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Taking Care of Yourself as much as You’re Taking Care of your Baby - by Leslie Loera

  • Page ID
    187962
    • Leslie Loera at Pima Community College

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    Having a baby can be one of the most important or scariest moments of someone’s life. It can cause a lot of happiness, but it can be very tough. A mother or father should be looked after as much as a newborn is, a new phase in someone’s life can have an absolute impact on them. If you are not taking care of yourself properly Postpartum depression and The Baby Blues can sneak up on you, both mothers and father can develop these mental illnesses. Postpartum depression can prevent parents from taking care of their children properly. Being aware of depression can help parents receive the treatment that is needed.

    There are three different types of postpartum, one being Postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in some parents. It happens to 15% of parents after childbirth. It can occur a few days to months after baby is born. It can last up to months or even years (“postpartum depression”). There is no cause for PPD, but many things can contribute. For example, hormone’s, lack of sleep, anxiety, limited social support, martial conflict, etc. (“dads experience”). PPD can interfere with the ability to take care of your child, it’s difficult to take care of yourself when a little human needs everything you can offer, but if a parent does not receive the proper treatment, symptoms can worsen.

    The symptoms of postpartum depression include:

    • Feeling sad, worried, overwhelmed
    • Difficulty with sleeping
    • Hard time with sleeping
    • Social isolation
    • Feeling moody and angry
    • Poor eating habits
    • Trouble focusing
    • Little or no energy

    Another type of postpartum is the baby blues. It’s considered a mild depression. The baby blues can start immediately after childbirth and can last up from 3-5 days. About 70%-80% of mothers develop the baby blues after childbirth (“baby-blues”). The baby blues usually don’t require medical attention unless it develops into PPD.

    Symptoms of baby blues include:

    • Sudden mood swings
    • Crying an unusual amount
    •  Impatient, rage
    • Sad, anxious, lonely

    Postpartum Psychosis is the third postpartum, it’s much rarer. It affects mothers and can happen within the first six weeks after delivery. It can happen to 1 in 500 to 1,000 new mothers. It may cause the mother to completely lose touch with reality, have thoughts of harming herself or her child (“facts about postpartum”). The mother experiencing psychosis is experiencing a break from reality, while the mother is experiencing these symptoms everything makes sense to her as in delusions and beliefs. Postpartum psychosis is temporary and is treatable with professional help.

    Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include:

    • Delusions
    • Hallucinations
    • Decreased need to sleep
    • Paranoia and suspiciousness
    • Rapid mood swings

    Taking care of yourself is the best way to prevent PPD. There is no absolute cause for it. There are several different ways that you can take care of yourself as a new parent, many resources are available but very complicated to find. There’re many different forms of help available. There’re hotlines (moms that have gone through PPD answer the line), support groups, zoom meetings, therapy, etc. It can also be treated with medication and counseling. Although searching for help can be scary, it is worth it. Fear of looking for help can prevent a lot of individuals to seek for the help they’re looking for.  It is important to remember that you are not alone in your feelings.

    Work Cited

    Facts about postpartum depression. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2022, from http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/pdpress.htm

    MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Postpartum depression: How long does it last? Medical News Today. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271217 

    1 in 10 dads experience postpartum depression, anxiety: How to spot the signs: Your pregnancy matters: UT southwestern medical center. Your Pregnancy Matters | UT Southwestern Medical Center. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://utswmed.org/medblog/paternal-postpartum-depression/ 

    Editor. (2022, November 22). Baby blues. American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/first-year-of-life/baby-blues/