The hormonal changes after giving birth can make it common for new mothers to feel out-of-sorts. But for some new mothers, this temporary feeling of depression continues far beyond just a week or two. For these new parents, prolonged feelings of sadness could mean postpartum depression is setting in. When this happens, caring for a new infant becomes difficult, and both mother and baby may suffer. In general, it’s normal to feel a little blue in the first one or two weeks following the birth of a child, but if the condition doesn’t let up, treatment for depression may be the solution.
Postpartum Depression Is a Mental Health Condition
Postpartum depression is a mental health condition that can happen to new moms or dads, but it’s more prevalent in mothers. In part, this is due to fluctuations in hormone levels following pregnancy. There are other reasons a new mom might feel sad or depressed following the birth of a child, however. Generally, they include:
- History of depression
- Sleep deprivation
- Worry or fear over providing for the baby
- Anxiety over finances
- Having a baby with special needs
- Problems with breastfeeding
In most instances, feelings of sadness or depression after childbirth are fleeting. As a result, they often resolve within a week or two of delivery. For some new moms, however, the symptoms continue or worsen, making it difficult to function normally or to care for the baby.
Depression Treatment May Help Ease Postpartum Depression
In most instances, sadness that lingers long after childbirth requires depression treatment. This may take place as part of an outpatient mental health care program or in a residential care facility if symptoms are severe. Severe symptoms of postpartum depression include suicidal thoughts or feelings of wanting to harm the baby. Some new moms may experience a specialized form of this condition, called “postpartum psychosis”, that includes hallucinations, paranoia, and confusion. Consequently, postpartum psychosis is a danger to the new mother, the infant, and to other children and dependent family members. If you recognize the symptoms of severe postpartum depression in a friend or relative, reach out for professional medical help. Symptoms include:
- Extreme feelings of hopelessness
- Inability to care for the infant
- Loss of interest in appearance and activities
- Suicidal ideations
- Attempts to self-harm or harm the baby
Help for Postpartum Depression
Effective forms of treatment for this form of depression include behavioral counseling, medication, psychotherapy, or any combination of the three. Generally, this mental health condition is treated as a form of depression, which means a doctor may prescribe specialized antidepressants that are considered generally safe for breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, alternative forms of therapy, such as light therapy, meditation, and yoga, have also proven beneficial in countering the effects of depression in women who have recently given birth.
Find Relief for Postpartum Depression at Atlantic Recovery Center
For new moms in the South Florida area, Atlantic Recovery Center provides solutions to all forms of depression. A well-established and reputable mental wellness facility, Atlantic Recovery Center offers a high level of care for moms who struggle with feelings of sadness and depression after childbirth. Through individualized treatment, clients of Atlantic Recovery Center learn coping techniques to handle negative thoughts and feelings in healthier ways. Additionally, through participation in group and family therapies and regular sessions of talk therapy with highly trained mental health specialists, clients find relief from sadness. They’re able to let go of fear, worry, and anxiety to better embrace the joy of parenthood.
Visit Atlantic Recovery Center online today or call 1-866-824-5193 to learn more about treatment options for postpartum depression. Early intervention can help save the lives of both mother and infant. Reach out for depression treatment today.