By Preeti (Rajpreet Taneja) Taneja, R.S.W, M.S.W, B.S.W
Founder and Lead Therapist, Canadian Therapy
Being a new mom can cause you to go through a rollercoaster of emotions. You might feel overwhelmed with love or bliss, or you might feel panicky or anxious about your responsibilities as a new mother. It's natural to feel various positive and negative emotions, given the dramatic hormonal changes following childbirth. However, if you find that your negative emotions are becoming unmanageable and fear you might be experiencing postpartum depression, here are five warning signs to look out for.
Lack of Interest Towards the Baby
If you're suffering from postpartum depression, you may find that your new role as a mother lacks joy. You may struggle to bond with your baby, feel overwhelmed by your new responsibilities, or feel a lack of interest in your baby.
Lack of Concentration
Trouble focusing, difficulty making decisions, or memory problems are possible signs of postpartum depression.
Change in Eating or Sleeping Habits
While it's natural for eating and sleeping habits to change when you're a new mom, drastic changes signify something may be wrong. If you're having difficulty falling or staying asleep or are sleeping longer than usual, this could be a sign of postpartum depression. Eating too much or too little are other warning signs to look out for.
Feelings of Sadness or Hopelessness
Hormonal changes after childbirth will naturally cause mood swings that will differ from what you experienced before giving birth. However, if you find yourself feeling excessively sad or experiencing feelings of hopelessness, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.
Lack of Energy and Motivation
Your newfound responsibilities as a mother will naturally leave you tired, but overwhelming feelings of exhaustion are something to be concerned about. If you find that you frequently lack energy or motivation, this is a sign that you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
If these warning signs seem familiar, you should know that you're not alone: 1 in 9 new mothers has postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a serious health condition, but it can be treated.
In rare cases, women can have postpartum psychosis, experiencing symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, obsessive or fearful thoughts, deep paranoia, or thoughts of harming themselves or their baby. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
There is hope for change.
While a mother may feel alone when experiencing postpartum depression, many other females also experience similar feelings and emotions.
When feeling this way, please take comfort in knowing there is hope for change. Through therapy, you can experience a safe place to reflect and voice how you feel. The feelings of isolation can begin to feel less unsettling through therapy and connecting with someone in a safe environment.
If you believe you're struggling with postpartum depression, a licensed therapist can help teach you strategies to manage your depression and improve your mood. If you are interested in treatment options, please visit our website to book an appointment with a date and time that works for you. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help, and I do offer online therapy for those who feel more comfortable accessing help from home.