70% of women get postpartum depression that can look like sadness, crankiness, and anxiousness. This sounds like a lot of of us postpartum right? There are three levels of postpartum depression, and this level is called the “baby blues”, and the most common. This condition isn’t usually treated by a doctor, but there are ways to treat it at home. Most importantly, talking about this makes it easier, and also acknowledging that you feel this way. Feelings are real, and you can’t and shouldn’t deny them. I hope this brings you peace and understanding during this wonderful time in your life.
Why do I feel sad when I should feel happy?
You just had a baby!!! First of all congratulations!! Second, let’s talk about ALL of the things that are going on in your life right now. The word depression shouldn’t be a part of your new journey as a mom. When we anticipate the birth of our first child (or more) we have visions of cuddling, laughing, and being full of joy. It is truly a miracle!! BUT when people told us sleep deprivation we really didn’t know what that meant. Then add in the crying, the constant feedings, and the new body you now have since your child came into the world.
WOW, it’s a lot. Feelings of exhaustion, resentment toward a partner or your baby. Boredom of the mundane tasks each day, and possibly even feeling like there isn’t an instant connection to you and your baby. Shockingly this is actually normal! It’s not talked about because no mother in the world wants to admit that they aren’t grateful or completely happy with their baby. That could mean they are a bad mom and not cut out for this job. You are not a bad mom for feeling this way, and trust me when I say it will not last forever.
Here are 3 reasons why 70% of women get postpartum depression, aka the “baby blues”.
1. Hormones cause 70% of women to get postpartum depression.
Let’s relish in the fact that you just grew a human being and pushed it out of a tiny hole. INSANE. Taking that into consideration, for 10 months our hormones have been all over the place, and now that the baby is born they have to reset once again. To clarify, I try to think of it as when you are a week out from your period and your patience is at a zero, everything your husband or kid(s) do is like nails on a chalkboard. You feel like you might cry at the slightest thing, and chocolate should be connected via a feeding tube. Times that by a million. In medical terms your estrogen and progesterone are very high while your pregnant. When these two hormones drop dramatically after birth that can cause PPD.
2. Sleep or lack there of can cause women to get postpartum depression.
There is an actually reason why sleep deprivation has been used for torture and interrogations in war. If we don’t sleep, we literally go crazy, get sick, or die. Are you going to die because your baby won’t sleep? No. But in order to keep your sanity and immune system thriving you have to sleep. Lack of sleep also causes depression, anxiety, and unhealthy food cravings. Instead of being happy about our bundle of joy, we start resenting them because they are up all night, or our partner for not helping enough. As a result we label our babies as good and bad depending on how they sleep, when really it’s our job to teach them how.
Did you know there are ways you can help your baby start learning how to properly sleep right from the time you get home from the hospital? Head over to my website to sign up for my pediatric sleep program that starts February 2023! Need help before then? Shoot me an email for one on one family coaching options.
3. Loss of Self
Among the many emotions we feel postpartum sadness is never talked about unless you have PP depression. That is to say, you do not have to have depression to feel sad postpartum, and don’t skip over this emotion. You might not know why you’re sad, and feel like you have no right to feel that way, but this could be the reason that might have you saying “A HA!”. Becoming a mother means dying to our old selves.
Let me make myself clear here; this does not mean you sacrifice your life, needs, or well being by becoming a mom. I will never condone that. I truly believe you can have it all as a mom with proper time management and self-care. What I mean is when your baby comes into the world you are not the same. Your whole entire being is different. Body, mind, soul, and purpose. Yes we let go of sleeping in, binge watching netflix’s,and spontaneously doing anything. BUT what’s most important is letting go of your old self so you can become something BIGGER, someone STRONGER.
Do you feel Unfulfilled? Lost? Unmotivated?Take action!!
In this paragraph we understand why emotions can be GOOD. The cool thing about feelings and emotions is we can sit with them, think about it and take action. There is always a solution!! It’s not just about you anymore, you are leading a generation. In order to lead you must first let go, and start to discover this new version of you. What’s the best strategy to do that?
- Develop a routine.
- Prioritize your needs.
- Ask for help often.
- Hire professionals.
- Come up with a balanced plan with your partner.
- Take breaks to take care of YOU.
- Grow every single day alongside your child.
Our needs are not trivial, they are of the utmost importance for us to be strong leaders for our children. We are their teachers just by being with them. Feeling unfulfilled, lost, or unmotivated is normal for a time, and honestly, we ALL have days like these, honor those feelings. Don’t ever put yourself down, or feel less than as a mom. Use the fire as fuel to find your way out of it to the happiest, strongest version of you. Let’s thrive together!!
If you have symptoms of PP depression that are more severe please reach out to the SAMHSA 24 hour hotline for help, or talk to your doctor for treatment.
Teach Your baby how to sleep, get the rest you need.(February 2023) Get on the list!!
Good Inside by Dr Becky Kennedy