Being a new mother can be hard especially if you're still young. Along with the challenges of childbirth, depression is surprisingly common among new mothers. But what does this influx of feelings even mean and what should you do if it gets out of hand?
Image Source: Shutterstock, Pixel-Shot
Having a baby is an emotional rollercoaster. A new mother can go from being excited about meeting her new bundle of joy to being worried sick from doubting her capability to be a mother. Having mixed feelings is perfectly normal. However, when negative feelings linger and grow over time, that may pose a big problem. If you’ve heard of the term ‘baby blues’, it is something most mother’s experience after childbirth and it may include symptoms like mood swings, sadness, anxiety and feeling empty or emotionless.
Baby blues usually resolve in about two weeks. However, about 1 in every 10 women experience a more severe form of depression called postpartum depression.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression
If your baby blues don't go away within 2 weeks of childbirth and you experience the following symptoms then you probably have postpartum depression:
Changes in appetite
Emptiness and hopelessness
Facing your postpartum depression can be hard. You may feel like you're a bad mother but rest assured that countless other women have gone through the same experience! After all, your postpartum depression can be explained by hormonal changes after childbirth so it's nothing to feel bad about.
Giving birth as a young mother
Becoming a mother and getting used to life as a parent can be hard especially if you're a young woman. Transitioning from having no one to care for other than yourself to having a little one who's entire existence depends on you can be an overwhelming reality to accept.
Did you know that younger mothers are at greater risk of postpartum depression? Along with being young, factors that increase your chances of getting postpartum depression include going through an extremely stressful event, job stress and financial issues.
At this stage in your life as a young mother, there's just so much going on in your life it can be hard to process what's going on. If you feel like you have postpartum depression then make sure you talk to your doctor since this condition requires medical attention. If you feel that you might harm your child or don't have the energy to deal with their baby then urgently seek help.
Things you can do to feel better include sleeping whenever you get the chance to, making time for socializing and getting help from your friends and family.
Sharing your problems with an understanding loved one is always a great solution. Having someone to talk to especially if they've gone through the same experiences can provide you with an outlet for your emotions, and most of all give you the needed support and perspective.