One of the joys of having a baby are all the little side effects. On the more worrisome side of things is Postpartum Depression. It is probably hard to distinguish between the “baby blues” and actual Postpartum Depression, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are worried.
Most commonly we are told that if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby that you have Postpartum Depression. While this is very true (and extremely serious) it is important to note that this is not the only symptom of PPD. Many symptoms of PPD and the “baby blues” are similar; one of the most important to remember is that the “baby blues” fade within a few weeks of delivery. All of the irritability, crying spells, and over all grumpiness will fade a touch each day as time passes.
Postpartum Depression on the other hand will worsen, and can last up to a year if not treated. Other signs of PPD include feelings of inadequacy. You might think you weren’t cut out to be a parent, or that you simply are a terrible one at best. You could have severe fatigue. This symptom is rough because what mother of a new baby isn’t tired? This is the kind of fatigue that completely inhibits your ability to function. It is completely different from being tired due to late night feedings.
You are more prone to postpartum depression if you already suffer from a form of depression, your pregnancy was unexpected, you have financial or relationship struggles, or if you are a single parent. Don’t panic if you think you are showing the signs of PPD, just make sure that you get help whether it’s from your spouse, or another supportive person in your life, or your doctor. Do not be ashamed; get better so you can love on your new family.