It is not uncommon for new mothers to experience the baby blues, a feeling of sadness or feeling overwhelmed after the birth of their baby. These feelings are caused by a combination of hormonal fluctuations, lack of sleep, and the sheer overwhelming change in the mother's life and circumstances. However, postpartum depression is something quite different, and many people don't understand this common condition that affects so many new mothers.
Here are a few of the most common myths and misconceptions associated with postpartum depression.
New Moms with Postpartum Depression Are Always Crying
Television and movies depict a new mother with postpartum depression as holding their baby and constantly crying. In reality, while some mothers with postpartum depression might express their symptoms by crying, there are several other ways that the condition can manifest. Here are a few of the other common symptoms associated with postpartum depression:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive sleeping
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty bonding with baby or feeling like a bad mother
Postpartum depression can manifest itself as postpartum anxiety and panic attacks, as well.
Postpartum Depression Occurs Within the First Few Days After Having a Baby
Another common misconception about postpartum depression is that a new mom will begin experiencing the symptoms associated with postpartum depression in the first few days or weeks after the baby is born. Typically, the common baby blues that many women feel after having a baby will manifest within the first few days or even weeks after the baby is born.
Postpartum depression, however, can occur anytime within the first year of the baby being born. No matter when a new mother's symptoms occur, it is important that they talk to their obstetrician to determine the cause of the symptoms and to seek help.
Postpartum Depression Will Disappear on its Own
Finally, a pervasive and potentially damaging myth associated with postpartum depression is that a new mom simply needs to get over her feelings and insecurities or that the symptoms will disappear on their own. In reality, postpartum depression is a potentially devastating condition that can impact the health and wellness of a new mom.
Instead, a new mother who suspects they have postpartum depression should visit their doctor to determine the best treatment plan. For example, some mothers will be prescribed an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication to help combat the symptoms of postpartum depression. Healthy lifestyle changes can also help a new mom get past her postpartum depression symptoms.
From the idea that postpartum depression can magically disappear on its own to the notion that postpartum depression will only manifest in the first few days or weeks after the baby is born, there are several common myths associated with postpartum depression. To learn more about what postpartum really entails, contact a local obstetric care service.