Having a baby should bring about feelings of joy, fulfillment, and maybe even a little bit of apprehension. It’s normal to be uncertain of what your days will be like after parenthood comes to stay, but for some women there are much deeper, much darker emotions that rear their ugly head in the days following child birth that can be difficult to handle without help.
Ten to fifteen percent of women have some form of post-partum depression in the month following delivery of a baby. While symptoms can vary from mild to severe, it can inhibit bonding between mother and baby. Triggered by the sudden drop in maternal hormones after delivery, post-partum depression can take many women by surprise. Starting as early as a day or two after birth or as late as several months afterward, being able to recognize the warning signs can stop the cycle before it becomes more serious.
The most common symptoms of post-partum depression can include:
- Crying for no reason
- Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
For other women, more severe symptoms may occur that keep mom and baby from bonding properly during those early days at home.
- Suicidal thoughts
- A disinterest in your baby or their needs
- Thoughts of hurting your baby
- Irrational, impulsive thoughts or behaviors
- Hearing voices
- Losing the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality
Any of these symptoms can be managed effectively through the use of medications and the guidance of trusted medical professionals. Women most likely at risk for post-partum depression include those without a strong support structure, a history of mental illness, recent stressful life events, or financial difficulties.
When symptoms of post-partum depression begin to fire, many mothers fear that they will be judged as a “bad mother” or “crazy”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Hessel recognizes the sensitive nature of post-partum depression and has the tools at hand to get you back on your feet and back to being the mother that you want to be to your child. In order to be your best, getting help is the first step—and Dr. Hessel is here to get you, and your family on the right mental track.