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Postpartum Depression | Rediscovering a Satisfying Motherhood

Counseling for postpartum depression, mothers with postpartum depression, therapy for mothers with depression, counseling for new mothers Fayetteville NC

Postpartum Depression | Rediscovering a Satisfying Motherhood

 

Motherhood can bring about countless joys and benefits to women. While it isn’t the sole factor to define who you are or what you’re worth, becoming a mother is a wonderful experience. In fact, it can render a lot of potential valuable lessons in life, the most important of which is learning to give unconditional love, joy and fulfillment.

Having a child, however, comes with certain responsibilities. Not every new mom can deliver such with calmness and confidence. Studies reveal that one in every seven new mothers can have their new-mom happiness outshone by an emotional-health struggle as they adjust in their new role. The whole experience can be very taxing, being a 24-hour job. In addition, there are hormone levels ebbing and rising, impacting a new mom’s mood and responses. These can leave new mothers like you vulnerable to postpartum depression or PPD.

Do not let PPD consume you. You are not alone in this journey. Many women have struggled with the same According to Postpartum Progress, the number of women affected by PPD is nearly 20 percent. It might be even higher if those who are ashamed or afraid spoke up.

 

What is PPD?

The National Institute of Mental Health defines PPD as “… a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others.”  Celebrity Hayden Panettiere in a speech said that it is “one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings that you can ever feel.”  To date, PPD does not have a single cause.

There are reasons to believe that it may result from a blend of a variety of factors – biological, emotional, social, physical, financial, etc. The most powerful factor could be the biological factors. After giving birth, it is natural for the reproductive and pregnancy hormones to go back to their pre-pre-pregnancy levels. This can lead to changes in brain chemicals that dictate emotions or moods. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation may also kick in at this time. If the new mom has other issues –  paternity concerns, financial problems, lack of support, etc. – all these can contribute to PPD.

PPD is different from postpartum blues. The latter is a natural phenomenon experienced by about 50 to 85 percent of new moms, precipitated by a change in the hormonal levels.  PPD is more pervasive and the symptoms are more severe. While a new mom is vulnerable, some women are at higher risk.

 

Are You at Risk?

Some women have higher risks for PPD. If you have poor emotional health, so that you have experienced an episode of depression or bipolar disorder at one time in your life, you could be more vulnerable to PPD. If depression is in your “blood or family,” the chance of PPD is also higher. If you had a stressful time while pregnant or after delivery, such as the death of a loved one, serious illness in the family, domestic violence, divorce, etc., watch out for postpartum depression.

Women who have medical conditions have hormonal sensitivity, and those who have abused substances are as prone to PPD. Those who have experienced medical complications while pregnant or giving birth, had a pregnancy loss, premature births, or delivered an infant with congenital issues before have more reasons to be agitated during this phase. Mothers with mixed emotions about their unplanned pregnancy may also have an increased risk

The hormonal changes, physical changes, and stress may also be risk factors. The sudden dropping of the pregnancy hormones can affect a mother’s blood pressure, metabolism, and the functioning of the immune system.  They may feel bothered or unattractive because of their “baby weight.” The pressure of taking care of a baby while still recovering from childbirth can also take a toll. Unable to sleep well and feeling anxious about their ability to care for a young life, a new mom can be easily overwhelmed. If there are more issues to fend off, PPD may not be too far off.

 

Are You Showing the Signs of PPD?

It is completely natural to feel the “blues” after the birth of your child. As your body and mind adjust to the changes, these will recover, and the postpartum signs and symptoms of unhappiness will dissipate over the following days or weeks. If you have postpartum depression, however, there may be no signs of abatement. In fact, the signs and symptoms will become more severe or intense. Like any form of depression, you cannot “snap out of it” – it will only improve with treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of PPD? Many symptoms of PPD are the same as the signs and symptoms of the major depressive disorder. There are, however, other symptoms. NIMH shares these signs of postpartum depression to watch out for:

 

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
  • Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious
  • Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
  • Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when her baby is asleep
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Experiencing anger or rage
  • Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
  • Struggling with physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
  • Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby
  • Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
  • Thinking about harming herself or her baby.

 

What are the signs that your PPD is taking a downward spin? The symptoms are not only more intense. There can also be suicidal thoughts and incapable of taking care the infant. According to Help Guide, the signs that it could be worse than postpartum blues are:

 

  • You might find yourself withdrawing from your partner or being unable to bond well with your baby.
  • You might find your anxiety out of control, preventing you from sleeping—even when your baby is asleep—or eating appropriately.
  • You might find feelings of guilt or worthlessness overwhelming or begin to develop thoughts preoccupied with death or even wish you were not alive.

 

Rediscovering Motherhood without PPD

The “blues” may not be too far off for new moms, and neither is postpartum depression. While adjusting to your new role as a new mother can take some time, it is important that you constantly monitor your emotional health during pregnancy, and most especially upon giving birth. If you feel excessively stressed, unhappy, and anxious, so that you can’t seem to enjoy motherhood, do not make the mistake of “sweeping your feelings under the rug.” If these feelings are becoming intense, check your other manifestations. Better yet, see a therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC.

Motherhood is stressful, even when it was eagerly wanted, and you dearly love the precious, little bundle. With the preparation, sleeplessness, enormous responsibilities that come with it, missing out on other opportunities, and hormonal/physical changes, it can be a rollercoaster ride. Experiencing “baby blues” are fine but know when to draw the line. If you are not feeling any better in a few weeks, do not hesitate to contact CCS – North Fayetteville Office – North Fayetteville, NC.

Like any type of depression, postpartum depression is treatable. The outlook of the condition can be greatly improved with the early recognition of the signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. You have options. Counseling or talk therapy is medication-free. Using methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT), you can recognize your negative thoughts to modify them and succeed in your mission as a mother.

Let a caring and experienced counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC be a part of helping you create a better environment for your child. Call today.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Hoke, Bladen, Sampson, and Robeson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Hope Mills NC, Raeford NC, Rockfish NC, Sliver City NC, Linden, Cedar Creek NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Parkton NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Broadway NC, Pineview NC, Lumber Bridge, NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28301, 28302, 28303, 28304, 28305, 28306, 28307, 28309, 28311, 28312, 28314

Counseling Information

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road
FayettevilleNC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Shnika Davis LCSW, LCAS-A

    Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Depression, Substance Abuse, Life transitions, Grief and Loss, Trauma, Anxiety, Adjustments Disorders, Family, Couples and Marriage
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC
  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare Select, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC