Approximately 10% of mothers experience some degree of postpartum depression.
After the birth of a child, mothers sometimes feel some mild disturbance of mood. Symptoms can include:
- Feelings of inadequacy
Beyond these, some new mothers also experience more severe symptoms beginning soon after to six months after birth. These symptoms include symptoms of major depression:
- Excessive anxiety about baby
- Lack of concern for self or baby
- Numbing of emotions
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbance (beyond that caused by tending an infant)
The obvious cause would be hormonal -- from the hormonal disruption of childbirth.
This major factor may be complicated by other factors, such as financial pressures, health issues, feeling inadequate as a new parent or marital issues.
Self-help for postpartum depression is the same as for any other type.
If symptoms become severe professional treatment is important. Infants need their mothers to be emotionally available—something that is more difficult to accomplish while depressed. At Bill Jacobs LPCC, we can help with postpartum depression. The cause is hormonal, but the good mental health practice of self-expression reduces the symptoms.