Starting or growing a family by having a child is an intense experience, full of strong emotions, big life changes, and long term commitments which can be intimidating or even overwhelming. It is normal to feel tired when you have a new baby, but it is important to watch out for signs of postpartum depression. If you feel like your sadness is near-constant, you may be one of the one in ten women who experience postpartum depression, which is a specific kind of depression that new moms can experience after they give birth. Here are some of the signs of postpartum depression:

  • Your sleep schedule is drastically different. It is common for you to have a hard time sleeping like usual if you are waking up throughout the night to care for a fussy infant. You may feel anxious and unable to sleep, even if the baby is sleeping, and you most certainly will be awake if the baby is awake, no matter what time of the day or night. But if you are unable to rest at all like you did before you gave birth, or if you find yourself sleeping or wanting to sleep all the time, you might be experiencing postpartum depression. 
  • You feel hopeless about the future. Having a new baby often brings feelings of joy and excitement for what the future holds. If you are feeling hopeless, especially after your first two weeks after giving birth, this could be a sign of postpartum depression. 
  • You worry constantly about being a good mother. If your doubts in yourself as a mother are persistent to the point of feeling constant or near-constant, you may be experiencing more than new baby jitters. This ruminative behavior could be a sign of postpartum depression. 
  • You aren’t interested in things you usually enjoy. If the things that usually make you happy or excited aren’t interesting to you at all after you’ve had a baby, especially if this lack of interest extends from hobbies to activities of daily living like showering, getting dressed up, and fixing your hair, then you might be experiencing postpartum depression.
  • You don’t want to eat at all, or you want to eat all the time. Having a baby can affect your appetite, from the morning sickness you might experience to the many changes in your body that can be domino effects of pregnancy. 
  • You’re thinking of ways to harm yourself. Feeling tempted to self harm in some way after you’ve given birth is one of the most severe and obvious signs of postpartum depression. These feelings can be scary, intense, and deeply isolating. Consider reaching out for help before it’s too late to prevent any self-harming or risky behaviors.

Postpartum depression can be a very serious condition and can spiral out of control if left untreated. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a friend or family member, please reach out to Chenal Family Therapy today for support and solutions.