Mother’s Health During Pregnancy Week 39Brought to you by
How are you feeling?
It's almost time for delivery! You may have been preparing for delivery for months now, but do you know about the changes that will take place in your body after delivery?
The Baby Blues – This is the happiest time of your life, right? This is what you've been waiting for…so why do you feel so sad? You may have heard people mention “The Baby Blues,” which refers to a state of heightened emotion after you give birth, in which you may cry more easily than is usual for you, or you may have trouble sleeping, or you may feel irritable, sad, or on edge. More than 80 percent of women report feeling blue immediately after birth; so if you feel this way, you aren't alone and you're not a bad person, a weak person, a bad mother, or any other negative thing you could possibly tell yourself.
Sometimes, these feelings last more than a few days. Postpartum depression is a more severe form of depression that can develop anytime during the first year of your baby’s life. Feelings, such as sadness, anxiety, and restlessness can be so strong that they interfere with daily tasks. It’s important to talk to your partner, if you have one, about recognizing the symptoms of postpartum depression before your baby is born, because sometimes when you're the one experiencing the depression, you are unable to recognize that something is wrong.
Though it isn't known for sure what causes postpartum depression, some medical professionals believe hormones play a big role. During your pregnancy, two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, increase greatly; but in the first 24 hours after delivery, they rapidly drop back to their non-pregnant levels. This fast change in hormone levels can lead to depression. And sometimes, postpartum depression is simply an extension of undiagnosed depression in a mother before she was pregnant that is worsened as a result of sleep deprivation and the changes of having a baby.
You should contact your healthcare provider if you have: mood swings, or feel depressed for more than a few days after the birth of your baby; if you feel you are unable to cope with daily activities in your life, like caring for your newborn or other children; or if you have strong feelings of depression or anger one to two months after childbirth, have trouble sleeping, or have suicidal thoughts.
Please remember that if you experience any of these symptoms, you aren't alone and support is available to you. Counseling, antidepressants, and hormone therapy are three examples of effective treatments available to you, should you experience postpartum depression.