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Can Motherhood Cause Depression?

Oh Baby, You've Got The Blues: Can Motherhood Cause Depression?

We've heard of the Monday blues, experienced them as well, but have you heard of the baby blues? If you are a concerned partner, new mother, or mom-to-be, then it is time to read up!

The baby blues are a normal part of motherhood. Well, at least for some. As a new mother, you're overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, and more! It's only natural that the hormones, stress, and exertion ends up taking a toll.

Do you have the symptoms?

The baby blues can be described as a low-level depression that some new mothers experience after childbirth. The symptoms don't last very long and can be managed with a few lifestyle changes.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Feeling Overwhelmed
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping

It can be difficult to even come to terms with the fact that you are experiencing the baby blues but know that it is temporary. In about two weeks, everything around you settles, and so do the blues. In the meantime, here are some ways you can manage the symptoms:

  • Sleep!
  • Ask for help
  • Spend time with your loved ones as much as possible.
  • Join a support group
  • Exercise!

When Should You Be Concerned?

The baby blues aren't usually an issue. They're quite common and tend to last only a couple of weeks. However, perinatal depression is no joke. It's an affliction that seems to follow no rhyme and has no reason, but it can be detrimental for the mother and her new children.

Perinatal depression encompasses both prenatal and postpartum depression. It is an affliction that is difficult to spot at first. For the most part, the symptoms are similar to the baby blues, the difference?

Symptoms of perinatal depression

The duration of the illness. The baby blues last about two weeks, but perinatal depression lasts a lot longer. Perinatal depression also doesn't have to be extremely severe but does have symptoms such as:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • No interest in life
  • Concentration troubles
  • Memory issues
  • Decision-making trouble
  • Loss of interest in self-care
  • Isolation
  • Lack of motivation in day-to-day tasks
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sense of failure
  • Mood swings
  • Either too much or too little concern for the baby
  • Highly demanding
  • Inability to make sense of things.

Recognize some of the symptoms from the previous list? It's important to remember that the illness doesn't go away in a heartbeat.

How Can You Beat The Blues?

Beating the blues is hard work, don't let anybody tell you otherwise. It's a slow process that takes effort and a lot of strength. It is especially hard when you're a new mother! But it isn't impossible. The ideal route to take is to talk to a professional

Perinatal depression is a serious issue. Not getting professional help screams trouble. So, if you see signs in yourself or your partner, talk to a professional.

A professional is well equipped to handle whatever you throw at them and help you in the process. Treatment courses are bound to be recommended and will help you get back on your feet. At the very least, you will have someone who understands what you're dealing with.

Endnotes

Motherhood isn't easy. With the stress of having a new child, a rage of hormones, and exertion, it can be incredibly hard to deal with. So, it's no wonder that motherhood can lead to depression. If you or your partner seems to have developed any symptoms, make sure to talk to a professional before the situation spirals.


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