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.
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.
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.
Need a gift for mum? Don’t miss out on 70% off as a part of our Mother’s Day Promotion! This includes cookbooks and our range of eco-friendly household and lifestyle products.
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:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
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!