There is so much joy in bringing life into this world. But nothing can be more stressful and alarming for a mother that feels anything but joy after her baby has been born. The baby blues are a more subtle version of postpartum depression and up to 80% of mothers experience this.
When the following signs persist beyond a certain point or come in more strong waves of emotion this can be taken more as postpartum depression. Mothers often feel guilt and don’t get help but different therapies such as TMS can help reduce the feelings of angst, worry, and sadness.
Feeling a Sense of Disconnectedness from your Baby
Fatigue can be a big factor to blame in all of these symptoms but feeling disconnected from your baby is one of the more obvious signs of postpartum depression. While 20% of moms and dads report no emotional connection to their baby in the hours after they are born it is not uncommon for parents and moms to develop guilt and shame for feeling no bond. Doctors report that it can take up to a few weeks to start developing bonds with their new family members.
Overcoming Exhaustion but Inability to Sleep
Sleep deprivation is one of the main causes to accelerate baby blues to postpartum depression. Going through labor puts immense stress on the new mother but at night with a racing mind filled with anxiety (taking care of the baby, no connection, etc.,) can keep an exhausted mother from sleeping. Even if a mother doesn’t experience anxiety to keep herself up a newborn who wakes up often will. In turn, this likely can create new anxiety about lacking sleep.
Making Simple Decisions Feel Life or Death
Because of fatigue and an overwhelming mind, it can be difficult to concentrate. Simple decisions suddenly feel impossible. It could be anything from deciding whether you want water or coffee or deciding when to feed your newborn. The inability to make these decisions can stress a new mom out even more making her feel incapable of taking care of someone else. Whether it is a spouse or family members limiting the amount of less important questions for a mother can be a great way to allow her to rest.
Things such as:
- Filling water with ice instead of asking, “do you want ice?”
- Making breakfast instead of, “do you want me to make breakfast’?”
Listening to Yourself
The first thing in recognizing the symptoms is knowing that it is perfectly normal and even very common to be experiencing all the above. Most mothers feel like it is unacceptable behavior which can worsen or heighten the emotions. After recognizing these behaviors monitoring or asking someone else to monitor the intensity and duration of these feelings can be particularly beneficial.
Starting with self-care treatments like sharing responsibilities of the baby at the beginning with family members so you can rest can make a major impact. However, other treatments like therapy and TMS are alternatives worth exploring.