Becoming a mother changes your life in many ways. It affects every relationship you have. It affects the way you spend your time. It affects the way you spend your money. It affects your family's life. Learning and adjusting to a new a new baby can be overwhelming. Now you have a little being who is totally dependent on those around her to care for, feed and nurture her. This can be daunting in the beginning.
If you find you are having trouble adjusting after the first week or so, touch base with a healthcare professional to discuss whether you may be depressed. Postpartum depression (PPD) can happen to anyone regardless of age, financial situation, marital status, number of children, or mental health history. It can begin during pregnancy, right after birth or months later. If you have suffered from depression or anxiety before pregnancy, you are at a higher risk of PPD.
Mothers and fathers both may experience postpartum depression. Clinical post partum depression occurs in about 20% of mothers. A depressed family member impacts the well being of the entire family. True depression does not typically get better over time and may last for years if left untreated. Read about the symptoms of depression to see if you are having the typical 'baby blues' or you are clinically depressed.
Depression has a wide range of symptoms. To learn about the symptoms of Post Partum Depression, click here.
Sleep deprivation can contribute to PPD. Please read about ways to deal with the lack of sleep that naturally occurs when you have a new baby.
Finding other new parents and friends to help support you is important. Knowing local resources for education and support will help you get through the adjustment to parenthood.