Frequently Asked Questions About Postpartum Depression

Have you ever have that feeling that you wanted something so badly that you can visualize happy endings? For the longest time that I was in a married relationship, all I wanted was to get pregnant and have a wonderful baby. I always thought that when the time comes that I am going to become a mother, I would be one of those badass moms. I often pictured myself as a friendly, outspoken, cool, and easy-to-mingle parent that my kids would totally love. So when I got pregnant and delivered a cute baby boy, I told myself that “this is it.” This is the moment that I have been dreaming of. Finally, I will become the mom I visualized myself to be.

Unfortunately, that feeling faded away so quickly. Instead of me getting a lot of confidence, I started to lose myself and doubted my capabilities not only as a first-time mom but as a person in general. My child’s birth opened my eyes to the reality of life that having a child is not easy. From there, I began to lose all the hopes I have and eventually forgot about what I want to be as a mom. In some instances, I tried to give myself some boost. Perhaps this is just the beginning, and that things will get back to normal again once I got over the pressure of everything. Besides, I just gave birth a couple of months ago, so I guess this is only part of exhaustion and all that.

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But apparently, that feeling stayed for a longer period. And until now, I am still trying to figure out how to get better. Honestly, I already have an idea of what is happening. I am just in denial because I want to convince myself that this is nothing compared to my energetic and positive outlook in life. But guess what, I am dealing with postpartum depression, and that is a shame.

What are the causes of postpartum?

There is often a dramatic drop in hormones in women’s bodies right after childbirth that contributes to postpartum depression. These hormones are particularly estrogen and progesterone. The imbalance often leads the new mothers to exhaustion, sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness, and depression. In unfortunate cases, these feelings can lead to extreme measures that can influence new moms to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

 How do you get PPD?

PPD often promotes symptoms including sadness and hopelessness. Usually, if a woman shows signs of crisis that bring her uncontrollable emotions, it is an obvious indicator that she is suffering and strongly affected by depression. When her emotional and mental dilemma is taking a toll on her life, it is important to call a doctor immediately. PPD can occur from the first few weeks up to a year after giving birth, and often, women suffering from it are at risk of suicide.

 What is the postpartum period, and how long does it last?

The postpartum period is divided into three individual stages. The first one is the initial or acute phase, which is about 6 to 12 hours after childbirth. Usually, emotional and mental issues in this phase are mild and can easily fade away. Then there is the sub-acute postpartum period. This one lasts for approximately two to six weeks. Depressive symptoms in this phase are persistent but often manageable. Lastly, there is a delayed postpartum period. It is the phase that can last up to six months or more. The severe case of delayed postpartum often leads to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

 How can you prevent PPD?

PPD is common in most women, regardless of their age. To prevent postpartum depression from happening, one should always consider focusing on self-care. It is essential to have a healthy lifestyle that is beneficial for overall health and recovery. Also, a new mom should need to build a strong foundation of her support system. She needs to make sure that friends and family are aware of the signs and symptoms of PPD to help her heal better. It is also necessary to enlist a therapist to ask for professional recommendations regarding possible medication options.

 Why do they say 40 days after birth?

Cuarentena is a period of about 40 days or six weeks. It is when the new mom refrains from having sex with her partner. She needs to dedicate herself solely to breastfeeding and taking care of the baby and herself. It is a strategy that helps new moms deal with postpartum confinement that is usually from 30 to 40 days after their delivery.

 How long does anxiety last after having a baby?

After giving birth, quite a few new moms experience stress, sadness, and anxiety rather than the joy and delight of becoming mothers. Frankly, it is normal since many people experience these so-called baby blues. These feelings are usual parts of postpartum recovery, and they usually go away after a couple of weeks following the delivery. However, if in case the anxiety tends to last, it is best to consult a medical expert for a possible diagnosis of postpartum depression.

 Is it normal to feel anxious after having a baby?

Honestly, both depression and anxiety are more common after a mom’s childbirth. The situation can also become more stressful when combined with the normal challenges of lack of sleep, unregulated eating habits, and unnecessary additional tasks. New moms also experienced feeling overwhelmed by being a new parent that they somehow think they cannot cope with. When things are out of hand and the emotional and mental state is at stake, it is best to seek professional help as quickly as possible.

 How long until your hormones are normal after pregnancy?

Typically, Six months postpartum is an excellent estimate for a new mom’s hormones to go back to normal. It is essential to understand that some hormone imbalance symptoms might stay for several weeks after delivering the baby. It is usually about 6 to 8 weeks. But those symptoms related to hormones while breastfeeding will stay put in the new mom’s body for as long as she breastfeeds.

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 Can breastfeeding hormones cause anxiety?

For some women who breastfeed, their body produces less and less prolactin, the milk-producing hormone, and oxytocin, the hormone that acts on organs in the body, including the breast and uterus. When women breastfeed, their dopamine drops excessively, and the resulting deficit causes a range of symptoms, including irritability, anxiety, and self-loathing.

 What can breastfeeding moms take for anxiety?

There are several options that new moms can take their doctor to decide that prescribed medication is the best route for them to reduce their anxiety while continuing with breastfeeding. Some of the medications to consider include SSRI antidepressants. Examples of these are sertraline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and citalopram.

 Why do I feel weird about breastfeeding?

Most women would agree that breastfeeding usually feels strange at first and even completely painful. Most new moms suffer from latching issues, nipple chafing, and making too much or not enough milk. Aside from that, breastfeeding can also be anxiety-inducing. That is because their baby gets born, but their body is not done changing yet. Thus, there is a weird feeling that sometimes gets accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

 Can breastfeeding make you feel depressed?

It is often usual for new moms to feel exhausted in the postpartum phase. That is because they need to consider a lot of things, from healing from childbirth, taking care of a newborn baby, and producing breast milk. They also need to make an effort to breastfeed every 2 to 3 hours during the day and night. All these sudden tasks require a lot of emotional and mental energy.

 What are the negative effects of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is essential for babies. It helps and protects them against sickness, allergies, and obesity. But though it is vital for kids, it can cause some side effects for few new moms. These side effects can include back pain since, most of the time, mothers often stay in an awkward position all the time. Then there is bruising, which is common in the mother’s breasts.

 Can breastfeeding affect your mental health?

No. breastfeeding does not damage new moms’ mental health. In fact, it works the opposite way. A good breastfeeding experience can do wonderful things for women’s well-being, such as lowering their risk of anxiety and depression. It also helps them get more sleep and overcome past emotional and physical difficulties. It works well alongside reducing the risk of heart disease, reproductive cancers, and diabetes. Breastfeeding can also help mothers feel confident, empowered and heal birth trauma too.

 What does milk let down feel?

Often, new moms’ may notice different sensations in or around their breasts during milk let down. A couple of tingling sensations somehow feel like pins and needles pinching through inside and outside the breast area.

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Final Thoughts

I understand that the things happening right now are out of my control. As much as I wanted to stay positive, I really can’t. But I don’t have to worry that much because I know with my family, friends, and therapist that I will get better. It might take me quite a while, but I still want to stay positive about my mental health. I want to do this not only for myself but for the child as well.