mom. While entering the world of motherhood can be beautiful and thrilling, it can also be scary and cause anxiety. It is very common for women to feel worried and anxious once they become mothers because they are stepping foot into a world that is completely unknown to them, and their lifestyle is changing practically overnight. Some mothers experience this for a few days after they deliver their baby, which is known as baby blues, while others take much longer to overcome these overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety, and eventually develop postpartum depression. Think of it as a spectrum.
Baby blues generally take place within the first two weeks after giving birth. During this period, as excited as you may be, you might also feel slightly sad and fearful of what your future may look like, which is understandable, given that you’re going through a big transition in your life. Fortunately, by time, baby blues usually goes away on its own until it eventually disappears. However, if you feel like your mental state is actually getting worse a few weeks after you have delivered your baby, then you might be going through postpartum depression.
Some of the most significant symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Not being able to sleep
- having frequent and severe mood changes
- being overly emotional
- experiencing changes in appetite
- withdrawing from family and friends
- having mixed emotions about your newborn.
You may also feel like you want to cry all the time for no apparent reason, and you may have doubts about your baby’s feelings towards you. A lot of mothers feel embarrassed or even guilty when they have all these negative thoughts and feelings after they have given birth, so they stay quiet and avoid talking about what they are experiencing. But if you are going through postpartum depression, you should know that there is absolutely no shame in this. Allow yourself to receive all the love and support you need at that time from those around you without any shame.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and get the help that you deserve. Postpartum depression can be treated through psychotherapy as well antidepressant or antianxiety medication. Group therapy especially is a very common form of psychotherapy that is used for treating women who are experiencing postpartum depression.
Being part of a support group with other mothers who are going through a situation that is similar to yours can be very helpful. This group will give you some encouragement, and will also help you understand that it’s okay to have worries and doubts about what the future holds for you and your family. In addition to feeling accepted and building bonds and connections with others, group therapy will also allow you to have a better understanding of your condition, and in turn, you will learn new coping skills and techniques that will help you overcome your depression.
A Word from O7therapy
If you feel like you’re on either side of the spectrum from having baby blues or postpartum depression, know that’s it’s completely normal to feel that when becoming a mom. If those feelings persist and are causing you severe discomfort, don’t hesitate to seek help. For you, and for your baby.