Postpartum Depression is not the only Maternal Mental Illness that exists.
Ten years ago I suffered from Postpartum Psychosis. Five years ago, I was an Advocate for mothers who needed education in raising their new baby, which included breastfeeding & maternal mental health services in Philadelphia. I am still in the public health field while also writing/blogging on Maternal Mental Health in Women. My degree is in psychology, and my goal is to break the mental illness stigma in the community by educating people on the negative effects on poor mental health.
I have learned so much after experiencing Postpartum Psychosis. One important lesson is self-care is very important. Some mothers sacrifice so much of themselves after having a baby that they forget to take time out for themselves. I had to learn how to care about my health and wellness the hard way. I constantly was putting others before myself, that’s how I crashed into depression. I thought I didn’t matter anymore. When I say self care I mean asking for help when you need it or taking a longer shower then normal. Another means of self-care is taking vitamins and exercising, if your into that sort of thing.
NOTICE THE SIGNS AND KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
Depression does not only begin after the baby arrives. It’s definitely possible that a pregnant woman may show signs of depression before giving birth. Noticing it before hand is what is suggested. About 70–80 % of new mothers experience negative feelings or mood swings during pregnancy or after giving birth. Fathers may also get depression, especially if their financial status is low at the moment. However, their systems are different from woman, some may become more disconnected and unfocused. Baby-blues is a lesser form of postpartum depression. It includes having a fear or doubt of being a mother. Symptoms are lack of energy, low energy, and mood swings. The “baby blues” (which occurs after the baby is born) affects as many as 80 % of new mothers. “Baby blues” symptoms are usually resolved within two weeks of delivery.
The term Perinatal Depression encompasses a wide range of mood disorders that can affect a woman during pregnancy and after the birth of her child. It includes prenatal depression, the “baby blues,” postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Between 15 and 20 % of all women…