Postpartum depression and how to deal with it

Having a baby is stressful—no matter how much you've looked forward to it or how much you love your child. Sleep deprivation, new responsibilities, and lack of time for yourself, it's no surprise that a lot of new moms feel like they're on an emotional rollercoaster. The baby blues are perfectly normal, but if your symptoms don't go away after a few weeks or get worse, you may be suffering from postpartum depression. 

The majority of women experience at least some symptoms of the baby blues immediately after childbirth. It is a feeling precipitated by the sudden change in hormones after delivery, stress, isolation, sleep deprivation, and fatigue. You might feel more tearful, overwhelmed, and emotionally fragile. Generally, this will start within the first couple of days after delivery, peak around one week, and taper off by the end of the second week postpartum. Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression is a more serious problem—one that you shouldn't ignore. 

In the beginning, postpartum depression can look like the normal baby blues. In fact, postpartum depression and the baby blues share many symptoms, including mood swings, crying jags, sadness, insomnia, and irritability. 

A number of interrelated causes and risk factors are believed to contribute to the problem.

Hormonal changes. 

After childbirth, women experience a big drop in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Thyroid levels can also drop, which leads to fatigue and depression. These rapid hormonal changes—along with the changes in blood pressure, immune system functioning, and metabolism that new mothers experience—may trigger postpartum depression.

Physical changes. 

Giving birth brings numerous physical and emotional changes. You may be dealing with physical pain from the delivery or the difficulty of losing the baby weight, leaving you insecure about your physical and sexual attractiveness.

Stress. 

The stress of caring for a newborn can also take a toll. New mothers are often sleep deprived. In addition, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious about your ability to properly care for your baby. 

Some adjustments can be made to help you cope better with the given condition: 

Create time for yourself.

Exercise when you can

Maintain a healthy diet

Talk about your feelings with others

And the most effective way to diagnose and treat PPD is by visiting your doctor. They can evaluate your symptoms and devise the best treatment plan for you.