Women undergoing fertility treatment look forward to holding their babies in their arms. After the stress of fertility treatments and the unknowns of pregnancy, many people look fondly toward the time post pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women overlook taking care of their post pregnancy mental health. Mental health is just as important after pregnancy as it is while you are pregnant. In fact, this time frame is particularly critical because of Postpartum Depression and the baby blues.
Post Pregnancy Mental Health Issues
After your child is born, your body will go through a number of changes. A part of this change is a substantial decrease in the levels of certain hormones. The hormones that were critical for sustaining your pregnancy are no longer needed and are purged from your body. The result of this hormone fluctuation and the change of having a child can result in depression.
The Baby Blues
Many women experience the “Baby Blues” shortly after having a baby. The symptoms include:
- Periods of anxiety
- Crying for little or no reason
- Having mood swings
- Long periods of irritability
- Feeling sad
Typically, these feelings resolve within two weeks and may only last a few days.
Postpartum Depression begins just like the Baby Blues. However, the symptoms do not improve. In fact, they get worse and can make everyday functioning difficult if not impossible. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Having no interest in food
- Feelings of extreme anger
- Loss of interest in activities you used to find enjoyable
- Loss of sex drive
- Inability to bond with your baby
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your child
Postpartum Depression can last for months if it is not treated. Treating Postpartum Depression can lessen the symptoms and decrease the duration. Additionally, treatment can help to avoid more severe mental health issues. Contact a medical professional or be honest with friends with family if you find yourself with any of the above symptoms after delivery.
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