The birth of a child is a wonderful time in a family’s life! Soon-to-be parents often take many months to prepare a nursery and celebrate the excitement and joys of becoming parents through baby showers with family and friends. Many parents report numerous life changes following the birth of their child that are exciting and overwhelming. At times, some mothers question their emotional response and ability to cope after their child has been born. Experiencing increased stress or sad mood isn’t uncommon as a woman adjusts to this new phase of life physically and emotionally.
So, when is a mother’s adjustment more concerning than the typical “baby blues”? According to the Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA), at least 1 in 7 mothers experience serious depression or anxiety during pregnancy or during the first three months postpartum. 1 in 5 mothers experience such concerns within the first year postpartum. But, let’s not forget about the Dads! It is also important to know that 1 in 10 fathers experience postpartum depression following the birth of their child.
Common signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety include:
- Sadness, crying more often
- Sleep disruptions
- Irritability, anger and agitation
- Appetite changes
- Mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Panic attacks (e.g. shaky, dizzy, shortness of breath)
- Fear of losing control
Many women suffer alone with feelings of guilt and shame due to believing that they failed or are not being a good mother if they aren’t fully feeling happiness or joy with their new little one. If you or your partner are experiencing such challenges it is important to know that you are not alone, to not blame yourself for how you are adjusting and that with help you can feel better!
The mental health professionals at Family Psychology Associates understand your concerns and are trained to help families struggling during and after pregnancy through confidential therapy services. Please call our office to set up an appointment at 727-203-3770 (Trinity Office) or 727-725-8820 (Safety Harbor Office).
Written by Abigail Saneholtz, Psy.D.
Sources: 2020 Mom Project and Postpartum Support International – www.postpartum.net/
Bennett, S.S. and Indman, P. (2010). Beyond the baby blues. San Jose, CA: Moodswings Press.
Wisner, K.L. et. Al, Onset Timing, and Diagnoses in Postpartum Women With Screen-Positive Depression Findings. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(5):490-498.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) – www.postpartum.net
- Facebook and Twitter pages
- PSI U-Tube Channel
Social Support and Steps to Wellness – www.janehonikman.com
Postpartum Dads – www.postpartumdads.org