There are different degrees and kinds of depression. Many mothers feel somewhat "blue" shortly after the birth. Most of this is due to biological changes in the body and lack of sleep. This type of depression, or "baby blues," is usually temporary and most women recover in seven to ten days.
Unlike the "baby blues," Postpartum Depression is more severe, and can affect you any time in the year after delivery. This type of depression may have some biological causes, but it can also be triggered by the huge changes a baby brings to your life. Or, because you are overwhelmed by all the demands.
Some signs to look for are:
- Feeling very sad for no apparent reason
- Feeling exhausted all the time
- Experiencing feelings of helplessness and/or hopelessness
- Feeling isolated
- Feelings of irritability and not wanting the baby
- The inability to care for your child properly
- A feeling that you can't see things getting any better
If your feelings make it very hard to do anything, or if you feel you might hurt yourself or your baby, consult your physician immediately.
In addition, you may want to contact a service, like Postpartum Adjustment Support Services-Canada. If you are in Canada, call 1-800-897-6660 for information on services near you.