Postpartum Anxiety and Depression
The arrival of a new baby is a happy and joyful occasion; and, it is a time of change and adjustment. Many women find themselves feeling overwhelmed by their new responsibilities. This is common and normal.
(Photo: Flickr: Mitya Ku)
Symptoms of Post Partum Depression
What am I Feeling?
Maybe you have felt or thought the following:
- I'm so irritable
- I cry all the time or I can't cry
- I'm so worried or I'm so anxious
- I feel numb or I can't feel anything
- I just can't cope, I feel so alone
- I feel so guilty and/or I feel ashamed
- I don't know who I am anymore
- I want to sleep all the time or I can't sleep
- I can't stop eating or I don't want to eat
- I'm having very scary thoughts
Why Do I Feel This Way?
If you're having some of these thoughts or feeling, you may be experiencing postpartum depression. You are not alone. Postpartum depression affects 10 to 24% of all mothers, and help is available.
What Else Do We Know?
- Both biological and adoptive mothers experience post partum depression.
- Postpartum depression usually occurs 20 to 40 days after delivery, but it can begin anytime in the first year.
- It can affect your ability to carry out daily activities as well as your relationships with family and friends.
- Postpartum depression does improve with time, help and support.
***Remember --You are not crazy, and you are not a failure as a mother. Help is available.**
Below are some tips to help you make healthy adjustments to improve your postpartum experience:
Nurture yourself and treat your emotional needs with respect. Remember to take time for yourself.
Respect your body's needs for rest and sleep.
Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid caffeine and chocolate.
Acknowledge painful feelings and develop appropriate ways to work through them.
Discuss your feelings with your physician to determine whether medication or a referral to a mental health professional might help.
Contact your doctor, your Public Health Nurse or the Mental Health and Addictions Intake Facilitator (306 655-7777) for information about resources available to you.