The pressures of being a new mother are always vast and unexpected. While every mom-to-be has some idea of what is coming, rarely is she expected to fall into a postpartum disorder. Most women (85%) experience something termed “baby blues” the first few weeks after delivery. Irritation, sudden bouts of crying, worry, and restlessness are common during this time and usually go away soon without treatment.
Postpartum depression, on the other hand (occurring in 10-15%), hangs on after the baby blues should have gone away. Symptoms usually occur during the first three months after delivery, although they may be present from the birth or appear up to a year later.
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Extreme worry about the baby
- Panic Attacks
- Lack of interest in or feelings for the baby
- Thoughts of harming the baby (these thoughts are rarely acted upon, but it is important to talk to your doctor about them)
- Fear of being left alone with the baby
- Excessive crying
- Difficult concentrating
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Repetitive calls to the pediatrician rarely resulting in being consoled
- Racing thoughts, obsessive thoughts
- Feelings of helplessness/hopelessness
- Thoughts of suicide
Many women feel that they can’t tell anyone how they are feeling, that no one understands, or that their sadness during what should be such a happy time is “wrong.” Mothers often fear that to tell anyone what is happening inside of them would mean being shunned or losing their children. While none of these myths are based in fact they can often feel overpowering and become more real with each passing day.
The truth is, postpartum depression is more common than most mothers know and is often part of life after children. Hormones and life events play a large roll in the occurrence of postpartum depression, and often medication is utilized to regulate neurotransmitter and hormone levels. Counseling in addition to medication, nutrition and lifestyle changes, can turn a painful time back into the vision of motherhood you had imagined. Noyau Wellness employs counselors who specialize in working with clients suffering from postpartum depression. Helping clients let go of their anger and guilt while building a foundation for a healthy and positive parenting experience, counselors help mothers navigate through these difficult times.
Counseling for family members, especially spouses, is also greatly beneficial. The mother may not understand what is going on inside her own body, thus explaining it to your significant other is quite difficult. Counselors are aware of the difficulties family members go through during this time. Seeking out support and understanding will help not only you but the new mother as well.