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"Emotional stress may develop due to lack of sleep or anxiety about taking care of a newborn."

 

After giving birth, a woman’s body undergoes physical changes, such as a drop in hormone levels, changes in blood volume, blood pressure, and metabolism. Emotional stress may develop due to lack of sleep or anxiety about taking care of a newborn. There may also be lifestyle issues such as demanding older siblings or financial problems. All of this can lead to the “baby blues,” which is characterized by mood swings and crying spells of short duration.

In some cases, however, a longer lasting, more intense depression may occur. Symptoms of postpartum depression include loss of appetite, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, anger, severe mood swings, lack of joy in life, withdrawal from family and friends and difficulty bonding with your baby.

Postpartum depression isn’t due to a personal weakness. Sometimes it’s just a complication of giving birth. It is important to know that if you have postpartum depression, there is help for you. Prompt treatment can help manage your symptoms — and enjoy your baby.

A new mother who suffered from severe postpartum depression recently shared her appreciation for the care she received while in the Phelps psychiatric unit, where she was admitted one week after giving birth.

I gave birth to my first child in 2011. It turns out that the hormonal shift after childbirth caused me to go into a manic episode. I had no idea what was going on, and it was absolutely the scariest time in my life.

You all made it possible for me to make it through such a traumatic experience. Words cannot express my gratitude for all of your patience (I know I was a handful, especially at the beginning—which I feel horrible about), knowledge, and kindness for everything that you did.

I really believe that it was because of each of you (and my amazing husband – thank you for helping him understand my illness) that I was able to come out of such a seemingly hopeless place. You have hearts of gold and are amazingly selfless individuals. I commend you on being able to help people like me, who others may have given up on. It really means the world to me and my family.

Many, many thanks,
Ashley


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