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The Signs of Postpartum Depression You Need to Know About

20% of Aussie mums suffer from postpartum depression – so why aren’t we talking about it? With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we’ve decided to shine a light on the condition, including the signs and symptoms to look out for in yourself or a loved one. 

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common mood disorder that affects many new mothers. It can occur anytime within the first year after giving birth, but typically starts within the first few weeks or months. PPD is more than just feeling tired or sad; it's a serious condition that requires medical attention – and though Mother’s Day is often about celebration and festivity, it’s also a time to offer support to those who need it. And with a survey by Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia reporting a whopping 50% of women with PPD don’t seek professional help or advice, there’s never been a better time to do something about that number. Let’s dive into some of the most common signs and symptoms of postpartum depression.

Feelings of sadness or hopelessness

One of the most common symptoms of PPD is a persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness. This can manifest as a lack of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyable, feeling tearful or weepy, or feeling like nothing will ever get better.

Changes in appetite or weight

PPD can also affect a new mother's appetite and weight. Some women may experience a loss of appetite or a decreased interest in food, while others may overeat or turn to comfort foods. These changes in eating habits can result in weight loss or weight gain.

Thoughts of harming oneself or the baby

PPD can cause intrusive thoughts, including thoughts of harming oneself or the baby. If you or someone you know is experiencing these types of thoughts, it's crucial to seek medical support.

Sleep disturbances

Many new mothers experience disruptions in their sleep patterns due to their baby's feeding schedule. However, PPD can cause sleep disturbances beyond those associated with a newborn. Some women may have trouble falling or staying asleep, while others may sleep excessively.

Difficulty bonding with the baby

Bonding with a new baby can be difficult for many parents, but PPD can exacerbate these feelings and often leave those with the condition feeling distressed. Some women may feel detached from their baby or feel like they're not bonding as they would like to.

Anxiety and irritability

PPD can cause feelings of anxiety or irritability, which can manifest as restlessness, racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can be especially challenging for new mothers who are already adjusting to the demands of caring for a newborn.

Physical symptoms

PPD can also cause physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue. These symptoms may be caused by the stress and lack of sleep associated with caring for a newborn, but they can also be a sign of PPD, and only make the condition all the more overwhelming for the many mothers struggling.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your GP. PPD is a treatable condition, and there are resources available to help new mothers manage their symptoms; treatment options may include therapy, medication or a combination of both. Remember that you're not alone, and seeking help is a sign of strength.

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Whether you’re looking to eat healthier or fight off a sugar addiction, we’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. You might even consider gifting your mum with the program! With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
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So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!

2 Responses

I Quit Sugar

I Quit Sugar

July 04, 2023

Hey Stacy, thanks for commenting and sharing your story! We believe eating a whole food diet is a vital part of healing, but it’s not the only part. While getting regular exercise and avoiding inflammatory foods like sugar and trans fats can help prevent the exacerbation of symptoms, sometimes we need more hands-on support. We recommend getting in touch with a doctor or therapist to set up a mental health plan, and do let them know that you wish to proceed without medication so they can formulate a plan that works for you. If you’re in Australia, check out PANDA for some amazing resources:
We also recommend Beyond Blue:
All the best on your health journey – know that you are not alone.
xx The IQS Team

Stacy H

Stacy H

July 04, 2023

My little one will be one years old in a little over a week. I’ve noticed that I suffer from waves of post partum anxiety/depression along with irritability, energy levels drop and brain fog seems to get worse. These waves come just before my period.

From what I can find it sounds similar to or is PMDD that is worse with the lack of sleep that motherhood has brought. The only medical recommendations I’ve seen are antidepressants or the pill, to me seem to just blanket symptoms.

Want to learn more of where I can start with learning how to help myself with my diet or to better understand what’s going on with myself.

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