All about feeling down after a baby
Unfortunately, with depression there is still a lot of stigmas that surround it. Some people still hear the words “just get over it”, “be happy” and the classic “you don’t have a reason to be upset” whenever they discuss it.
Yes, it is very difficult to sit at home with an absolute joy of a child and find it hard to smile. Depression isn’t straight forward. There doesn’t need to be a reason, it doesn’t present the same in everyone and it can be hard to admit that you have depression.
I wanted to talk about postnatal depression first as I am one of the 1 in 7 woman who give bith affected and am still working my way through it. Believe it or not it is a lot more common than you think it even affects up to one in ten of men. This is not the baby blues where you feel sad for a few days. This is postnatal depression where it occurs for several weeks and has many different symptoms. For some it can be a lingering feeling in the back of your mind, like a cloud hanging over, you just don’t seem to be happy, and you don’t know why. Others it can be hard to sleep or sleeping too much (yes that can be hard to tell with how messed up your already sleep is). There are many other feelings around your parenting like feeling like you aren’t good enough or not doing the right thing, stressing the small things when in fact you are doing a great job.
If you are feeling any of the signs above, you may have some level of postnatal depression.
It sucks, but you aren’t alone.
Of course, they don’t really know the cause of postnatal depression but it’s usually the cocktail which starts with those beautiful hormones, yup they continue their chaos, along with environmental, emotional, and genetic factors. And top it off with the sleep deprivation.
It can start from a few days to a few weeks after giving birth and is often a short-term illness luckily, lasting a few months up to a year. Many women it will pass without treatment, but others need professional assistance.
For men its often due to the extra pressure and responsibility, as well as change in lifestyle. It presents more the same as woman but with anxiety, overthinking and finding it hard to make decisions.
For some mothers with ongoing depression, it can result in a impact the child causing a delay in language and difficulty learning, behaviour problems including agitation and crying, issues with bonding and problems managing stress. This is a by product of the mother withdrawing from the baby and being extremely fatigued.
There are many different choices as to what to do next.