Stop Pretending!

We all do it, pretend that is, but it has to stop.  Postpartum depression is a serious condition that is under-diagnosed.  Recognizing it in yourself or someone you love does not make you or them an unfit mother, it makes you human.

There are three types of postpartum depression ranging from the “baby blues” to postpartum psychosis.  It is important to seek help as soon as possible to get the most effective treatment possible.

“Baby blues” affects 50 – 80% of new mothers usually starting 1 to 3 days after delivery and lasting several weeks.  Weeping, irritability, lack of sleep, mood changes, and feelings of vulnerability are some of the signs.

Postpartum depression is more debilitating with feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, despondency, and tearfulness.  It can also have physical symptoms such as headaches, numbness, chest pain, and hyperventilation.  Mothers suffering from this may regard her child with ambivalence, negativity, or disinterest.  An adverse effect on bonding between the mother and child can be a result.  Postpartum depression can begin anywhere between delivery and 6 months post-birth and can last up to a year.

Postpartum psychosis is rare effecting 1 in 1000 births and can include symptoms of extreme confusion, fatigue, agitation, alterations in mood, feelings of hopelessness and shame, hallucinations and rapid speech or mania.

Talk to your Doctor, the Health Nurse, a trusted friend, ANYONE!  You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer alone.  For more information about this disorder and where to get help visit your local CMHA.  Remember you are an amazing mother!!!