In May we celebrate all Mother's for Mother's Day but May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. To help with this movement the following information is provided to help raise awareness of postpartum and maternal mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares that roughly 1 in 10 woman in the U.S. alone suffer from symptoms of depression. Here is some information on some of the causes, symptoms and resources to get support if you think you or someone else might be experiencing Postpartum Depression. Hormones
We all know that with pregnancy and post pregnancy comes several physical changes and one thing that could be the leading cause of postpartum depression is HORMONES! In an article about What happens to your hormones after having a baby Dr. Lucy Hooper states that one of the things that happens immediately after childbirth is the birth of the placenta and this causes the body to experience a sudden decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels . This can cause all kinds of physical changes like hair loss and mood swings. This sudden change can cause women to feel overwhelmed and experience low self esteem and breast feeding can prolong these effects. Hormone changes are not the only cause of postpartum woes so pay attention to other things such as suspected domestic violence or other traumatic experiences and don't be afraid to speak up and seek support.
It is common for a postpartum mother to experience some type of sadness following childbirth. However, if this lasts more than two weeks you should look for the Early Warning Signs of Postpartum Depression. If you think you might be experiencing something more serious don't be afraid to express yourself. There are several resources to help and it's important to pay attention to your personal mental health but also the health and wellness of your new baby and your family. New father's can suffer from depression as well especially if the mother is suffering and causing a strain on the entire home environment. If you don't know where to start try taking this Quiz to see how you are feeling. Common symptoms include severe mood swings, excessive crying and trouble bonding with your new baby.
If you find that you are suffering from any of the common symptoms you should seek support right away. Try talking to a family member or close friend and contact your doctor for a screening. The support of others often helps us realize that things are not as terrible as they may seem. Focusing on your personal overall health is something that often gets set aside once all the needs of the new baby start, so try to take time to yourself often. If you do not feel like you have someone close enough to talk to you can seek support through other outlets. Postpartum Support International or PSI has a ton of useful information and a helpline. Try to remember to take time for yourself and ask for help when needed. The saying "It Takes A Village" is the truth and caring for your new baby doesn't have to leave you feeling miserable.